Why did God kill Uzzah when he touched the Ark?


By BibleAsk Team

Uzzah and the Ark

The ark was for some time at Abinadab’s house in Gaale of Judah (2 Samuel 6:3). But King David wanted to bring it to Jerusalem. So, he went there with thirty thousand men of Israel to bring the Ark with joy and signing to his place. And they set the ark of God on a new cart and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart (verse 3).

And it happened that “when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the Ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled.  Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the ark of God” (2 Samuel 6:6,7 also 1 Chronicles 13:9-12).

The Lord clearly instructed, “After Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy furnishings and all the holy articles, and when the camp is ready to move, the Kohathites are to come to do the carrying. But they must not touch the holy things or they will die. The Kohathites are to carry those things that are in the Tent of Meeting” (Numbers 4:15). The Ark was to be carried only upon the Levites shoulders and those of the family of Kohath using poles (Exodus 25:12-14; Numbers 7:9).

It seems that while the Ark was at Abinadab’s house, his son Uzzah got accustomed to the Ark and his familiarity made him irreverent to God’s explicit commands. This command stated that only the priests, descendants of Aaron, were permitted to touch it (Numbers 4:15).

God’s Holiness

God is a holy God (1 Peter 1:16). An it is apparent that Uzzah’s heart was not fully surrendered to the Lord. His intentions were not holy so when he tried to steady the ark by his hand he was slain. His act of touching the ark was one of presumption. A sinful person should not have dared to touch the presence of God. And although the Bible mentions that the oxen stumbled, the Ark itself didn’t fall. The Lord was responsible for the protection of His Ark. God didn’t need Uzzah’s help (Psalm 46:1).

If Uzzah’s sin had been allowed to go unpunished, his example might have caused many others to sin as well. Uzzah’s death was a clear  warning to others that God is a righteous God, who demands strict obedience (1 Samuel 15:22; John 14:15). The unexpected disaster caused the people of Israel to realize the importance of God’s express commands and the awfulness of the sin of disrespect (Psalm 111:10).

The Philistines earlier touched the ark when they took it to their land without being killed by God.  God didn’t kill them because they did not know God’s instructions regarding handling it. And the Lord punished them for keeping it (1 Samuel 5-6). But the Israelites were well informed about God’s instructions. Nevertheless, one disobeyed it. God doesn’t take pleasure in the death of His children, yet He is fair in His dealings with all (Psalm 25:8).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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9 months ago

That is why we, Catholics, say that one must be in state of Grace to receive the HOLY EUCHARIST…

1st Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians
Chapter 11
[27] Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord
[29] For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.

For JESUS truly becomes the bread of life (at every Mass)…

Gospel According to St John
Chapter 6

[31] Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
[32] Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you; Moses gave you not bread from heaven, but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
[33] For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world.
[35] And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst.

But how can Jesus be fully present in a piece of bread?

[41] The Jews therefore murmured at him, because he had said: I am the living bread which came down from heaven.

Jesus responds…

[47] Amen, amen I say unto you: He that believeth in me, hath everlasting life.
[48] I am the bread of life.
[49] Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead.
[50] This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it, he may not die.
[51] I am the living bread which came down from heaven.
[52] If any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world.

Do you still doubt like the Jews?

[53] The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

Again Jesus says to you…

[54] Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.
[55] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day.
[56] For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed.
[57] He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him.
[59] This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.

And sadly, many children of the Augustinian Martin Luther do not believe and abandoned the one and true Church… The Holy Catholic Church…

[61] Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it?
[67] After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him.