1 Chronicles 13 and 15
The ark had been captured by the Philistines and upon its return it was place at Kiriath-jearim which is ten miles northwest from Jerusalem. Jerusalem was being established as the capital, therefore, David was making plans to bring the ark home in a grand procession!
David Consulted with all the Leaders. He said “If it seems good to you and if it is of the Lord our God…let us bring the ark of our God back to us” (I Chron 13:2-3). Note God wasn’t left out of his language. He talked about God, but his actions came down to what men thought.
David Constructed a New Cart! Imagine the detail which may have been given to this cart. Verse seven tells us it was a new cart, implying it may have been built just for this occasion! How pleased the cart maker must have been to know his talents were being used to carry the Lord’s ark. Think how important Uzza might have been viewed as one of the drivers of the cart.
Uzza Died! The oxen stumbled and Uzza put out one hand just to steady the ark. God immediately struck him dead as recorded in 13:10.
David Feared! David was angry at God, but wisely turned to God to ask, “How can I bring the ark of God to me?”
God Had Already Answered! God had told Israel years ago the ark was to be carried by its poles ( Exodus 25:10-15) and only by the Levites ( Numbers 4:15). They were clearly told “but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die!”
David Didn’t Consult the Men, but with God. David told the people the death of Uzza was because God’s order had not been followed in 15:13!
David Commanded God’s Word! The Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders by its poles “as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord” (15:15).
Have you ever heard a Christian make fun of the verse, “Let all things be done decently and in order” ( I Corinthians 14:40)? The setting of this verse is worship. Many today like to consult men and do “new things” in worship. Like David, they proclaim faith verbally, but their heart either doesn’t know or care about the importance of heeding to God’s word! Once David watched one of his own die, you can imagine him saying, “Take that new cart out of here, give me the word of God!” God surely wouldn’t mind if we change His order if our spiritual leaders agreed, would He? Ask Uzza! Jesus commanded to worship in truth–God’s way (Jn 4:24)!
— David Shannon