The anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error. 2 Samuel 6:7
David knew that the kingdom he had been given belonged to God, not to him, and he wanted God to be at the center of the kingdom. He knew how much he needed the Lord, and so he decided to bring the ark from the house of Abinadab to Jerusalem.
Abinadab had two sons, Uzzah and Ahio, and they brought the ark out of the house on a cart (2 Sam. 6:3). The procession started out well. But then something happened that entirely changed the mood of the party. The oxen pulling the cart stumbled, causing the ark to lurch over. It seemed that the ark would slide to the ground, so Uzzah reached out to steady it. He touched the ark—and he died on the spot (6:6-7).
Nobody liked this. Even David was offended by it: “David was angry because the Lord had burst forth against Uzzah” (6:8).
There are only a few places in the Bible where God breaks out in instant judgment like this. But normally we see God forbearing, passing over the flouting of his law, showing patience and giving time so that people have the opportunity to repent.
Judgment for flouting God’s law is what will happen when we are in his presence. And that is the whole point of this story. Being next to the ark was like being in the presence of God!
“How could I ever survive in the presence of a God like this?” This is a question few people are asking today. Have you considered what it will mean for you, one day, to stand before him?