1 Chronicles 13:7-10 And they carried the ark of God on a new cart, from the house of Abinadab, and Uzzah and Ahio were driving the cart. (8) And David and all Israel were rejoicing before God with all their might, with song and lyres and harps and tambourines and cymbals and trumpets. (9) And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. (10) And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God.
Why did Uzzah die? He touched the Ark, and that offense was punishable by death. God had given specific instructions about how the Ark was to be moved and carried (Numbers 4:5-15), and those instructions had been ignored. The Levites were responsible to move the Ark (there is no record that Uzzah was a Levite), and it was to be carried on their shoulders with poles through its rings (Numbers 7:9). It was never to be touched. Bringing the Ark on a cart followed the Philistines' example (1 Samuel 6:1). Uzzah, though sincere in his desire to protect the Ark, had to face the consequences of his sin, and David was reminded that his obedience to God's laws was more important than his enthusiasm. Also David had "consulted with all his officials" (1 Chronicles 13:1), but he neglected to ask God. The advice of our friends and colleagues is no substitute for God's direction. Doing the right thing the wrong way will only cause more grief!
David and his men were shouting, dancing, singing, playing tambourines! What an exciting atmosphere. They were doing a good thing, moving the Ark of God, which represented His presence. The problem was that even though it was a good thing, they were doing it the wrong way. It doesn't matter how much emotion you show in worshipping God, how many "goose bumps" you may get when you praise, or how long and often you "dance before the Lord" the bottom line is are you living according to God's standard, His Word?
David knew the Word of God. He knew HOW the Ark was to be moved. However, he obviously had been influenced by the pagan Philistines. Because putting the ark on a new cart with oxen carrying it is the exact thing the Philistines did to get rid of the Ark in 1 Samuel 6:7. Isn't it sad that the great Spirit-anointed King David allowed himself to move FROM God's Word to the accepted practices of the world. The Philistines had done it, and God seemed ok with it, so why not us?
So, he went against God's Word, turned up the music, and shouted! But God was not happy with it. Emotion will never override Sound Doctrine. Worship must never be placed on the same level as obedience to God's Word. It doesn't matter how loud you turn up the music, how long you dance, how many tears you cry, how loud you shout, IF you aren't being obedient to God's Word! In this age of "everyone doing what is right in his own eyes" may the true body of Christ go running back to His Word. May we stop patterning our behavior, opinions, thoughts after the ways of the world. The USA has rapidly become a secular humanistic nation whose god is SELF. As Christians, lets swim upstream away from this false God, and pattern our life's after the only true God, and His Word!
"Lord, please forgive me for the times I have allowed my emotions to override Your Word in my life. Forgive me for the times I have made time to turn on some music and worship, but neglected Your Word. Today, I want to worship AND spend time hearing Your voice through Your Word. I want a greater passion in my life for Your Word than I have ever had. Then, after spending time in Your Word, I can worship You with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength, knowing that I am doing so in obedience to You! In Jesus' name, amen!"