David Feared The Lord - 2 Samuel 6

David Feared The Lord - 2 Samuel 6

This chapter includes the story of Uzzah and the ark. The ark of God was holy unto the Lord, a sacred vessel. It contained the covenant (cp. Exod. 25:16; 40:20; Deut. 10:5; 1Kings 8:9). But notice the description in vs. 2: “…the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim.” This was where the presence of the Lord would dwell in the tabernacle/temple. This was ‘the throne of the LORD’ on earth. It was to dwell in the holiest of holies. (compare 1 Sam 4:4; 2 Kgs 19:15; Psalm 80:1; 99:1; Isa 37:16).

Note the instructions that God gave concerning it: "When Aaron and his sons have finished covering the holy objects and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is to set out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry them, so that they will not touch the holy objects and die. These are the things in the tent of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry” (Numbers 4:15). Concerning the sons of Kohath and the sacred items, the Lord did not give any carts unto “the sons of Kohath because theirs was the service of the holy objects, which they carried on their shoulder.” (Num. 7:5-9). David KNEW this, for he stated: “No one is to carry the ark of God but the Levites; for the Lord chose them to carry the ark of God and to minister to Him forever.” (1Chron. 15:2)

The problem arose because they simply did not seek God according to the ordinance (1 Cor. 15:13). Why not? They did not discern between the holy and the profane. They did not fear the Lord enough to follow His commandments concerning this. Now, following the death of Uzzah, David feared the Lord.

We need a balance in our lives. While it is true that because of Jesus, we can come confidently / boldly before the throne of grace, yet we must maintain our fear, awe and respect for God. Brueggemann notes the fear generated by this event was positive, for “when people are no longer awed, respectful, or fearful of God’s holiness, the community is put at risk.”*

Notice a few Proverbs concerning this:

·       7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Proverbs 1:7)

·       10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)

·       27 The fear of the Lord prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened. (Proverbs 10:27)

·       6 To understand a proverb and a figure, The words of the wise and their riddles. (Proverbs 1:6)

·       17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, But live in the fear of the Lord always. (Proverbs 23:17)

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord. Let us recognize His holiness in every aspect of our lives. 

Hugh DeLong

*[Brueggemann, First and Second Samuel, 249, as quoted by Robert Bergen in the New American Commentary, 1,2 Samuel, p. 331, Logos edition).