Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 6

Why Uzzah died

2 Samuel 6:7

Even in our natural world, a touch is more powerful than we imagine. To touch an electric wire can kill; to touch a person with certain diseases can pass their illness to us.

The same principle is true about holy things, too. The woman in Mark 5:25-34 merely touched Christ’s clothes - but power passed from him to her, and it cured her of her disease. However, unlike Uzzah, she touched with faith (belief and trust in God).

Uzzah touched the sacred box called the ark for a different reason: he thought that he had to save it from danger. He did not respect the great power of God by which God protects his own holy things. Both Philistia’s people and Israel’s people had seen the power with which God defended his holy ark (1 Samuel chapter 5 and 6). The result was that they were afraid of it. That was why the ark had remained in the home of Abinadab, Uzzah’s father, for so many years.

The faith of the woman who touched Christ’s clothes, pleased God (Hebrews 11:6). That was why God cured her (Mark 5:34). Uzzah’s attitude was the opposite of faith: he did not believe that God was able to protect his holy things. For that reason, God was angry with him. That same power that cured the woman, killed Uzzah.

Uzzah was not acting without knowledge. For his whole life, his family had been the guards of the ark (6:3), which was Israel’s most holy object. Since a boy, his father would have taught him about the history of the ark, and how to act towards sacred things. However, in his sudden state of fear that the ark would fall, Uzzah acted in unbelief.

Next part: David becomes afraid of God (2 Samuel 6:8-9)


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© 2022, Keith Simons.