Abinadab couldn’t believe his ears. Hurriedly, he took permission from the king and went to fetch his sons. Moments later, two well-parloured and healthy young men were lying prostrate before David.
King David studied the two men. The duo would surely not be out of place in the army. David quickly dismissed the thought as soon as it came. That was an issue for a latter period. Getting the ark back into Jerusalem was of prime importance.
“Which one of you is Uzzah?”, asked the king.
The taller of the two men signified by raising his right hand.
“I see. Alright, both of you, get my men to come and pick the ark. We have to start moving back to Jerusalem”
Outside Abinadab’s house, there was still a lot of fanfare and celebrations and rejoicing before the LORD. There was even a greater shout of joy as the ark surfaced. The ark was so heavy that it took 8 strong soldiers to lift the ark’s poles upon their shoulders, two men at each corner of the ark. They were most definitely not going to carry the ark in this manner to Jerusalem. That would be too strenous!
Abinadab devised a plan to make the work easier. He got a new cart that had never been used before. That way the transport of the ark would be easier for everybody. David liked the idea.
The cart was yoked and joined to two oxen. The ark placed was placed ever carefully into the straw-padded cart. Soon, all was set.
Ahio and his brother Uzzah took charge of the oxen and the cart. Joab and his men were directly behind. And King David and his ‘Mighty 30’ followed up in the rear.
The road back to Jerusalem wasn’t particularly smooth. The cart endured a bumpy ride. Uzzah was worried about the ark of the LORD falling off.
So he called out to his brother,
“Hey bro!”. His voice was in a hushed tone laden with agitated excitement.
Ahio narrowed his eyes with a little frown. What was wrong? He looked silently in his brother’s direction.
“With the road full of gullies and potholes, do you think the ark might fall off?”
Ahio glared incredulously at Uzzah.
“What are you saying, brother?”
“I don’t know. It’s just a passing thought. Besides, my concerns are genuine”
Ahio couldn’t understand his brother’s fears. After all, when the Philistines captured the ark years ago, it was put on carts. When they also returned the ark, it was put on carts. Nobody had watched over the carts in those instances, yet the ark didn’t fall off.
“Look….”, Uzzah interrupted Ahio’s thoughts,
“…stay here and lead the oxen. I will watch from the back of the cart. If anything unusual happens, I’d be right there at hand”
Uzzah had made up his mind and started off to the back of the cart. For peace’s sake, Ahio kept mute.
The ride was now very bumpy and rough. Uzzah stared at the ark. He played in his mind’s eye how he was going to act when the ark fell off. When the ark fell off? How on earth did he know that the ark was going to fall off? Uzzah kept on dwelling on these thoughts.
The ark’s entourage soon reached the large threshing floor on Nachor’s land. That was when it happened. One of the cartwheels got into a gully. Time seemed to freeze. The impact of the shock caused the ark of covenant to stumble out of the cart! Uzzah had seen the scenario in his mind before. He knew what had to be done. He made for the ark.
Everyone who saw the scene knew what must not be done.
Behind Uzzah, Commander Joab and others with him yelled,
It was too late.
(TO BE CONTINUED…)