It was now dusk.
The Ark was still on the cart. The cart was still joined with the two oxen. But the fanfare and joyful progression was all gone. There was no one else in sight apart from a small-statured bald-headed man. He sat down on a rock a couple of metres away from the ark. He stared blankly at nothing in particular. Apparently, he was lost in his thoughts.
Perez Uzzah was the new name king David had given to the site where the ark had stumbled.
The threshing floor of Nachor was renamed not because the ark had nearly stumbled there, but because of what David perceived to be an act of unbridled harshness on the part of God.
Uzzah had died because he had ONLY ventured to prevent the ark from falling.
Prior to the incidence, God had expressly spelt it out in the Law, that absolutely no one was to touch the ark under any circumstance.
But, couldn’t God have relaxed his standards a bit? At least, the circumstances warranted that.
David the king was sad.
What was meant to be the happiest day of his reign had been marred with tragedy.
Obed-Edom’s house happened to be quite close to Perez Uzzah. And the king had ordered the ark to be kept in Obed-Edom’s house while he came to terms with the nation’s grief.
Obed-Edom had naturally been shell-shocked at the king’s decision.
Why should an article that had just killed someone be placed in his custody?
It simply wasn’t fair.
He tried to reason out what sins he or his progenitors had committed in the times past that now warranted his punishment from the Lord.
Obed-Edom had considered appealing to the king to change his mind. However, he promptly dismissed the idea. Why, the voice of the king was as that of an angel.
Now, Obed-Edom shifted on the rock he was seated upon. He tried to reason out what he had to do to avoid ending up like Uzzah. Almost at that instant, the eyes of his understanding were opened.
In carrying the ark, God desired His people to have a burden to worship and serve Him. This burden was not meant to be only heartfelt but also backed up with the right actions too.
There was to be no shortcut.
There was to be no easy way out.
The Law specifically made it clear that the Levites were to carry the ark of covenant on their shoulders, where they would feel the burden of the ark’s weight the most.
There were no provisions for carts to make the movement of the ark easier!
It didn’t matter if the ark was to be moved from Dan to Beersheba, it had to be carried on the shoulders of the priests.
Obed-Edom looked up at the cart again.
God had intended to use that particular stumble to make His people see their error in the way they moved the ark.
And Uzzah might have been killed because his actions tried to cover up God’s attempt at correction!
Again, Obed-Edom realized that not just anybody was qualified to carry the ark. The Levites were the one’s instructed by the Law to carry the ark.
The small-statured man with a bald head smiled at himself. He was a Levite! He served as both a porter and a musician at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem.
Instantly, Obed-Edom rose up and danced vigorously to no music. Not a few passersby threw cautionary glances at the older man’s direction. He didn’t even spare them a thought.
Instead, he worshipped God heartily. The God who elected him via His Grace and qualified him to be a custodian of the ark.
Obed-Edom perceived that he and his household were in for a ‘season of refreshing’…
(TO BE CONCLUDED IN THE NEXT AND FINAL PART!)