Breaking the Rules

TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Chronicles 13:1-14

TO CHEW ON: "They moved the ark of God from Abinadab’s house on a new cart, with Uzzah and Ahio guiding it." 1 Chronicles 13:7

One day, sometime after he had become king, David thought of the ark. For many years this special gold box had been sitting in Abinadab’s house in Kiriath Jearim.* Now David wanted to bring it back to the tabernacle in Jerusalem.

He went with a crowd to Kiriath Jearim to move the ark. They put the ark on a new cart. Then he and the people celebrated with singing and playing harps, lyres, tambourines, trumpets and cymbals. Behind them came the lumbering oxen pulling the precious load.

Suddenly one of the oxen stumbled. Uzzah, who was guiding the animals, saw that the ark was starting to slip. He reached out to steady it. The minute he touched it he fell down – dead!

The procession stopped. David was shocked, even angry with God – and very afraid. Why had God killed Uzzah? Wasn’t God pleased that they were bringing the ark back to Jerusalem?

But David had forgotten one important thing about moving the ark. God’s warnings and instructions to Moses, back when the ark was made, were clear.

1. What did God tell Moses about the carriers touching any of the tabernacle furniture? ___ (Numbers 4:15)

2. How was the ark supposed to be carried? ______ (Exodus 37:4,5)

Now David didn’t feel like taking the ark any farther. The house of Obed-Edom was nearby. He left the ark there. Then he and all the people went home feeling puzzled, frightened and sad.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to be careful to live by Your rules. Amen

MORE: Rules – a good thing?

God didn’t invent the rule that people shouldn’t touch the holy things from the tabernacle because He was fussy or to make things complicated for them. There was a reason for that rule. God’s presence was in the tabernacle and on the ark. It was more powerful than thousands of volts of electricity. Human bodies couldn’t stand to touch that much power and still stay alive. The rule not to touch the ark was given for everyone’s safety.

1. What are some rules in your home, school or favorite sport?

2. Choose one of these rules and tell how that rule is a good thing.

* You can read the story of how the ark got to Kiriath Jearim in 1 Samuel 4-7:1

Answers

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