WAS THE GOD OF THE OLD TESTAMENT HOMICIDAL? PART 4- WHY GOD KILLED UZZAH

A.B. Melchizedek
7 min readMar 21, 2023
Photo credit: Come and Reason Ministries

So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart. Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets.

And when they came to Chidon’s threshing floor, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God. And David became angry because of the Lord’s outbreak against Uzza; therefore that place is called Perez Uzza to this day.”

(1 Chronicles 13:7–11)

While there has been a running theme in all previous instalments of this series regarding God killing people for their wickedness, the case of Uzzah is an exception because it is a case where God kills a man for precisely the opposite, trying to be helpful!

Again the sceptics interpretation of this event is that God must be an egomaniacal monster for this act, but as always, there was a “method behind the madness” in respect of even this.

To understand the full context, we have to go back to the books of Exodus and Numbers.

In Exodus, God calls Israel His first born son, He says to Moses,

“Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.”

(Exodus 4:22–23)

Then on the day the children of Israel left Egypt, God requires them to sanctify their firstborns to Him,

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Consecrate to Me all the firstborn, whatever opens the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and beast; it is Mine.”

(Exodus 13:1-2)

In the book of Numbers, God claims the Levites in place of the firstborns of all children of Israel,

“ Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “Now behold, I Myself have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of every firstborn who opens the womb among the children of Israel. Therefore the Levites shall be Mine, because all the firstborn are Mine. On the day that I struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I sanctified to Myself all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast. They shall be Mine: I am the Lord.”

(Numbers 3:11–13)

So out of the twelve tribes of Israel, God separates the tribe of Levi and in replacing Levi, splits the tribe of Joseph into two, Ephraim and Manasseh (thus ensuring Israel still had twelve tribes-if you are confused about this, never mind, it has no bearing on the point being made). In this way, the Israelites did not have to give their firstborn children as an offering to God because the Levites were already an offering consecrated to God.

The Levites were consecrated before God with blood as His possession, His special people among His people Israel (Numbers 8:5–13).

As “first born” consecrated to God from among His people, it was the exclusive privilege of the Levites to deal with matters concerning the sanctuary of God and the ark of the covenant. It was so serious that if anybody else came near the sanctuary or tried to do the service of the Levites, that person was to be put to death,

“So you shall appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall attend to their priesthood; but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death.

(Numbers 3:10)

And again,

“Behold, I Myself have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel; they are a gift to you, given by the Lord, to do the work of the tabernacle of meeting. Therefore you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything at the altar and behind the veil; and you shall serve. I give your priesthood to you as a gift for service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death.

(Numbers 18:6–8)

So now we have seen the importance of the Levites, they were consecrated to God as an offering and were the only ones allowed to carry out services relating to priesthood. We have also seen that any outsider who came near the service or ministry of the priesthood was to be put to death. With this in mind, do we now see why God struck Uzzah?

However well intentioned his reaching out to steady the ark was, he was not a Levite, he was not consecrated to God by blood as a “first born”, he did not have the exclusive priesthood jurisdiction of the first born and his touching the ark was sacrilege. Only those consecrated could touch the ark.

Now that said, all of this was David’s fault,

The ark was never meant to be moved around on a chariot. God gave very specific instructions regarding how the ark was to be moved from place to place,

“You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, that the ark may be carried by them.”

(Exodus 25:14)

The ark was meant to be carried, on a pole, from place to place, by priests (see Joshua 3).

David’s mistake was that he put the ark on a cart and then commissioned non-Levites to drive it. This was a mistake he later admitted,

“And David called for Zadok and Abiathar the priests, and for the Levites: for Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab. He said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites; sanctify yourselves, you and your brethren, that you may bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel to the place I have prepared for it. For because you did not do it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not consult Him about the proper order.”

So the priests and the Levites sanctified themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord God of Israel. And the children of the Levites bore the ark of God on their shoulders, by its poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.”

(1 Chronicles 15:11–15)

And again,

Then David said, “No one may carry the ark of God but the Levites, for the Lord has chosen them to carry the ark of God and to minister before Him forever.

(1 Chronicles 15:2)

So why did God kill Uzzah? because only the Levites were authorised (and specially consecrated) to touch the ark and this was a direct result of David’s carelessness in not paying attention to God’s instruction regarding how things ought to be done.

There are a thousand and one lessons which can be learnt from this story but the main instruction here is this; God’s ways are always better than ours. There is a reason God requires things to be done in a certain way. Is it not easier or more comfortable for the ark to be made to ride on a royal cart rather than straining men’s shoulders? That very thinking led to the death of an innocent Uzzah.

There is a reason God ordained marriage the way He ordained it. Irrespective of what the cultural cart of wokeness, leftism and those accursed satanic sons of Lucifer parading as bishops in the upper echelons of the Church of England (let them be Anathema!) would tell us, there is a reason God ordained men as men and ordained women as women irrespective of what Joe Biden and his cohorts would have us believe. There is a reason God ordained sex the way He ordained it irrespective of what is popular opinion. Just, maybe just, in keeping with God’s instructions, however uncomfortable they might seem, we are saving not just ourselves, but innocent lives we know nothing about as well. Who knows how many are saying to us like Paul said to the Thessalonians,

For now we live, if you stand fast in the Lord.

(2 Thessalonians 3:8)

This is the final instalment of our “Is the God of the Old Testament Homicidal?” series, it is my earnest hope and desire that some light has been shed in respect of all the incidences we have covered.

I close this series with the point I made when I began,

This is not an attempt to be God’s lawyer. God Almighty has every right to take a life He gave. However, in reading the scriptures, we get the full context every time God kills men and the relevant context is an angle to the story that sceptics never reveal. The goal of this series is to acquaint the reader with all the relevant facts and hopefully at the end, we can come to the same conclusion Elihu came to,

“Far be it from God to do wickedness,
And from the Almighty to commit iniquity:

(Job 34:10)

God bless!

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A.B. Melchizedek

Crusader for the truth of the gospel and the logical coherence within the context of the scriptural worldview.