Nature's Penalties for Disobedience
2 Samuel 6:6-7
And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.…

1. How many there are who, like Uzzah in our text, profane the ark of God by wilful disobedience to His laws; and, therefore, like him, have to suffer the certain consequences. Death seems a severe penalty for simply touching the ark, but we see just the same penalty inflicted for what seem very small .offences against the laws of health almost every day of our lives. Thus for instance there are two great and important laws relating to our bodily health, disobedience to which inevitably brings its proper penalty — one the law that if we would be healthy we must be clean, dean both in body and in dwelling; the other the law that the air we breathe must be pure and fresh. And remember that we can all of us obey these laws if we like — it is not money or the want of money that makes the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy home. There are plenty of houses where the husband earns nothing more than ordinary weekly wages, and yet the cottage and its furniture are clean — the windows are regularly and properly opened, and the air is sweet and pure, and why? Because, while the husband is doing his work outside, the wife is also doing her duty inside, but unfortunately there are some houses where this is not so, and then, God's laws being broken, as surely as the penalty came on Uzzah. so surely does it come on that household. Often it comes in the form of bad health, fever sometimes, or more often that constant languidness and feebleness which makes work a weariness and even life itself a burden.

2. There are laws of worship, the first of which is given us by our Saviour Himself. God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. And the second law of worship, if not exactly given us by our Saviour, at any rate comes to us bearing the stamp of His approval. It is the law of a consistent worship, not a worship of the lips only while the heart is far off, but a worship in which heart and voice unite " to make one music." Is it so with us? If not, would it not be well to think of the lesson taught us by the fate of Uzzah? To come into God's house without reverence for the owner of the house; to come joining (or professing to join) with our lips in the confession of sin, while yet we feel no sorrow for sin; to come with the prayer for forgiveness on our lips, while yet we desire none in our hearts; to sing the psalms on the beauty of holiness, and hymns about the joys of heaven, when holiness is distasteful to us, and heaven a home where in heart and mind we never go; what is that but a profanation, and what other penalty can it bring than the penalty of spiritual death? For a cold, heartless, and indifferent service — what is it like but an unhealthy diseased life, a life without either energy or enthusiasm, a life which is really only a living death? What then shall we do?

(1) Two things; first we must amend our lives, and learn to obey that command of St. Paul's, "I beseech you, brethren," and(2) we must remember the lesson contained in the fact that while no blood might be sprinkled on the ark, the figure of this world where law and order reign, yet on the mercy seat, the figure of heaven, where God in mercy is enthroned, the blood of the sacrifice was to be offered. And that sacrifice we must offer according as Christ has commanded.

(G. Bladon, B. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.

WEB: When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put forth [his hand] to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the cattle stumbled.

God's View of Sin
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