1 Chronicles 13 – “Handle with Care” but not “Fragile”

1 Chronicles 13What’s the latest valuable item you bought? Was it a phone or a computer; a pair of shoes or a new dress? Most likely you did all in your power to protect it from damage and maintain its integrity. Its novelty keeps us on our toes–we want it to be perfect for as long as possible.

Fast-forward some months. How are you treating that same phone or jacket? Needless to say, not in the same way–the novelty has worn off! It becomes another thing you own, something else you keep at home–it becomes ordinary!

1 Chronicles 13:9-10 reads:

And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, and He struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God.

What? Didn’t Uzzah do the right thing in trying to keep the ark from falling? Like our shiny new watches, and sleek computer screens, wasn’t he protecting something precious to him? It sounds crazy, right?

And yet, let’s remember that the ark was a holy safe for God’s law (Exodus 25:16,) and that it had a “handle with care” label and came with a user manual (Exodus. 25:14) like your laptop, only more important, and not from Apple, but God.

Uzzah and his brother Ahio, sons of Abinadab, ignored these instructions and transported the ark with the help of a cart and oxen (verse 7) instead of its poles, as it was intended. But more importantly, the ark had been in Uzzah’s house.

It sat next to the new PS4, and was constantly in the presence of the Abinadab family. On game night friends would come over and they’d casually say, “Yeah, we got that a month ago.” The novelty of the ark had worn off, and Uzzah and Ahio at the command of David, loaded the ark on their truck. The same way we treat our not-so-new shoes and cell-phones after they’ve been scuffed and dirtied, Uzzah treated the ark with contempt.

Uzzah didn’t reach for the ark to maintain its integrity. He reached because in his mind the ark of the covenant of GOD was helpless and fragile without him, and Uzzah forgot about the holiness of God’s ark! For Uzzah, the ark, and God Himself, became ordinary, just another thing at home.

We have no access to the ark anymore, but we do have the same God! I encourage you, when involved in matters of the Most High, become familiar with God, and remember He’s no ordinary friend.

He is more than ordinary–our God is extraordinary!


Ruben Vargas

Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.


2 thoughts on “1 Chronicles 13 – “Handle with Care” but not “Fragile”

  1. I really liked this. I need to stop treating God like an ordinary object that’s I’ve always had, and instead showcase Him like I just found out about Him today! Thanks Ruben!

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