1 Chronicles 13


In the foregoing chapter we have David made king, by which the civil government was happily settled. In this chapter care is taken about religion.
I. David consults with the representatives of the people about bringing up the ark out of its obscurity into a public place; and it is resolved on, #1Ch 13:1-4.
II. With a great deal of solemnity and joy, it is carried from Kirjathjearim, #1Ch 13:5-8.
III. Uzza is struck dead for touching it, which, for the present, spoils the solemnity and stops the proceedings, #1Ch 13:9-14. (MH)

Vv. 1-4, David consulted with the leaders of the people about bringing the ark to Jerusalem. Though he knew this is what should be done, and he could have done it without consulting with the people, I believe it was wise for him to consult.

A pastor, though he knows what he should do from God's word, should talk it over with his leaders (men), getting their input and support to do the right thing. He should desire to get the people involved in the Lord's work, and the best way is to make them feel part of that work by discussing it with them.

V. 7, in a new cart... David knew better, for the ark was to be carried by hand on the shoulders of the priests, Numbers 4:15. Why? God is carried by the individual. The Word of God, Christ, cannot be carried in a wagon. It must be carried on a 1 to1 basis, Galatians 6:5. The command is to people (Mat. 28:18, 19) to go, not send.

V. 9, the cart shook, and Uzza put forth his hand to steady it, and the Lord killed him. See my notes on 2 Samuel chapter 6, where I deal with this event in depth, so I will not here.

V. 11, we cannot get away with things as can the heathen. They carried it this way, 1 Samuel 6:7.

V. 12, we do things our way, fail, and then become upset with God.


1) It is wise for leaders, though they know God's will and intend to do it, to do all they can to get the people involved in their efforts to serve the Lord.

2) Though David's motive was right and pure, his method was wrong. Motive and method must be right if we expect God's blessings upon our activity.

3) If he did not know the law for transporting the ark, those around him did, and they should have warned David. Thus, not all the blame for Uzza's death can lay on David. Those who saw him doing wrong, should have warned him.

4) The ark had been in the house of Abinadab for maybe 70 years, and Uzza was one of the sons (grandsons?) of Abinadab. Thus he had been around the ark for all his life, and he knew better. I discuss reasons why he might have touched the ark in my 2 Samuel 6 study. Suffice it to say that though David was guilty of moving the ark contrary to God's law, Uzza knew better than touch it.

5) Uzza was smitten. Others pay the price for our sins.

6) We should assume nothing about anyone. Godliness does not mean sinless. Why David tried to move the ark thusly, we can only speculate – pride, not thinking?? Regardless, many times we give others a free pass because they are godly in other areas, so we assume they are right in this area also.

7) V. 14, God blessed the family of Obededom and all that he had. Have we sanctified our homes? Do we have the ark of God (Christ) as the center of our home, so God can bless all we have?