One of the most disturbing and confusing accounts in the bible is that of when Uzzah reached out to prevent the Ark of the Covenant from falling and God struck him dead.
2 Samuel 6:6-8 (NKJV)
6 And when they came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and [a]took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. 7 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his [b]error; and he died there by the ark of God. 8 And David became angry because of the Lord’s outbreak against Uzzah; and he called the name of the place [c]Perez Uzzah to this day.
Wow! That seemed so unfair. Uzzah obviously meant well and was paid with death.
Remember this…the Old Testament gives us numerous extreme examples of how God reacts to our behavior. These reactions teach and and leave examples of not only what He loves and what He hates, but also to what extreme. For example, when we totally forsake His day of rest every seven days, even under grace, to do work we could have easily done another day…God considers it worthy of death (Numbers 15:32-36). Yes, Yeshua said it’s okay to remove an ox from a ditch, but too many people have ‘oxen’ that fall in the ditch during the middle of the week and wait until The Lord’s Day to remove them.
Notice what God teaches through Paul about Old Testament examples…
1 Corinthians 10:1-10 (NKJV)
Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, 2 all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. 5 But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us [a]tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
So, what about Uzzah?
God said very clearly that no one was to ever touch the Ark of the Convenant, period. God said DON’T TOUCH IT.
When God says NO, He means NO!
Even though Uzzah was doing it for the right reason…NO still meant NO!. God left behind an example that we can never do something He told us never to do for what we judge to be the right reason.
Is it confusing? Yes. Even if it doesn’t make sense to us, it’s God’s word and remember what He told us through Isaiah…
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
One contemporary example of people doing the wrong thing for the right reason is when a parent gives their adolescent daughter birth control because they don’t want them to get pregnant, or gives their son condoms so they won’t get a sexually transmitted disease. If God commands no fornication, parents must as well. If the child choses to be disobedient, then that’s between them and God.
Can you think of when you many have done the wrong thing for the right reason?