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                           *** PORTIONS ***


Re: No Wonder David was Afraid of God!  (2Samuel 6:9)

"And when they came to Nachon's threshing floor..." (2Sam6:6)

A very fascinating observation to follow last week's Portion. In the 
previous Portion we noted how the Philistines were in possession of 
God's ark, and God was pounding them with plagues and killing them. They 
set about to 'prove' God by putting the ark on an ox cart, turning the 
cows loose, and watching them bring the ark back to Israel, without any 
human direction. That was the pagans. They did not have God's Law. They 
did not know the proper method for transporting the ark. While God was 
afflicting them, it seems that God allowed them to lift/carry (touch) 
the ark for the purpose of putting it on the cart, without being struck 
down dead. And the oxen pulled the -cart-, with God's ark, back to 
Israel. That was 1Samuel ch6.

Now, in 2Samuel ch6, David is seeking to bring the ark from the house of 
Abinadab, where it had been residing since being returned by the 
Philistines, to himself to Jerusalem. They do as the Philistines had 
done; put it on an ox cart. They get to the threshing floor where 
'something' happens, and Uzzah reaches out, touches the ark to steady 
it...and gets struck down dead. We've already addressed, in the series
on David, how they were supposed to have had the Levites "carry" the 
ark. But let's look at the incident of how/why the ark was in peril.

Notice that they get -TO- the threshing floor. And here, most 
translations say that the oxen "stumbled" and/or "nearly upset" the ark. 

Now let's consider this a minute. What was a threshing floor? It was a 
place where the sheaves of grain were brought. The grain was separated 
from the husks by either pounding on it with sticks or letting an ox 
walk over it, sometimes pulling a heavy roller, to 'crush' the heads, 
breaking the grain free from the husk. Then, they would use scoops to 
scrape along, lifting up the combination, tossing it up into a stiff 
breeze, allowing the chaff to blow away, and the heavier grain would 
fall to the ground. Then, they would scoop up the grain and put it in 
sacks.

In order for the threshing operation to be 'efficient', would it not be 
presumed that the area needed to be both 'smooth' and free of debris? If 
there were holes and ruts, the grain would fall down into the cracks and 
spaces and not be retrievable...it would go to waste. If there were 
rocks or gravel, it would be mixed in with the grain.

So...in such a 'smooth/level' place, 'why' did the oxen "stumble"? Why 
did the cart go shaking around (as most people assume) to almost upset 
the ark? 

THEY DIDN'T ...and... IT DIDN'T!

The oxen did -NOT- "stumble", nor did the cart 'shake'. The correct word 
(I just discovered) is "fall". The oxen "fell" when they got to the 
threshing floor. That verse should read, "And when they came to Nachonís 
threshing floor, Uzzah stretched out his hand to the ark of God and took 
hold of it, for the oxen had fallen." (2Sam6:6)

Now, if the oxen 'fell', what would be the state of the ox -cart-? An ox 
cart was not like our modern 'trailers' we pull behind our vehicles, 
where the axle is low to the ground with small wheels, and the trailer 
floor is close to the ground. If a trailer hitch is on the ground, the 
trailer tips a bit, but the angle is not so great that cargo would 
necessarily be in peril. But with the ancient ox carts, the 'bed' of the 
cart would have been somewhere around the height of the ox's neck and/or 
shoulders. They used wheels with big diameters. (Big wheels do not get 
mired in mud, ruts and holes as easily as small ones do) Depending upon 
the type of yoke used, the height would have varied a bit. But it was 
'high' off the ground. A big wheel means a high axle. In addition, ox 
carts tended to be 'short'. So, if the ox 'falls', and the hitch goes 
down to ground level, thinking about the physics of the matter, consider 
that the cart's bed is now suddenly at an angle approximating a typical 
'steep' roof. It is a veritable 'slide'. Thus, the ark was not toppling 
over 'sideways', it was sliding forward, about to ram into the oxen's 
backsides.

So now again the question: -WHY- did the oxen "fall"? And why did they 
do so at the threshing floor?  In the same way that God guided the 
Philistine milk-cows with the ark -to- Israel, as witness/testimony to 
the 'pagan' Philistines; so, too, God was showing His wrath against 
Israel and David's 'pagan' ways of transporting the ark. It was -NOT- 
"rough ground" that caused the incident. Assuming they were 'healthy' 
oxen... what would cause them to "fall", -AT- a "smooth" place, if not 
at the hand of God?

In discussing David's "Worship Bands" (in the past) we observed how the 
first time David had a "worship band", and the next time, had the "sound 
of the shofar". First time he used the ox cart, like the pagan 
Philistines had done; next time the priests carried it.

What sort of music was accompanying the first attempt? Here again, more 
correctly: "And David and all the house of Israel were playing before 
Jehovah on all manner of fir wood; on harps, on lutes, on tambourines, 
with rattles and buzzing." (2Sam6:5) They had a regular Mardi Gras going 
on. The word there for "playing" is one of those words that also carries 
the meanings: "laugh, mock, sport, jest, make sport, laugh mockingly". 
And add to that the "rattles" and "buzzes"...the party favors and 
kazoos...just a general state of raucous noise.

And notice that David's initial reaction is pretty much the same as most 
charismatics when their "worship music" is condemned. Again notice the 
more correct wording: "And David was furious because Jehovah had used 
violence [and] burst forth against Uzzah.." (vs8)

And David did what many do today, when their favorite little pets are 
condemned: he took the ark and "turned it aside" to the house of 
Obed-Edom. (vs10) David was "not willing" to continue bringing the ark 
to Jerusalem.

It says that David "was afraid of Jehovah that day". (vs9) You 
see...David was used to seeing men die in battle. But that day he was 
"ambushed" -by- GOD for his error. Not only did Uzzah die, God obviously 
had set-it-up 'deliberately'. They apparently had travelled some 
distance, to reach the threshing floor. But in a place and circumstances 
where it could not be mistaken for being an "accident", like Balaam's 
donkey squatted down underneath him and then talked to Balaam (Num22:27) 
when he was contrary to God's will; God 'made' the oxen go 'down', 
tipping the cart up on its nose. The Philistines, being pagans lacking 
proper knowledge, tested/proved God by setting up a scenario that would 
have been naturally 'impossible', for milk cows to leave their calves 
and go, unaided, to where the ark belonged; and God honored their 
tentative 'faith'. But where His people Israel knew better, God used a 
place that would have normally been "smooth sailing" to 
slam-on-the-brakes to their pagan-like celebration, and render judgment.

When David calms down, and seeks out the Lord on the matter, next time 
they bring the ark with Levites, carrying it on its poles. And they have 
the instruments for praise...but notice in 1Chr15:16 that the "rattles" 
and "buzzings" are not included this time. And this time, the "sound of 
the shofar". (2Sam6:15)

With the pagan Philistines who did not know proper ark etiquette, God 
"overlooked" their "ignorance". (Ac17:30) But Israel -KNEW- and erred. So 
God judged.

What sort of judgment is due today's apostate so-called "church"!! In 
the O.T. they did not have the Holy Spirit resident in every believer, 
and see what God did. We have the Holy Spirit. And the apostate [c]hurch 
claims to know about "the Spirit". And yet they weary God's presence 
with the "noise of their songs" and the "melody of their lutes 
(guitars)" (Am5:23), with their drum sets that "rattle" and their 
demonic electric guitars that "buzz" with distortion.

David was afraid and furious at God's judgment. Today's pretend 
[c]hristians are "furious", but lack David's "fear". Thus, they refuse 
to repent, and rebel against God's way.

"Anyone who rejected Mosesí Law dies without mercy before two or three 
witnesses.  Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be 
thought worthy who has trampled on the Son of God, counted the blood of 
the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the 
Spirit of Grace?  For we know Him who has said, Vengeance is Mine, I 
will repay, says the Lord. And again, The Lord will judge His people.  
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." 
(Heb10:28-31)

Amen!