“The LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order.” – 1 Chronicles 15:13b
(All Scriptures and Scripture references are from the King James Bible.)
In First Chronicles 13, we find King David making plans to recover the Ark of God, which was also called the Ark of the Covenant (1 Chr. 15:25). The Ark represented God’s covenant between Him and His people. It contained some things that were memorials of God’s holiness and of His just dealings with His people (Heb. 9:4). The cover, or lid, of the Ark was called the Mercy Seat, and it was at the Mercy Seat that God met with Moses, the Old Testament lawgiver (Ex. 25:21-22). The Bible says, “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17). Jesus Christ can be seen in the memorials of the Ark but a fuller revelation of His glorious Person is found in the New Testament.
The Memorials of the Ark (Hebrews 9:4) were:
(1) The Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17), which represent God’s standard of righteousness and holiness. Because of Jesus Christ and because of His Spirit (the Holy Spirit), God’s standard of righteousness and holiness can be realized in the heart and life of every Christian who is completely yielded to the Spirit’s control (Rom. 8:3-4).
(2) A Pot of manna, which represented God’s providential care over His people in sustaining them with a miracle food called manna (Ex. 16:4-35). Jesus said that He is the Bread of Life and that He can satisfy the needs of the soul (John 6:35).
(3) Aaron’s rod, which represented God’s authority over his people. Aaron’s rod budded, blossomed and bore fruit as evidence that God had chosen him as the high priest (Num. 17:1-10; Heb. 5:1-4). Jesus is the Great High Priest of God and He continually intercedes for His people (Heb. 4:14-16; 7:24-27).
The Mercy Seat, which covered the Ark, clearly represents the mercy of God. God’s New Testament Covenant is founded on the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ (Jer. 31:31-34; Mt. 26:27-28); therefore He can be merciful to every repentant sinner who receives Jesus as Lord and Savior (John 1:12-13; 1 Pet. 1:3-5).
Now David wanted the Ark in Jerusalem, which was also called the city of David (2 Sam. 5:6-7). David consulted with the leaders in Israel about recovering the Ark (1 Chr. 13:1) but for some reason the Scriptures were not consulted to find out exactly how to transport it. (David later acknowledged this error; 1 Chr. 15:2). So the Ark was transported in a manner entirely contrary to the due order that God had specified in His Word.
The Ark was a rectangular chest that was supposed to be carried on the shoulders of men chosen by God. Those men were to carry the Ark by using two staves (poles), which were inserted through four gold rings that were fastened to the four corners of the Ark. The poles were not to be removed from the Ark (Ex. 25:10-15; 1 Chr. 15:15). By using the poles, the men could carry the Ark without actually touching it, for death was the penalty for touching the Ark (Num. 4:15). But the Ark was transported instead on a cart pulled by oxen, and it looked like everything was going as planned and it was a very joyous occasion (1 Chr. 13:5-8). However, things quickly changed for the worse. The Bible tells us what happened: “And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God” (1 Chr. 13:9-10).
This may seem like a severe judgment upon Uzza for just wanting to keep the Ark from falling off the cart, and indeed it was. But the Ark represented God’s Covenant with his people and He forbade the touching of it, even by those who were chosen to carry it. We can probably assume that Uzza knew of the sacredness of the Ark although the Bible says nothing of it. We do know that God made no allowance for what the Bible calls Uzza’s error (2 Sam. 6:7).
What David said concerning this tragedy: “The LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order” can be rendered: “The LORD our God broke forth [in anger] upon us, for that we sought Him not according to His Word.”
Did God really mean what He said about not touching the Ark? We know that He did. The Bible says, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven” (Psa. 119:89). God means what He says in the Bible!
The Ark of God is also mentioned in the very last book of the Bible, Revelation 11:19: “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.” The apostle John’s vision of the Temple and the Ark tells us that God’s mercy is still available for every repentant sinner, even at this late hour of spiritual darkness!
Just as the sacred Ark was not to be touched upon penalty of death, so God will not permit the sacrificial blood of His Son Jesus to be trampled on and dishonored by sinners without some very dire consequences (Heb. 10:28-29). The Bible speaks of the second death (Rev. 21:8), the final punishment for all those who will not forsake sin and receive God’s mercy. God’s Word is forever settled. He meant it when He said, “For the wages of sin is death (the second death); but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). And He also meant it when He said, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23). All people have sinned; therefore all people need Jesus as their Savior! God will make no allowance for anyone in the Day of Judgment whose name is not found written in the Book of Life (Rev. 20:11-15). Only Jesus can record one’s name in the Book of Life.
Now dear reader, God’s due order for you is, “Kiss the Son (Jesus, the Son of God), lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him (as their Savior).” — Psalm 2:12
If you refuse to humble yourself before the Son of God and trust Him as your Savior, then sooner or later you will perish without hope and without mercy. God means what He says!