1 Chronicles 13:11-12
11. Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah,
and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.
12. David was afraid of God that day and asked, “How can I ever bring the
ark of God to me?”.
Reflection by Darlene Wagner
Here is a troublesome instance of death attributed to Divine anger. Uzzah passed away after absent-mindedly touching the Ark of the Covenant to steady it in the cart (v. 10). Uzzah’s death could have truly been the result of his violating the earthly container of the Shekinah, which was the Ark. On the other hand, his death could have been superstitious coincidence. Regardless, it is illuminating to see David’s reaction to this senseless loss of one of his servants. David was angry at the situation, angry at Uzzah’s clumsiness, and maybe even angry at his God. In verse 12, David struggles with how to go forward; he wrestles with where he stands in the Divine plan. In this manner, David traces the footsteps of his ancestor, Jacob, who gained the name “Israel” after wrestling with an angel. Israel means, “he struggles with God” (Genesis 33:28). For those of us today struggling with the idea of a Divine Presence who seems unpredictable and callous, such struggle leads to maturity.