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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

May 5, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again

Daily Reading: I Chronicles 12-14


I Chronicles 13:7

And they carried the ark of God in a new cart out of the house of Abinadab: and Uzza and Ahio drave the cart.


This was a clear violation of God’s law. The ark of God which represented His presence was not to be transported on a cart. It was to be carried by the priests (Kohathites) using staves that were covered with gold and placed in the four rings on the corners of the ark. Those staves were to be placed in the rings and not removed (see Exodus 25, Numbers 7). Inside the ark was a golden pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant (Hebrews 9:4). These represented the provision of God, the power of God and the Word of God.


But David decided to transport the ark on a new cart. Sometimes with God new never works. It is interesting that in today’s reading, 13:3, when David proclaimed that they should bring home the ark that not one person is recorded as asking how. Where were the priests? They surely should have known that it should be transported by the priests, by hand, and not on a cart. But it can be imagined that this was the best cart. It was new, probably had all the “bells and whistles” available at the time. It could have been visually appealing, clean, sharp, and perhaps adorned with beautiful drapes or other coverings. It was a new cart. A new day. A new King. A new time of reformation. All was new in the land.


Yet, God rejected the new in a very open and significant manner. A man named Uzza touched the ark thinking to save it from being toppled by the stumbling of the oxen. This seemed to be a good thing for him to do. The new cart seemed to be a good thing to do. But to God it was a reproach. Through reading today’s assigned chapters it is of note how David prayed about the battles, but he never is said to pray about how to move the ark. Yet, those prayers about the battles (14:10, 14) came after this sad occasion of the new cart and sudden death of Uzza.


Tomorrow it will be recorded in chapter 15 that David learned his lesson. But as a king will do, he blamed the chief fathers for not transporting the ark properly, nor seeking God’s direction about the whole matter (15:13). But it was too late. Uzza was dead. Killed because a leader/s did not seek the Lord in this matter.


The new cart is a warning to all. There are things of God, things taught in the Bible, that should never be changed, altered, or attempted to be improved. Old things. Things that have stood the test of time. Our societies may have many improvements that are very welcomed. Things like air conditioning, instant communication, the world wide web, and many other cutting-edge products and services. But these should never intrude upon the clear Word of God. There are many “new carts” today attempting to improve on the way God’s power, provision and Word is conveyed, but as in the story of Uzza, these will only lead to God’s displeasure. The lesson of the new cart is this: before using one, enquire of God whether He approves of its use.


Dr. William T. Howe

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