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From Eternity Past

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    God Requires Precise Obedience

    The fate of Uzzah was a divine judgment upon the violation of a most explicit command. None but the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were to touch the ark, or even look upon it uncovered. The divine direction was, “The sons of Kohath shall come to bear it: but they shall not touch any holy thing, lest they die.” Numbers 4:15. The priests were to cover the ark, and then the Kohathites must lift it by the staves, which were placed in rings on each side of the ark. They should bear the ark “upon their shoulders.” Numbers 7:9. There had been an inexcusable disregard of the Lord's directions.EP 512.2

    David and his people had engaged in a sacred work with glad and willing hearts, but it was not performed in accordance with the Lord's directions. The Philistines, who had no knowledge of God's law, had placed the ark upon a cart when they returned it to Israel. But the Israelites had a plain statement of the will of God in these matters, and their neglect of these instructions was dishonoring to God. Transgression of God's law had lessened Uzzah's sense of its sacredness. With unconfessed sins upon him, in face of the divine prohibition, he had presumed to touch the symbol of God's presence. God can accept no partial obedience, no lax way of treating His commandments. The death of one man, by leading the people to repentance, might prevent judgments upon thousands.EP 512.3

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