Robert Wurtz II
And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. (2 Samuel 6:6, 7)
The Ark of God was symbolic of the throne of God. The Wilderness Tabernacle was effectively a mobile palace that was set up in the midst of the children of Israel. In that palace was a throne; the Ark of God. The Throne of God is the place from which God reigns.
To touch the Ark of God was expressly forbidden; because to touch the Ark was to touch upon God’s Divine prerogative; His sovereign authority. Men must not intrude into this area that is expressly God’s.
An electrician rebels against the fundamentals of electricity at his own peril. So it is with the sovereignty of God. Man must not touch the Divine prerogatives. When we consider the governance of the churches of God and related subjects, we ought to do so with great fear and trepidation, and move only after tremendous consultation with God’s word in prayer and fasting. Why fasting? Because when we approach the prerogatives of God we need to have our own flesh in subjection. We must have our own will completely on the altar.
There are times when (like the children of Israel) the things of God are being carried along on a “new cart.” I have written along this line in the past so we will not trod that ground here. However, there is a lesson that we must learn from the story of Uzzah. Although it was wrong to carry the Ark on a new cart, it was equally wrong to touch the Ark. As the old saying goes, “two wrongs do not make a right.”
There is always a temptation to want to correct things or “steady the Ark” (as it were). But these things are God’s prerogative alone. We cannot with fleshly minds, fleshly hands, and fleshly measures correct the wrongs that go on in the churches of God. We cannot take it upon ourselves to correct spiritual problems by putting our hands to them. We must not “touch the Ark.”
Would to God that there had been a man to come to the men who drove the cart to speak a word of instruction to them from God’s Holy Word. He may have said, “Beloved, I see that you have the Ark on a cart; but we read here in the book of Exodus that it must be carried on the shoulders of the priests.” Let us be zealous to follow the Lord’s instruction. Moreover, he must have determined in his own mind that no matter what happened he (the messenger) would not put forth his own hand to steady the Ark — even if it should fall to the ground.” We must not sin trying to bring correction in the things of God.
There have been occasions when I might admit that I have put forth my hand to steady the Ark; that is to say, to try with human efforts to correct things that I perceived were wrong in the churches. My experience is that it has always caused death of some kind. It always caused more problems than it corrected. The things that I perceived to be “problems” were not corrected, and on top of it — were the consequences of “touching the Ark.” Moreover, the “touching the Ark” part seemed to be the worst part of it.
I have learned that man cannot with fleshly efforts bring correction to the House of God. Just because something is not being done right does not mean I can reach up and steady the Ark if it starts to fall. You cannot break one law in order to enforce another one. We can’t break a law out of concern that bad things are going to happen if we don’t do something “now.”
Flesh cannot correct flesh. We must not take matters into our own hands. The temptation is to “do something” (like Uzzah did) — when the something we need to do is to declare God’s word, fast, and pray. That is the extent of our ability. If those measures do not bring the correction we believe needs to take place then we must not presume to “touch the Ark.” At the end of the day, the Church is God’s prerogative. Christ walks in the midst of the Lampstands and He knows what the churches need. Flesh cannot speak to the churches. Flesh cannot bring a word from the Lord. The High Priest will bring correction. Maybe not in our timing and maybe not what we think ought to be done… but He will do the work that He sees fit. He will go on building His Church.