Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah. 2 Samuel 6:8
David had recently been acknowledged as king over all of Israel. He took up residence in Jerusalem and had success against the Philistines. Things were going well. David was enjoying favour with the people and with God. He decided to bring the ark of God back to Jerusalem. The ark was a wooden box overlaid with gold inside and out. It had been made during the time the Israelites spent in the desert with Moses. It was a symbolic part of their worship.
The ark was heavy and needed to be moved some distance so David arranged to carry the ark in a new cart. Everything was going well until the ox stumbled and Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the ark. He died instantly and “David was angry.” All of a sudden David didn’t understand God at all. He sought to follow God’s direction but now things had gone tragically wrong and a man had lost his life.
Three months later David tries again. This time the priests carried the ark as God had instructed them (Exodus 25:10-15). There was much rejoicing when the ark finally arrived in Jerusalem. A cart had been an easy and comfortable solution, but God wasn’t pleased. Sometimes worship is hard work and God doesn’t want us to take short cuts.
Jonah was another of God’s people who became angry, but this was because Jonah thought God was too merciful and compassionate (Jonah 4:2), whereas David thought God was too severe. Our values are very different to God’s.
As we mature as Christians our values change to better reflect God’s.