There is a quote from the Chronicles of Narnia where about Aslan
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
I tend to forget that about God – that he isn’t safe. That was why I was shocked by his reaction in this chapter. The ark of the covenant was being transported on a cart – instead of being carried on poles. Eventually, the oxen stumbled Uzzah touched the ark to keep it from falling. He was killed instantly. God had given warning about this:
And when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, as the camp sets out, after that the sons of Kohath shall come to carry these, but they must not touch the holy things, lest they die. – Numbers 4:15
I daresay God didn’t have to kill him. I would have liked him to show mercy since the intention was good. Maybe Uzzah didn’t know the law. Or maybe he simply negligent or forgetful. It feels harsh, but it reminds me that God isn’t safe. He’s a fire to give us warmth or a bear with her cubs. He is God with all the respect that position deserves. Learn his laws and keep them. Refusing to learn them shows disdain for them. Remember that he isn’t safe.