Uzzah put forth his hand - In Numbers 4:15-20, the Levites are forbidden to touch the ark on pain of death, this penalty was inflicted upon Uzzah, and he was the first that suffered for a breach of this law.
Shook it - The use of the Heb. word here is unusual. Some take the word as in 2 Kings 9:33, and render the passage: “The oxen were throwing, or had thrown it down,” very likely by turning aside to eat what grain there might be on the threshing-floor.
This policy is the first step in a succession of wrong steps. The principles which have been advocated in the American Sentinel are the very sum and substance of the advocacy of the Sabbath, and when men begin to talk of changing these principles, they are doing a work which it does not belong to them to do. Like Uzzah, they are attempting to steady the ark which belongs to God, and is under His special supervision.—Manuscript 29, 1890. PM 224.2Read in context »
We call on you to take your Bible, but do not put a sacrilegious hand upon it, and say, “That is not inspired,” simply because somebody else has said so. Not a jot or tittle is ever to be taken from that Word. Hands off, brethren! Do not touch the ark. Do not lay your hand upon it, but let God move. It is with His own power, and He will work in such a manner that He will compass our salvation. We want God to have some room to work. We do not want man's ideas to bind Him about. 7BC 920.1
I know something of the glory of the future life. Once a sister wrote to me and asked if I would not tell her something about the city of our God, further than we have in the Word. She asked me if I could not draw something of its plans. I wrote her that I would have to say to her, “Put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” “No,” said I, “you cannot paint, you cannot picture, and the martyr tongue cannot begin to give any description of the glory of the future life; but I will tell you what you can do: you can ‘press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’ You can die to self; you can seek to grow up to the perfection of Christian character in Christ Jesus.” That is our work; but when men begin to meddle with God's Word, I want to tell them to take their hands off, for they do not know what they are doing (Manuscript 13, 1888). 7BC 920.2Read in context »
Again, consider the judgment that fell upon Uzzah. As in David's reign, the ark was being carried to Jerusalem, Uzzah put forth his hand to keep it steady. For presuming to touch the symbol of God's presence, he was smitten with instant death. 8T 284.1
At the burning bush, when Moses, not recognizing God's presence, turned aside to behold the wonderful sight, the command was given: 8T 284.2
“Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.... And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” Exodus 3:5, 6. 8T 284.3
“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a Man over against him with His sword drawn in His hand: and Joshua went unto Him, and said unto Him, Art Thou for us, or for our adversaries? And He said, Nay; but as Captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto Him, What saith my Lord unto His servant? And the Captain of the Lord's host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.” Joshua 5:13-15. 8T 284.4
In the sanctuary and the temple, that were the earthly symbols of God's dwelling place, one apartment was sacred to His presence. The veil inwrought with cherubim at its entrance was not to be lifted by any hand save one. To lift that veil and intrude unbidden into the sacred mystery of the most holy place was death. For above the mercy seat and the bowed, worshiping angels dwelt the glory of the Holiest, glory upon which no man might look and live. On the one day of the year appointed for ministry in the most holy place, the high priest with trembling entered God's presence, while clouds of incense veiled the glory from his sight. Throughout the courts of the temple every sound was hushed. No priests ministered at the altars. The hosts of worshipers, bowed in silent awe, sent up their petitions for God's mercy. 8T 284.5Read in context »