Handling the Holy by Patrick Henry Reardon

Handling the Holy

One of the stories that have proved troubling to students of holy Scripture over the years is the account of Uzzah, who stretched forth his hand to steady the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark, we recall, was being carried by oxcart in order to be installed at David’s projected new shrine at Jerusalem. Some obstacle, however, perhaps a bump in the road, caused the oxen to lurch, nearly upsetting the cart and putting the Ark in danger. The Bible describes the scene: “Uzzah put out his hand to the Ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error; and he died there by the Ark of God” (2 Sam. 6:6–7).

The shock of read . . .