After David had secured the kingship in Israel, he moved his palace from Hebron to Jerusalem and named it the "City of David". Thereafter, he felt strongly compelled to also bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem. Unfortunately, as the transporting party progressed, the oxen stumbled and Uzzah, one of the three men guiding the oxen touched the ark to steady it.
After David had secured the kingship in Israel, he moved his palace from Hebron to Jerusalem and named it the "City of David". Thereafter, he felt strongly compelled to also bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem. Unfortunately, as the transporting party progressed, the oxen stumbled and Uzzah, one of the three men guiding the oxen touched the ark to steady it. We're told that “The Lord's anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore, God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.” David was visibly shaken. As a result of this, he decided to leave the ark at Perrez-Uzzah, the place where Uzzah died.
But who could be assigned the responsibility of keeping the ark until David could make a better arrangement for its relocation to Jerusalem? David chose Obed-Edom the Gittite to be the one to keep the ark after Uzzah's death. But who was Obed-Edom the Gittite? Obed-Edom was a Levite, from the tribe to whom God committed the care of the tabernacle and all the furnishings.
What qualities did Obed-Edom possess that made him to accept to keep the ark in his house?First, Obed-Edom considered himself as a steward of everything that he owned, including his house. He would never deny God the use of the home that was a gift to him from God. Second, he was a great and visionary person. He saw the opportunity for God’s blessing with the ark in his house. Third, he accepted the responsibility given to fathers by God (Gen. 18:19).
Obed-Edom directed his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for him what He has promised him. Fourth, we can safely interpret that being a player of musical instrument, Obed-Edom led his entire family, including relatives, to worship God like never before on account of the ark. 1 Chronicles 16:4-6 shows that he was one of the Levites appointed by King David “to commemorate, to thank and to praise the Lord God of Israel.” Fifth, Obed-Edom was a faithful steward.
As a confirmation of his faithfulness, King David also conferred on him and Jehiah, another Levite, the assignment of keeping the door to the ark when it was eventually brought to its resting place in Jerusalem. His faithfulness made way for him and he found favour with the king (1 Chron. 15:24). Six, Obed-Edom was a consummate family man. 1 Chronicles 26:4-8 provides a record of the family descendants of Obed-Edom. As the scriptures show, Obed-Edom raised his children in ways that pleased God. His grandchildren also were well raised. We have a duty to raise our children in the way of the Lord.
Finally, what was the result of Obed-Edom’s faithful stewardship of the ark of God? As 2 Samuel 6:12 shows, some “whistle-blowers” went to tell King David that the man upon whom he “dumped” the Ark of God had been blessed in three months. The blessing was so real that people became jealous of Obed-Edom and his family. King David wasted no time as he immediately embarked upon bringing the ark to his City but not without consultations to identify and correct what made God angry with his first attempt to bring the ark to Jerusalem: One, the ark was not properly carried. God’s instruction was that it must be carried on poles and not a cart. Two, it was the job of the Levites, the priesthood family, to carry the ark not just anyone (Num. 1:50-51).
David found out these two fundamental instructions of God about transporting the ark and apply them at the second attempt. This teaches us to first consult God on the things that we embark upon, whether big or small so that we can always avoid costly mistakes.