Do you enjoy studying the Bible? If so, have you read about King David and a man named Uzza? It’s a story about the cost of disobedience and David’s reaction to this cost.
Save this on Pinterest to read later!
The First Story About the Cost of Disobedience
This story is found in 1 Chronicles 14 and upon a first read, can be quickly dismissed as to its significance. Sometimes we need to read chapters a few times to find the gems in the pages.
While Uzza is first mentioned in 1 Chronicles, the story kinda sorta begins back in the book of Leviticus when God gave instructions to Moses and Aaron concerning the priesthood.
So, let’s look at the first story we’re going to study on the cost of disobedience.
God was very specific about the duties of the priesthood and how they would live. They did not receive an inheritance of land like the other 11 tribes because they were given space to live in every city and town in Israel. The people also provided food for the Levites for their services.
The Levitical priests were to serve in the temple in Jerusalem where they conducted the various offerings for the people. Offerings such as the sin offering, the meat offering, the trespass offering, and all the other offerings.
Some other duties that kept the priests busy in the various towns and villages concerned the laws about skin diseases and how they were cleansed. When people had any concerns about their skin, they were to see the priest for his direction on how to care for themselves.
God even gave them dietary laws to follow as well. There was a whole list of what they could and could not eat. If you’re wondering about this list, you can read it in Leviticus 11:1-47.
I know I’m not mentioning all the laws as there are over 600 so feel free to read the whole book of Leviticus if this interests you.
Moses gave Aaron specific instructions from God on how the priests were to handle the “holy things” and the “ark of God” or the “ark of the covenant”. These men were well trained in what they could and could not do and knew the cost of disobedience.
The Cost of Disobedience for Nadab and Abihu
Here’s an example of the cost of disobedience for two men, Nadab and Abihu, the two oldest sons of Aaron.
But let’s back up a bit and look at Leviticus 9:15-22 when Aaron offered sacrifices for the people’s sin offering, their burnt offering, their grain offering and their fellowship offering. Aaron then gave his benediction (v 22) as he blessed the people.
Next, both Moses and Aaron went into the tabernacle, and when they came out, they pronounced a blessing to the people. The glory of the LORD appeared to all the people and fire came out from the LORD and consumed the altar and the burnt offering.
The LORD’s presence and His fire indicated His approval on the sacrifices. All the people were awed and shouted as they fell down on their faces, Leviticus 9:24.
Nadab and Abihu were more than likely inspired by the reaction of the people as they watched what was happening at that moment. They were either presumptuous or ignorant, though I doubt they were ignorant, and they decided to do something that was against God’s instructions.
Leviticus 10:1 tells us that they took their incense holders and put fire in them along with incense and offered it to God. God saw this as a strange fire. Why? Do you have any idea?
The answer is because God did not command them to do this therefore it was a strange fire offered to Him. You could say that it was unauthorized and contrary to God’s will. The result was that they were immediately “cut off from His people” (Numbers 15:30). The cost of disobedience for Nadab and Abihu was immediate death.
I’m so glad we live under the New Covenant today and have the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ! Aren’t you? Nod your head, YES!
So, in mentioning these various laws and instructions, all of the Israelites were aware of the instructions given to the tribe of Levi. This is an important tidbit to remember when we hop over to finish this post over on Woman of Noble Character where my guest post resides. (Link below.)
God’s Expectations Today
I’d like to interject here something important that I think many Christians tend to forget about today.
When God gives instructions or makes a promise, there is no expiry date. That means that what He said in the past is still relevant today.
Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are now under the New Covenant. God has always given mankind the right to choose to follow Him or not.
When we make a decision to follow Christ, we need to remember to always choose obedience. He still expects us to live holy before Him.
As for the Levitical laws, we know that they are not in effect today but the principle of obedience never goes out of style.
Does that mean there is no cost of disobedience today? No, it doesn’t mean that because there is still a cost but it doesn’t involve God striking you dead.
A Bible Study: Uzzah and the Ark of God
So, we’ve been talking about the cost of disobedience and we looked at what happened to Nadab and his brother, Abihu.
There is a similar story that I really want you to read. It’s about King David, two more brothers, Ahio and Uzzah, and the Ark of God. What’s with these brothers?
There’s a great lesson to learn here as you read another Bible study on the cost of disobedience. It’s always great to study the Word to see how it applies to us today.
So, hop over here to read A Bible Study: Uzzah and the Ark of God. It is my guest post for Susan Nelson at Woman of Noble Character. If you keep the tidbit I mentioned above in mind, you’ll clue in quite quickly on the error of Uzzah.
When you are finished reading my guest post, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment, both on the guest post and back here, right below. I’m looking forward to reading your comment!
Cindy Barnes has been called by God in the early 80s to be a teacher of His Word. She is a serious student of the Word, focusing on the Inductive Bible Study Method since 2007. Her passion is to teach women how to study the Bible using this method. In addition, she desires for women to develop an intense yearning to draw closer to God through reading and writing out the Bible.
Cindy teaches hundreds of women in her private online Bible Study Group who express their joy of growing deeper in their spiritual walk.
You can stay in touch with Cindy on Facebook through 215 Ministry.