Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church


In touch with holiness? Part I

February 24th, 2021, Promulgated by Diane Harris

There is a story twice recounted in the Old Testament, a story which seems very much overlooked today. The two sons of the Shiloh Priest, Eli, took the Ark of the Covenant into battle against the Philistines, without having the right to do so. They lost their lives as well as the Ark to the Philistines.

But the illicit (captured) presence of the Holy Ark created fear and dread in the Philistines, who sent the Ark back to the Hebrews in a rather remarkable manner, by a cart led only by milk cows, without a driver. Yet they headed not to their own stables to give milk to their newborn calves, but right for the land of the Hebrews. As the story develops in 2 Samuel Chapter 6 and in 1 Chronicles Chapter 13, the Ark is later transported on a new cart drawn by oxen to a pre-arranged worship site under King David (remember this is before the Temple is built by David’s son, Solomon.) When they arrive at the site, the oxen stumble, and the cart driver, Uzzah, puts out his hand to steady the Ark, and is struck dead on the spot.

King David is upset with the Lord about Uzzah’s death, and one can understand why. To the King it might have seemed more like Uzzah was a hero by saving the Ark from falling to the ground or that his touching the Ark was instinctive, without evil motive. But only God knows the motives of Uzzah, or of any heart. Regardless of intention, reaching out a hand to touch what is most holy, regardless of motives or theoretical justification, was a great transgression.

I think of this passage at Mass sometimes when communicants present themselves at the altar with an outstretched hand, touching what is even holier than an Ark, i.e. the very Body of Jesus Christ, Son of God. I try to look away, in the interest of more time for my own thanksgiving, but sometimes it is difficult to ignore the meaning of what is occurring only a few steps away. Sometimes I wonder why God is not striking down those among us who receive Communion in the Hand, instead of on the tongue as was done in the Catholic Church for so many generations. And I think of how difficult it must be for a holy priest, charged with defense of the Eucharist, to put a host into the communicant’s hand when he knows full well the story of Uzzah.

One might surmise in these endtimes that God is being incredibly merciful, over and over again, until He is not so any longer, and then He has forever to punish. And some will have forever to contemplate why they resisted such a Divine invitation to holy intimacy.

Wisdom 6:10 – “For they will be made holy who observe holy things in holiness, and those who have been taught them will find a defense.”


Excerpt from 2 Samuel Chapter 6. (See also 1 Chronicles Chapter 13).




One Response to “In touch with holiness? Part I”

  1. avatar christian says:

    In the above posted link, it discusses reasons why God in His anger struck Uzzah down and he died. It states to begin with, God gave Moses and Aaron specific instructions about the Tent of Meeting and the movement of the Arc of the Covenant. The Kohathites were to come and do the carrying when the camp was ready to move, but they were not to touch the holy things or they would die.

    “No matter how innocently it was done, touching the ark was in direct violation of God’s law and was to result in death. This was a means of preserving the sense of God’s holiness and the fear of drawing near to Him without appropriate preparation.”

    1. David took men with him to collect the Arc of the Covenant, when it should have been transported by Levites only, and those of the family Kohath.
    2. The Arc should have never been transported by a cart, but only upon the shoulders of men of the Kohath family of Levites, by use the poles prescribed.

    “Failing to follow God’s precise instructions would be seen as (a) not revering God’s words when He spoke them through those such as Moses, whom He had appointed; (b) having an independent attitude that might border on rebellion, i.e., seeing and acting on things from a worldly, rather than a spiritual, perspective; or (c) disobedience.”

    “Something of God’s presence in the Ark of the Covenant seems to be lost in the church today. In the time of Moses, the people knew the awesomeness of God’s absolute holiness. They had witnessed great miracles when the ark was with them. They respected that God’s ways and thoughts are much higher than ours.”

    “Those who would draw near to God and have Him draw near to them are those who approach Him in reverence and holy fear.”

    The above quotations are excerpts of the article from the posted link.

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