The Honor of a name
God takes his name and anything associated with seriously – deadly seriously.
The ark of God, or the Ark of the Covenant, bore the name of Yahweh, the Leader of Heaven’s Armies.
Then David mobilized thirty thousand special troops. He led them to Baalah of Judah to bring home the Ark of God, which bears the name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. – 2 Samuel 6:1-2
That is literally what the words from the verses above mean. To bear someone’s name meant that the honor and presence of that person, or item was physically embodied in it.
To put it in more modern terms, an ambassador bears the name of the country he represents and carries within him the full authority and strength of that country. Any offense against an ambassador is an offense against his home country. The the ark was a physical representation of God on earth – an ambassador.
There were certain rules of contact specified by God, things which he required to maintain his honor.
But he gave none of the carts or oxen to the Kohathite division, since they were required to carry the sacred objects of the Tabernacle on their shoulders. – Numbers 7:9
There was a certain branch of priests authorized to carry those items that bore the name, the honor and authority of God. They were specifically required to not use carts or beast of burden.
God warned the people quite a few times that anyone not following his instructions in regards to the sacred objects, those things bearing his honor, would die.
This is what you must do so they will live and not die when they approach the most sacred objects. Aaron and his sons must always go in with them and assign a specific duty or load to each person. Otherwise they must not approach the sanctuary and look at the sacred objects for even a moment, or they will die.” – Numbers 4:19-20
Unfortunately King David did not follow these instructions and in doing so he unwittingly dishonored God’s name.
They placed the Ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the hillside home of Abinadab. Uzzah and Ahio, Abinadab’s sons, were guiding the cart with the Ark of God on it, with Ahio walking in front. – 2 Samuel 6:3-4
A cart was never to be used, no matter how new. Disaster resulted.
But when they arrived at the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah put out his hand to steady the Ark of God. Then the LORD’s anger blazed out against Uzzah for doing this, and God struck him dead beside the Ark of God. – 2 Samuel 6:6-7
This did not need to happen. Three months later, when he tired again, David got it right. But what a needless tragedy. The ends did not justify the means. Nor was a wrong thing done for the right reason excusable. God’s honor had been wronged, a response was required.
How often have I done something my way out of expediency, cutting corners to get it done quickly? Am I honoring the ‘name’ of the person, place, or thing, that I’m supposed to be serving in doing so?
Father, please forgive me for my continual corner-cutting. I need to do better, to plan ahead and budget sufficient time to do things right. Lord, please give me the desire, strength and ability to bring honor to all I do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Is your work honorable? Jan