6:7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God {d} smote him there for [his] error; and there he died by the ark of God.

(d) Here we see the danger it is to follow good intentions, or to do anything in God's service without his express word.

6:7 He died - This may seem very severe, considering his intention was pious, and his transgression not great. But, besides that, men are improper judges of the actions of God; and that God's judgments are always just, though sometimes obscure: it is reasonable, God should make some present examples of his high displeasure against sins, seemingly small; partly, for the demonstration of his own exact and impartial holiness; partly, for the establishment of discipline, and for the greater terror and caution of mankind, who are very prone to have slight thoughts of sin, and to give way to small sins, and thereby to be led on to greater; all which is, or may be prevented by such instances of severity: and consequently there is more of God's mercy, than of his justice, in such actions, because the justice is confined to one particular person, but the benefit of it common to mankind in that, and all future ages.

6:6-11 Uzzah was struck dead for touching the ark. God saw presumption and irreverence in Uzzah's heart. Familiarity, even with that which is most awful, is apt to breed contempt. If it were so great a crime for one to lay hold on the ark of the covenant who had no right to do so, what is it for those to lay claim to the privileges of the covenant that come not up to the terms of it? Obed-edom opened his doors without fear, knowing the ark was a savour of death unto death to those only who treated it wrong. The same hand that punished Uzzah's proud presumption, rewarded Obed-edom's humble boldness. Let none think the worse of the gospel for the judgments on those that reject it, but consider the blessings it brings to all who receive it. Let masters of families be encouraged to keep up religion in their families. It is good to live in a family that entertains the ark, for all about it will fare the better.