In this week’s Haftaras Shemini II Samuel 6:1-7:17 (the prophet portion) we learn of King David’s attempt and success of transporting the Ark of God from Gibeah to Jerusalem.
Because this is the prophet portion, it behooves me to look deep into the Remez level (underlying meaning) of the text. So, in doing that I have to wonder and ask questions about the situation David was faced with.
What was David trying to have carried to Jerusalem?
It was the very Ark of G-d.
“So what were the contents of the Ark of the Covenant according to the Bible? This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. ” http://www.allaboutarchaeology.org/contents-of-the-ark-of-the-covenant-faq.htm
Let’s focus on the Stone tablets. The very Word of G-d given to Moshe (Moses). A word so powerful that it was the only thing left inside the ark (later) when Solomon brought it to the Temple that was built for Hashem.
Why did Uzziah die?
At the surface (Peshat level), Uzziah did not obey G-d and he touched the ark to keep it from falling, and that David did not properly transport it. It was supposed to be placed on the shoulders of men (not a wagon).
It is here where the Remez level pops it’s head out to see a deep understanding. Hashem has given us all (whoever wills) the Holy Spirit (stone tablets written on our hearts) to carry when we worship and live a life of prayer.
Proverbs 7:3 Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.
However, it is of utmost importance to transport the Commandments of Hashem with utmost respect and due diligence to ensure that casualties do not arise.
The easiest term I could use for describing a casualty would be a “back slidden” soul, city, nation etc. When we transport the Holy Word of Hashem we must allow the Holy Spirit transcribe it on our hearts. Many problems arise today when souls allow a false preacher or teacher (crooked broken up old wagon) deliver the Word to us.
The good news is that David (after being afraid to transport it that day Uzziah died) went back to the house he left the Ark, and slowly but surely delivered it to Jerusalem. He did it correctly and no casualties were encountered. He did suffer some persecution from his wife Michal, but in the end she went without child until the end of her life.