Use this children’s sermon about Uzzah touching the Ark of the Covenant to teach kids that we need to listen to God exactly.
Scripture: 1 Chronicles 13:1-11
Needed: picture of the Ark of the Covenant
Tell kids a close-listening riddle. An example is, “Pete’s mother had three children. One was named Oliver. One was named Penelope. What was the third child’s name?”
If no of the students get the answer, repeat the question, emphasizing the first words. When one of the students does get the answer, ask, How did you know the right answer? (They’ll explain that they heard you say it.)
Right. You were listening closely to what I said, so you knew the right answer.
There was once a man who didn’t listen very closely and so, he got the wrong answer.
What happened was that King David wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, the city where he lived. What was the Ark of the Covenant?
(Show your picture of the Ark.) The Ark was a special chest that stayed in the Tabernacle. Inside it was the Ten Commandments, some manna that God gave the Israelites to eat when they were in the desert, and the staff of the first priest that God made grow flowers even though it was just a dead stick. But, most importantly, God’s Presence rested on the top of the Ark.
Because the Ark was so special, so holy, God said that no one was allowed to touch the Ark itself. The only way to move it was to carry it by its poles.
So, the priests picked the Ark up by the poles and put it on a wagon. Two animals called oxen were pulling the wagon to Jerusalem, the city where King David lived. But on the way, one of the oxen started to fall down, and the Ark almost fell out of the wagon.
One of the priests, a man named Uzzah, reached back to catch the Ark. He touched the Ark with his hand. Was he allowed to touch the Ark with his hand?
What was God’s rule about touching the Ark of the Covenant?
God said that no one was allowed to touch it. You could only touch the poles. But Uzzah did touch the Ark. And the Bible tells us…
(Read 1 Chronicles 13:11.)
“The Lord’s anger burned against Uzzah, and He struck him down because he had put his hand on the ark. So he died there before God.”
What do you think would have happened if the Ark was falling and no one was allowed to touch it? Do you think the Ark would have fallen?
God told no one else to touch the Ark, right? But could God touch it?
God could have caught the Ark and kept it from falling. He didn’t need Uzzah to catch it. So, Uzzah should have listened more closely to God’s rule so that he wouldn’t have touched the Ark.
And we have to listen to God’s rules closely too, just like you listened to my riddle closely. We need to read our Bible and pay attention in church so that we learn what God’s rules and listen to them closely. Then, God will be happy with us and won’t have to punish us like He did Uzzah.
Lord, we know that Your rules are good. Help us to listen to learn Your rules and listen to them closely our whole life so that we can be faithful followers of You. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this children’s sermon for Kindle or in print in my book, Children’s Sermons about Samuel and David.