During my nightly bible study, my community and I went through the book of the 1st Chronicles. Apart from the many interesting stories therein, one particular story caught my attention. It is the story of a little-known character called Uzzah. Uzzah was struck dead by God after he did something that God had commanded against. Due to the uniqueness of his death, I was curious to get the answer to the question, did Uzzah go to heaven?
There is nowhere in the Bible that mentions if Uzzah went to heaven. The book of the 1st Chronicles implies that God struck him dead after he touched the ark of the covenant, which was against the commandments He gave. His place of death is then named after him. As far as his eternal destination is concerned, the Bible does not specify what that is.
In this article, I invite you to learn more and answer questions such as if the Bible says that Uzzah went to heaven, if God was unfair for striking him dead, what biblical scholars think about his eternal destination and more.
Does the Bible say that Uzzah went to heaven?
The Bible does not specify Uzzah’s destination after his death. It neither specifies whether he went to heaven or hell. The time of this occurrence was in the Old Testament period, which was before the coming of Jesus Christ. At this time, God had given Moses numerous laws that the people were instructed to follow to remain in the right standing with Him. In case the people disobeyed, they were required to offer sacrifices to God to soothe His holy anger.
The other option was that God would strike that person dead, as we can see in Uzzah’s case, if the offense was severe. The destination of the people who died during this time was unknown. Due to this, Uzzah’s destination after his death is unknown.
What happened to Uzzah after he died?
After Uzzah’s death, it is not clear what happened to him. The Bible only talks about him dying and how he died. The Bible in 1st Chronicles 13:10-11 says, 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. Then David was angry because the Lord’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day, that place is called Perez Uzzah. As far as Uzzah is concerned, we can only assume that he was buried after his death, and the place where he died was named after him.
Was Uzzah’s death in the Bible unfair?
The death of Uzzah was fair. Some people may argue that God was unfair for striking Uzzah dead, considering his actions were driven by pure intent. With greater analysis, however, God’s actions can be justified.
God had given strict instructions to be followed where the Ark of the Covenant was concerned. He instructed David on the practices that had to be strictly followed in the handling and transportation of the ark. However, we can see a pattern of disobedience by David, which eventually caused Uzzah’s death.
Only the Levites were allowed to touch and carry the Ark of the Covenant.
1st Chronicles 15:2 says, “Then David said, “No one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, because the Lord chose them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister before him forever.”
During Moses’ time, God instructed him that only the Levites, otherwise known as the priests, were the only ones allowed to touch and carry the Ark of the Covenant. Anyone who was not a Levite would be struck dead by God if they touched the ark.
After this incident, David remembered God’s instructions to Moses and realized that he had acted contrary to them, which cost Uzzah’s life. Uzzah was not a Levite, hence not allowed to touch the Ark of the Covenant. That is why the Lord struck him dead when he touched it.
The Ark of the Covenant was to be carried on the Levite’s shoulders and not on oxen carts
God’s instruction in carrying the ark was that it needed to be carried upon the shoulders of the Levites. In this case, it was carried in a cart upon oxen.
Uzzah saw that the oxen carrying the Ark of the Covenant stumbled; therefore, by impulse, he held the ark to prevent it from falling.
If David had obeyed God in the first place, there would have been no oxen stumbling. Therefore Uzzah would not have had to try and stop it, and thus his death would have been prevented.
One could rule out that Uzzah’s death was not unfair because, despite his intentions, he still disobeyed God’s commandments. And since God is fair, just, and faithful to His commands, He had to strike him dead as a consequence of his sin.
What do bible scholars believe was the eternal destination of Uzzah?
Biblical scholars believe that despite Uzzah’s shortcomings, God is fair enough to give him a chance to receive salvation after the rises from death. The book of John chapter five and verses twenty-eight to twenty-nine imply that those who die doing good will rise to live, and those who die doing evil will rise to be condemned.
Since Uzzah’s intentions were good, it is assumed that he will rise to live. This means that he will receive salvation and the gift of eternal life.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.