Once again, Ezra only hints at the story behind the story. He lists the various sons of Meshelemiah and Obed-Edom who served as gatekeepers in the temple and then throws in this parenthetical after listing Obed-Edom’s eight sons, “For God had blessed Obed-Edom.”
To understand God’s blessing on Obed-Edom, we have to think back to the untimely death of Uzzah, who reached up to steady the ark as David tried to bring it to Jerusalem the first time. When David realized his error (at the expense of Uzzah), he turned aside and had the ark placed in the home of Obed-Edom.
I don’t know about you, but after watching someone be struck dead for touching it, I'd be a little nervous to have the ark in my house. Can I dust it? What if the kids decide to climb on it when I’m not looking? I tend to have a lot of clutter, so where am I going to put it?
We don’t get any information on Obed-Edom’s reaction, but we do know the result: God had blessed him. Whatever Obed-Edom did with the ark, he didn’t make the same mistake that Uzzah made in treating it as if it were just another piece of furniture to be moved.
Remember that the ark represented the presence of God among His people. It was the place of the mercy seat, where God’s presence dwelt between the cherubim.
In a spiritual sense, you and I have become the ark— the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit—through our faith in Christ. God’s Spirit no longer dwells upon the ark, but within the hearts of His followers.
Do I live like that’s the case? Do I treat my body as the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)? Do I not only quench, but smother the Spirit’s fire in my soul with unconfessed sin? Do I, like Uzzah, treat the presence of the Creator of the Universe in my life, as if it were something commonplace or mundane?
We don’t know exactly how or why God blessed Obed-Edom, but we can surmise that he knew how to give reverence to God.