Back when Israel was led by Samuel, there had been a war between the Israelites and the Philistines, and Israel was losing. The Israelites thought it might help if God was with them, so they brought out the ark of the covenant. When the Philistines heard that a mighty enemy god had arrived, they were afraid, and they knew they would have to fight hard to defeat Israel. So the Philistines fought hard, and defeated Israel.
They killed tens of thousands of Israelites, captured the ark of God, and took it to the temple of their god Dagon. But then Dagon started bowing down to the ark, and the Philistines started getting tumors. They tried moving the ark to different cities, but Philistines died wherever the ark went.
After seven months of this, the Philistines decided they should send the ark away. They put the ark on a cart and let two cows take it back to Israelite territory. When the Israelites saw that the cows had brought their ark back, they were so grateful that they… killed the cows.
But then when 70 Israelites looked inside the ark at the things that God had told Moses to put there so people could look at them, God killed them all. Now the people who had found the ark of God didn’t want to keep it, since it seemed to bring death everywhere it went. So they sent the ark to the house of some guy named Abinadab.
Decades later, King David went to the house of Abinidab, put the ark on another cart, and started to take it to Jerusalem. But on the way, the oxen pulling the cart stumbled, and when someone tried to catch the ark of God so it wouldn’t fall off the cart, God killed him.
So David decided not to bring the deadly ark home with him after all. Instead, he sent it back to the Philistines. But then he found out that God had decided to start blessing the Philistine he had sent it to. So David changed his mind again, and brought the ark to Jerusalem and put it in a tent.
David’s wife Michal looked out the window and saw David coming home with the ark, half-naked and dancing wildly in front of a big crowd. After Michal commented on his vulgarity, David insulted her family, and told her he intended to dance even more indecently, and that all the girls watching him would love him for it. Michal never again got to have sex with her husband who loved her. She and David probably never had sex again after that, either.
The moral of the story
If God is with you, you will probably die.
David and Bathsheba1