More Bible politics! (Because, there is a lot of fascinating politics in the Bible.)
David sounds pious in 1 Chronicles 13:3 “It is time to bring back the Ark of our God, for we neglected it during the reign of Saul.” And I’m not saying he’s not, but … it would be smart for a king in a nascent monarchy to consolidate support from the most legitimate institution in the system, the Levitical priesthood.
And the Chronicler, who likes the priests a lot, would – well, did, it seems – commend that.
AND it helps explain why David is angry in verse 11 when a mishap in moving the ark results in YHWH “breaking out” against Uzzah, poor guy, and killing him. This has always puzzled me – seriously, why are you angry at a time like this?
But it makes sense in the political context: what was supposed to be a public relations coup for David is now a public relations disaster! So of course he’s angry. It’s politics.