A Passion for His Presence
Our story begins with David making a proposal to both the leaders and the people of Israel:
“Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not enquire of it during the reign of Saul”.
– 1 Chronicles 13:3
This was agreed upon:
So David assembled all Israel…to bring the ark of God from Kiriath Jearim. David and all Israel went to…bring up the ark of God the Lord – who is enthroned between the cherubim – the ark that is called by the Name.
– 1 Chronicles 13:5-6
To grasp the significance of this, we need to understand a bit of the backstory. The ark that Moses had placed in the tabernacle about 400 years earlier was a symbol of the holy presence of God. During the time of Eli, who was a high priest and Israelite judge, the ark was carried separately into battle against the Philistines. The Israelites lost the battle, and the ark was captured which was symbolic of the glory of God having departed from Israel (see 1 Samuel 4). Having been judged by God and tormented by various plagues, the Philistines sent the ark back to the Israelites, where it eventually ended up at a place called Kiriath Jearim. There it remained for “a long time – twenty years in all” (1 Samuel 7:2), including all through the reign of King Saul.
This account is both remarkable and sobering. The ministry at Moses’ tabernacle continued at Shiloh, but all in vain as the ark wasn’t there behind the veil! And all through the reign of Saul, the people failed to enquire of the Lord. Thankfully, David, the man after God’s own heart, someone who had a true passion for God and His presence, decided to bring the ark back to Jerusalem, the centre of the nation.
by Simon Benn
- As you reflect on this challenging story, ask the Lord to reveal where you’ve been neglecting the presence of the Lord in Your life. Are there any areas in your life or key decisions that you’ve made, where you’ve failed to ‘enquire of the Lord’? If you’ve made a wrong turn you may need to ‘retrace your steps’. Take some time to ask for His forgiveness and ask Him to set you on a new path.
- Invite Him to fill you with a fresh passion for His presence and purpose in Your life and for a determination to obey the whispers and promptings of the Holy Spirit.
- Take time to pray more widely; that we would see a move of the Spirit to be at the very centre of not just our lives but our communities, our government and our nation.
Graves Into Gardens