The Ark of God’s Presence

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Yesterday was a big day. We attended Mckenzie’s Vacation Bible School program. She went all by herself! It was great to connect with Nathan’s mother, Linda, who joined us for lunch. Last night we attended an Atlanta Braves baseball game at the new stadium, SunTrust Park.BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “And the ark of God remained with the household of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that he had.” 1 Chronicles 13:14 ESV

The Ark of the Covenant became the physical symbol of the presence of the Lord. It was built by standards given by God to contain the tablets of the commandments the Lord gave to Moses on Sinai. The center of the covering or lid on the box, was the “mercy seat.” It was that place where the blood of the sacrifice was placed as the Lord instructed.

In time it became a symbol of God’s power. In reality it was a symbol of God’s holiness and judgment and presence. When the wicked sons of priest Eli took the ark into battle, it was taken captive by the Philistines. (1 Samuel 4)

The ark which was of no value to the Israelites when they attempted to use it presumptuously, became a curse to the Philistines and their god.

The Philistines returned it to Israel and when some of the men of the city looked into the ark, they were killed. The ark remained at Kiriath-Jeariam until David became King and his heart’s desire was to bring it back to Jerusalem into the center of God’s people.

As the ark was being transported on a cart (like the Philistines had done), the oxen stumbled and Uzzah one of the priests reached out and touched the ark and died. David was angry. He found himself doing the “right thing the wrong way.” Not only that his heart was right, but his methods were wrong.

Three months later, David “tried again” this time in accordance to what the law had instructed. The ark was carried with poles on the shoulders of the priests. This was a cause of rejoicing and celebration with David leading the procession.

In the record of the ark, one of the most fascinating observations is when the ark was shuffled to the house of Obed-edom after the failed attempt to bring it to Jerusalem. We read, “The Lord blessed the house of Obed-edom mand all that he had.”

This object that has been the center of mystery and wonder, judgment and death, is a blessing on this man, his house and “all that he had.” I believe it is important to see that is God’s desire above all else. The acts of judgment are riveting and at times confusing. God’s is not to be manipulated and disrespected. We should not knowingly expose ourselves to God’s judgment (like removing the lid of the ark. When the mercy seat is removed, there is only a broken law inside of the ark.)

But as David would declare, “…you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:11 ESV) David also realized that his greatest treasure was the Lord’s presence. He prayed, Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.” (Psalm 51:11 ESV) Perhaps he remembered the downfall of Samson came with the Lord removing His anointing from him.

One of the great provisions of the work of Christ is not only the Lord’s presence with His people, but in His people. May we be those who seek, respect and honor God’s presence and the blessing that comes from the Lord’s gracious hand.

Prayer for today….. Lord may we not treat Your presence in our life casually, take it for granted or fail to recognize the privilege that is ours because of what Christ had done for us. Allow Your presence in our life to be that source of needed blessing in our lives, our house and in all that we have.