Photo by Jp Valery
And from that day the ark remained in Kiriath-jearim for a very long time, for it was twenty years [until the reign of King David]; and all the house of Israel lamented ( wailed) and grieved after the LORD. 1 Samuel 7:2 AMP
The ark of the Lord was His presence. Wherever the ark was, God was there. For twenty years, during the reign of Saul, the ark remained in Kiriath-jearim. Nobody bothered with it. Saul went on about his business, completely unbothered. The sad thing is, Saul didn’t notice that God was missing in his life. However, the first thing that David does when he is crowned king is to bring the ark of the Lord to Jerusalem.
We see a stark difference between David’s and Saul’s priorities. Saul wasn’t concerned with leading with the presence of God, we all know how that ended. Saul wasn’t very bothered with the presence of God, or worship, and this influenced the way he reigned as king.
David didn’t want to start his reign without the presence of God. He goes to great lengths to bring the ark to Jerusalem. He wanted the presence of God as near as possible. Because God’s presence was a priority, David was recorded as the greatest king who ever reigned.
Is God’s presence a priority in our lives? What are we doing to make sure God has a dwelling place in our lives? We can go through life like Saul far away from God’s presence even though we’re Christians. Or we can live like David and make the presence of God a priority in our lives.
What has God’s place?
It took the Israelites twenty years to seek God’s presence in their lives, how tragic? In those twenty years, they had replaced God’s presence with other things. They worshipped other idols. Whenever we find that we have no hunger for the presence of God, other things are already occupying His place in our lives.
What is that thing that is keeping you from seeing the presence of God in your life? What has your attention that you don’t notice that God’s presence is missing in your life? Is it busyness? A relationship? The desire for a relationship? Social media? Netflix? Your social circle?
The Israelites got to a place where they lamented and grieved for His presence. They saw how long they had lived without His presence and it grieved their hearts. They saw the idols they had replaced God with and wailed. God will lead us to a place where we get a revelation of what has been stealing His worship in our lives. When He does, I pray that our response will be like the Israelites.
The cost of His presence
When David and the men of Israel were bringing the ark into Jerusalem, Uzzah reached out his hand and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. The anger of the Lord was kindled against him and died. David was angry and very afraid, 2 Samuel 6:6-8
They missed something; there was a precaution to be observed to be able to dwell in the presence of the Lord. God had a standard and if anyone violated His standard of holiness they died, there was no exception, David learned this the hard way. David quickly readjusted and did exactly the way God commanded it. He was able to bring the ark of the Lord into Jerusalem.
His presence is costly. We cannot live any way we like and have His presence in our lives. There is a standard required if God’s presence will dwell in our lives. Our lives have to be consecrated to Him.
The psalmist says, who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from God of his salvation. Psalm 24:3-5
Who shall stand in His presence? The one with clean hands and a pure heart. The one who will not lift idols in his heart. The one who chooses to live in truth. This is the one who will have the blessing of His presence.
It is very costly to have God’s presence in our lives. We cannot do it in our strength, It is impossible. We have to depend on His grace to be able to have clean hands and a pure heart before Him.
It’s God’s desire
God desires our lives to be a dwelling place for his presence. He has made it possible for sinful flesh to be able to access Him. Through Jesus, we become a home for God and He becomes a home for us. The God of the Old Testament couldn’t be accessed by sinful flesh ( When sinful flesh approached Him death followed). We see this with the Israelites in the wilderness.
In the New Covenant God says to us, For the LORD has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place:” This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. Her priest I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy. Psalm 132:13-16
God has chosen us. He has desired that our lives become His resting place. He wants it more than we want it for ourselves. When our lives become His dwelling place, He blesses our provisions. He satisfies our every need. He clothes us with His salvation and joy becomes our inheritance.
This is His desire for us; He is looking for the one who will make room in their lives for His presence to dwell.
2 thoughts on “His Dwelling Place”
What a stark difference in the way Saul led the people and David led. David although he faltered knew his priorities. Whenever I read the part of Uzzah, I find that difficult to completely understand but God’s holiness and his rules are not to be taken lightly. There is a certain standard that we are to acknowledge and adhere to when it comes to wanting our Holy God’s presence close in our lives.
A good word as always Lucy. Blessings my friend 💙💐
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I know, right? Uzziah was doing what he thought was best. I find it difficult to get it too and I’m thankful we are in the New Covenant. We get grace and mercy for things they died for … But Jesus!
Thank you Manu! grace to you❤️
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