1 Chronicles 13-14

The Presence of God

“It is time to bring back the Ark of our God, for we neglected it during the reign of Saul.” ­– 1 Chronicles 13:3 NLT

These two chapters record the same basic details as found in 2 Samuel 5-6. David attempts to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, the new capital of the nation. The significance of this event is that the Ark represented the presence and power of God. The people had actually tried to use the Ark as a good luck charm when fighting with the Philistines, sending for it in the hopes that it would give them victory over their enemies. But instead, the Ark was captured by the Philistines. With the loss of the Ark the people also lost the glory of God. “The glory of God has departed from Israel, for the ark of God was taken” (1 Samuel 4:22 NASB). The Ark symbolized the power and presence of God. With its loss, both had departed from Israel. After its return by the Philistines, the Ark had been left in Kiriath-Jearim for 100 years. During the entire reign of Saul, the Ark had been ignored and abandoned, and with it, the power and presence of God had also been overlooked.

David wanted to begin his kingdom in the right way and he knew the he would be dependent on both God’s power and presence. David knew the significance of the Ark and the role it had played in the history of Israel all during their years wandering in the wilderness. It had been a prominent fixture in the tabernacle where it sat in the holy of holies. In making the Ark a permanent fixture in his new capital, David was clearly indicating his desire to have the presence and power of God a part of his kingdom and reign. David wanted God involved in his kingdom. He inquired of God for direction and insight before acting. Having God intimately involved in his kingship was vital to David. And God confirmed His power and presence by answering David’s inquiries and fighting on his behalf. How much do we need the power and presence of God in our lives? It begins with acknowledging our need for Him. It involves including Him in the daily decisions of our lives. It means that we turn to His Word for wisdom, guidance, and direction. We listen for His voice. We don’t act until we have confidence that He has spoken. Saul had learned to operate independently from God. David was beginning his reign completely dependent on God. “So David’s fame spread everywhere, and the LORD caused all the nations to fear David” (1 Chronicles 14:17 NLT).

Father, I cannot survive without Your power and presence. I try, but the results are always the same. So help me grow in my dependence on You. I want to live my life with You, not without You. I want to seek You, not ignore You. Give me a heart like David had. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men

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