James 4:8, “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
What is the presence of God all about that Moses desired and so was David and the rest? There is something about His presence that makes one to see and deal with Him and things differently. In Genesis, Jacob had a vision, upon waking up, he said, “The presence of the Lord was here and I knew it not.” Moses said”, “If Your presence is not going with us, do not let us move from here (paraphrased)”. The children of Israel had the ARK of the Covenant which represented the presence of God. The bible calls Him Jehovah Shammah which means Jehovah Present and not absent. He is not coming or going, He is here, now, available, ready.
What is the ARK in the bible? An Ark is something that affords protection and safety, therefore the ARK of God (Covenant) is a throne where Yahweh Himself was present in the midst of His people. The children of Israel cherished the ARK, it was a sign of God’s presence with them. No enemy could subdue them in the presence of the ARK. To learn about the ARK of the Covenant eliminates one from thinking or treating it like a lucky charm or a holy object that you can rub and get whatever you want. He is present and He has His dwelling in our midst, and though people who do not know Him think that we are using Him as a lucky charm, they have a wrong understanding. We don’t worship God because of what He can do for us, we worship Him because of who He is.
In 1Samuel 4:10, 11, “So the Philistine fought, and Israel was defeated… Also the Ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas, died.” The Philistines fought to capture this thing that had always been with the Israelites. They did not understand what they were messing with. All they cared about was capturing the ARK and having it positioned in their camp as a lucky charm. If it worked for the Israelites, they were destined to have it work for them. The problem was, they were treating the ARK as an “IT” while the Israelites treated the ARK as Him, a sign of reverence and respect. What finally brought about Eli’s death is the fact that the Ark of the Covenant was captured. He heard that his two sons had died but that did not nearly affect him like when he heard that the ARK was captured which meant that the presence of God had departed. His daughter in law was pregnant at that time, when she heard Israel was defeated, her husband and her brother in law killed and the ARK captured, she immediately gave birth to a child and died. She named the child Ichabod, saying, “the glory of God has departed from Israel.” I’ve always wondered why God’s presence departed from Israel until I read this chapter in 1Chronicles.
1Chronicles 13:4, “And let us bring again the ARK of our God to us: for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul.” David desired the presence of God while Saul desired position. During those times, people desired more of the Spirit, desiring the presence of God, having God fight for them and the more they gained positions (things), the more they began to lose focus and that is why they lost the ARK. Look at Paul speaking, Galatians 3:3, Are you foolish? having begun in the Spirit, and now are made perfect by the flesh?” You lost it because you moved from the Sprit to the flesh, from the presence to the position. David desired to bring back the ARK for they saw where they messed up big time and he desired to fulfill James 4:8, “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” You and I need to draw nigh to God by seeking Him and He will do the same. For us to do so, we need to cleanse our hands, and purify our hearts and choose whether we want the presence or the position. Blessings Ev