What’s the first thing you do when you move to a new home? Find the nearest coffee shop? Visit the neighbors? With a hundred items on the “To Do” list, prioritization is difficult. King David made God’s presence a priority. When he moved his capital to Jerusalem, he tried to bring the ark of the covenant to the city.
The ark was a box about the size of a TV stand or a chest freezer and it stood in the tabernacle. In a way that we can’t fully understand, God’s glory was concentrated in the space above and between two cherubim on the “mercy seat,” the lid covering the ark. David wanted God close, perhaps in his own back yard.1
David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim.(2 Sam. 6:2)
Why did David place ark retrieval so high on his list? Events that transpired when the ark was around show why God’s presence is so valuable:
During Israel’s earlier war with Philistia, the ark of God’s presence made Israel confident while the Philistines were afraid. Later, the Philistines captured the ark because of Israel’s sin; the Philistines became confident, and Israel despaired.2 The Philistines took the ark home and each city it visited suffered an epidemic of tumors because of their ungodliness, so they sent it back.3 On the other hand, when it stayed with Obed-edom in Israel, his household flourished.
The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months; and the Lord blessed the family of Obed-edom with all that he had.(1 Chron. 13:14)
God’s presence punishes evil but brings tremendous benefits to people seeking relationship with Him. David wanted God just for who He is, as well as for the blessings of His presence.
Now, of course, God’s presence is everywhere, but how much do we value it? When we move on in life, does His presence remain our priority? Let’s ensure that God dwells in the capital places of our lives—the core of our personal and family economies, our decision making, our industry, and our bustling social hub.