In the first part of Session 4, we looked at the life of David and the fact that God birthed a heart of a worshiper in Him. From his youth, David learned to seek the Lord with his whole heart. This seeking after God caused David’s heart to be fashioned after God. The concept that is important for us to grasp is that as we too seek God with our whole heart, He fashions in us a heart after His. In direct response to worship, many of the “principles” of Davidic worship are established in us, for they are not David’s principles of worship, but God’s!
AMOS 9:11-12 (NIV), ACTS 15:16-18
I. THE DESIRE TO RETURN GOD’S PRESENCE TO ISRAEL
I CHRONICLES 13:1-5
God placed a desire in the heart of the man after His heart, David. The desire was to return God’s presence to the midst of Israel. David had learned the importance of having God with him; he couldn’t have withstood the lion, the bear, Goliath, the rejection from being exiled, if it wouldn’t have been for God’s anointing upon him. The words of Moses should be of primary importance to us: “If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence” Exodus 33:15. David realized that without the manifest presence of God in the midst of Israel, the nation would be without divine direction, protection, and favor.
David said “Let us bring the ark.” He included Israel; not just himself pursuing the ark, but all in Israel pursuing God. This is one of the important principles David establishes from the beginning: “Let us” In the same way, we the body of Christ, are called to collectively pursue the presence of God. “Unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” Genesis 49:10. His presence should be our primary focus.
As King of Israel, David realized that his top priority and the priority of the people should be that of returning the presence of God into their midst; for it had been lost. Here is a brief summary of the Ark’s journey:
We see from the journey of the ark that it is not only important to desire the presence of the Lord, but it is vitally important that we minister to God in his prescribed way (only the priests should handle the ark).
- The ark was carried through the wilderness with the Tabernacle of Moses. The ark was then placed in the Tabernacle of Moses at Shiloh after the conquest of Canaan. I Samuel 4:3-4
- The priesthood of Eli and his sons had regressed spiritually. In a battle against the Philistines, the ark was captured. Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died in the battle, and upon hearing the news of the capture of the ark, Eli died. The wife of Phinehas also died as she delivered a son, Ichabod (the glory has departed from Israel). I Samuel 4:10-11,22 (Read I Samuel chapters 2,3, & 4)
- The Philistines brought the ark back to Israel after God smote them with plagues I Samuel 5; 6:1-18. The ark was brought to Beth Shemesh. Some of the men of Beth Shemesh were struck down because they looked into the ark of the Lord. I Samuel 6:19,20
- The men of Kiriath Jearim came and took the ark of the Lord. It dwelt there for 20 years, not pursued by Saul. I Samuel 7:1-2; I Chronicles 13:3
- As David and the people first tried to bring the ark back to Jerusalem, they transported the ark incorrectly, which brought the wrath of God on Uzzah. In I Samuel 6:7-12, we see that the Philistines tried to carry the ark on a cart, and only the Levites could pick it up off the ark. When Uzzah reached out to steady the ark, he was struck down. So the ark was left at Obed-Edom. I Chronicles 13:6-14.