Longing For God’s Presence

images-3The Ark of God was stolen by the Philistines a few years before Saul became the first king of Israel, 1 Samuel 4:3-11.  After plagues and other calamities the Philistines decided that they had better send the ark back.  It was placed on a cart and sent on its way pulled by two cows.   Knowing of God’s awesome power, the men who intercepted the cart could not keep back their curiosity.  They had to open the ark and look in.  God killed 50,070 men that day because they touched the ark.

It was then taken to the house of Abinadab and there it stayed for 20 years because they were afraid to move it, 1 Samuel 7:1-2.  It is here that some believe that David wrote of the opportunities to huddle himself down before the ark of God as the light would shine on it through the window of Abinadad’s home.

Psalm 91:1, He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Finally, David determined that the ark had been gone long enough and retrieved it, but incorrectly.  As a result a man died for touching the Ark.  Until he could find out how to correctly transport it it was left in the house of Obed-Edom for three months.  During that time God blessed Obed-Edom and everything he had, 2 Samuel 6:11; 1 Chronicles 13:14.

Once David finally had the Ark safely transported to Jerusalem, guess who also moved to Jerusalem to help care for the the Ark.  Obed-Edom.  God’s presence was so impacting that he could not live without it.

My question is, what ever happened to Abinadab who had the Ark for 20 years.  Did he begin to take God’s presence for granted?


Longing for the Wilderness Experiences

In The Wilderness

In The Wilderness

Luke 5:16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

All of my life I have been taught that spiritual wilderness walking was something to be feared. It was recognized by lonely times, moments that God felt so far way.

We often relate the wilderness to spiritual hunger and thirst, doing without, wondering with no direction. But, is it really.

  • Was it not in the wilderness that God gave Israel their first laws as a new nation?
  • Was it not in the wilderness that Israel never had to worry about hunger again because of God’s Manna that He sent them?
  • Was it not in the wilderness that Israel’s clothes never became thread bare?
  • Was it not in the wilderness that God was always visible to Israel as a cloud by day and a fire by night. Never in their history was God ever so close to them visibly.

It is true that all but two of the first generation out of Egypt died in the wilderness. But when we are spending time in God’s presence, learning during lean times how faithful He is to provide – that is when the desires of Egypt can be conquered and our Independence can be placed in check.

Jesus often went into the wilderness to pray. His 40 day fasting took place in the wilderness. John the Baptist lived in the wilderness.

The promise land is wonderful, but let’s not forget what can be accomplished back in the wilderness.

That leads me to another question as food for thought. If Israel moving into the promise land represents heaven, as so many songs suggest, then where were there so many battles taking place in the promise land in order to conquer the land?