Last week, my wife was in Belize on a mission trip and I was alone at the house. I spent some time with the Lord during that week and believe I heard something from the Holy Spirit. I want to share that with you today.
According to scholars, the Ark of the Covenant had been housed in the tabernacle of Moses at the town of Shiloh for about 600 years. To Israel, the Ark represented the presence of God. During a battle with the Philistines recorded in 1 Samuel, chapters 4-6, the Ark was captured and taken to Philistine country. The judgment of God upon the Philistines was heavy, so the Ark was returned to Israel. It was moved to Kiriath Jearim early in the ministry of Samuel. 1 Samuel 7:2 tells us that the Ark remained in Kiriath Jearim for 20 years and was there during the reign of King Saul, David’s predecessor.
Early on in the book of 2 Samuel, we see the account of David’s ascension to the throne of Israel. In chapter six, we read about David’s desire to bring the Ark of God to Jerusalem.
Now, get this: the Ark never left the land of Israel. It had always been present but David tells us this in 1 Chronicles 13:3:
And let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we have not inquired at it since the days of Saul.
So, although the Ark had never left Israel, it was not inquired “at” during the days of Saul.
David, a man after God’s own heart desired to return the ark to Jerusalem. After one failed attempt due to a lack of proper handling of the ark, David successfully saw the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.
Here’s what I believe God is saying:
God has never left or abandoned “Spiritual Israel” – the church of Jesus Christ. Yet, we have been in a time similar to the days of Saul – kingdom building in the Name of God without truly depending upon God. Too many “Saul’s” are trying to build the kingdom but have been doing so with wrong motives and/or wrong strategies. Some successes and some victories – some expansion and some growth – most brought about by charismatic personalities and church growth strategies based upon worldly principles. There is an ever increasing cry among the people of God who follow Jesus with all their heart (people after God’s own heart) to see the Presence return. During those quiet days alone with God, I believe I heard the Holy Spirit say:
The Ark (Presence of God) is returning to Jerusalem (the church).
I thank God for such an encouragement! God intends for His Presence to bless His people just as it blessed the house of Obed-Edom during its stay there (2 Samuel 6:11). David tried once to bring the Ark back with dancing and singing and worship and sacrifices to God but the attempt failed because David was not obedient to God’s direction. No amount of zeal, worship or sacrifice will replace lordship. The Presence will bring blessing to those who handle it carefully but will bring swift discipline to those who do not. 2 Samuel 6 tells the story of the Ark’s return to Jerusalem, the center of worship. The resulting reign of “the man after God’s heart” was blessed all the days his heart “panted for God”.
Prayerfully consider this word. I believe it is from the Lord. I believe we are entering this time. If so, we have some great days ahead! Oh yeah, the “Philistines” (enemies) will still be active but God will lead His people and go before them in triumph and the whole world will see that there IS a God in Israel (His chosen people)!