After many years in the making, David is the king of both Israel and Judah. The land has finally been united. All of his enemies have been laid to waste as treasure fills the coffers and horses and land are held in abundance, but David is not content. He’s distraught over the Ark of the Covenant. The ark has been kept in tents as David rests in his palace. He turns to the prophet, Nathan, to say, “See now, I dwell in an house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains.” Priorities are about to shift in Israel as David and the people stand ready to adjust their lives so that God can have a place to dwell.
Please don’t misunderstand; God does not need a physical house to exist. The Bible says that He does not dwell in temples made with hands. Solomon will come to recognize that no place can hold him—not even the heavens and galaxies above. Yet David is looking at the pursuit of the human experience as it dismisses the need for God. He sees fleshly ambition while the ark takes a backseat to Israel’s desires.
I wonder if we fit into this narrative. Our lives are filled up with places occupied by things. Our attics are filled with stuff; homes, garages, and barns overflow with boxes, but where does God dwell? Our schedules are consumed with forgettable moments and the busyness of life, but is there room enough for the Savior? Does God have a place in our daytime activities? Are we negotiating with Sunday worship in lieu of other events? The great concern is not that the Lord is completely missing, but that He is vying for time and space… that He is competing for our attention. My hope is for us to return to daily Bible reading and prayer, and that we might push some “stuff” aside and find God. Surely He should have preeminence over our houses of cedar. We must return Him to His right place in our lives.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole