Tuesday, January 24th, 2023
King David was a man after God’s own heart, but that did not mean he was without sin. After some poor leadership and sinful behavior, in 2 Samuel 15, David finds his son Absalom has won the favor of the people and David is forced to flee Jerusalem for a time. This had to be a very concerning and painful time, to be experiencing both betrayal and potential collapse of his kingship. As he is outside the city, the priests bring him the ark of the covenant, a powerful and sacred chest built by the Israelites to God’s specifications where God’s presence had been known to be. That sounds like just the thing David needs in this moment, right? Power and God’s presence? David tells the priests to return it to the city. He says, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place.” What is David doing here? He is trusting not in the things of this world but in his relationship with the Lord and God’s sovereign will. Though their culture was different, the Israelites are no different as people than we are today. We all tend to fall back on our rituals or processes that have worked before in times of trouble. We tend to want people and things around us that remind us of good times, or who we feel is connected to God, when we are in tough times. And while things like prayer and community with believers is a good thing, it is not, ultimately, what saves – God saves. It is our relationship with him and our trusting that, even if the worst comes, it is God’s will and it is meant for good in the long run. Clinging to rituals or things of this world is simply idolatry if we do not trust the Lord with the steps of our lives. Today, if you are facing a tough scenario, think of King David and how he placed his faith solely on the Lord in his time of testing.
Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place. But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you, behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.’” – 2 Samuel 15:25-26