Carriers of the Presence

2 Samuel 6:1-3 Again David gathered all the choice men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, whose name is called by the Name the LORD of Hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. So they set the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart.

David’s desire to bring the ark to Jerusalem was indeed a good thing. But a good thing can be done the wrong way. When the Philistines returned the ark to Israel, they returned it on a new cart (1 Samuel 6:7). They had no way to know what God required concerning moving the ark so they did what they thought best. And now when David was ready to bring the ark to Jerusalem he also used a new cart to transport the ark, even though he had God’s law which gave instruction as to how the ark is to be carried on the shoulders of the Levites.

Maybe David hadn’t looked into it and just assumed that because it worked for the heathen it would work for him. But God never intended us to follow in the footsteps of the worldly and especially when related to the sacred things. His way should have been sought out so that the holy things would not be handled carelessly….for when that happens, lives are affected.

Deuteronomy 10:8 At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to Him and to bless in His name, to this day.

Numbers 7:9 But to the sons of Kohath he gave none, because theirs was the service of the holy things, which they carried on their shoulders.

There were three divisions of the Levites and each was assigned specific duties related to the Tabernacle. It was the sons of Kohath who carried the most holy things…including the ark of the Presence. Why were they chosen from the three? I wonder if their very names give us a clue…

Gershon means “exile, a refugee – someone forced to live outside of their own country”. This represents believers who live as foreigners in the kingdom of God. They call Jesus king but their allegiance is divided because they feel more comfortable in the other kingdom and secretly long for its pleasures and comforts, yet realize that they cannot indulge in such lest the king become angry and banish them. It’s very possible that these Gershonites fear hell more than they love God.

Merari means “bitter”. This represents people who are loaded down by their resentments and unforgiveness, and maybe even just the sorrows and disappointments of life. They have become inwardly focused….rehearsing and nursing their wounds leaves them no time or inclination to carry the Presence.

The name Kohath means “to ally oneself”. To ally means to join together, to unite, to cooperate. This represents those who are “all in”. United with King Jesus and His kingdom purpose, having no other allegiance, they have joined themselves to this King and delight to be part of His work in the earth.

While Gershon, Merari and Kohath were unable to change their assignment, we are. Today’s Merari can be tomorrow’s Kohath. God’s way is for us to be carriers of His Presence. That is His way for all of us….He is no respecter of persons. But not everyone will be a carrier of the Presence. Many people are content with the new carts of religious activity which offer nothing life giving….for them or anyone else. Perhaps that is because being a carrier of the Presence requires something of you. It is an investment of your life to seek the face of God and dwell in His Presence. But the benefit of it….Oh the benefit!! What greater privilege could we have than to live with Him so much in the secret place that the sweetness of that fellowship is carried into every public place?

We only have a few short years on this earth. Don’t waste it with new carts. Be a carrier of the Presence of God.

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