King David is a complex character, but one thing I like about David is that he knows the importance of seeking after God’s presence. His pursuit of God is written all over the Psalms, it’s his first response to judgement when he loses his son, and it’s one of his first official actions as King.
After defeating the Philistines in battle, David ceremoniously calls for the Ark of the Covenant to be brought to Jerusalem. The ark, a container that carries the presence of God when Israel is obedient and in right-standing with YHWH, is more than just a religious token to David. He knows that the beginning of his reign as king must be different than that of Saul, his predecessor and usurper of God’s authority in the kingdom. David wants to rule with God at the helm, in ultimate authority. 2 Samuel 6:1-4 records David’s wise move to bring the presence of God near, by having it moved to Jerusalem:
“David again gathered all the chosen 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, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. And they carried 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, were driving the new cart, with the ark of God, and Ahio went before the ark.”
I think that we can learn something from David in this episode of his inauguration as king. David rightly began a new stage of life by making sure God’s presence, in essence, God himself, was with him and the people. David directed his own eyes and those around him to God as the top priority in daily life.
We have to do this over and over again in the Christian life. Our hearts quickly attach themselves to idols and affections that move us away from God intensify quickly. That’s why mature followers of Christ will establish regular habits that check the state their own heart. Seeking God is not over when we find him, or he finds us, it is only the beginning. We Christians spend our whole lives learning and growing toward Christ as we pick and prune our heart’s desires to grow into Christ-like shapes.
So be vigilant in seeking God by making him first in new seasons. Use the very rhythms of life to remind you that he belongs front and center, near and over our lives as our Lord who loves us.