Passion and Presence Part III

By May 4, 2016Christianity

David is enthroned as king of Israel! Finally. After seventeen years on the run. Think about what David has just gone through: from the wilderness as an outlaw to the throne as a king! From a war torn battlefield to the peace of finally arriving in the beloved city of Jerusalem. I believe David’s heart is deluged with sorrow, grief, joy, and gratitude. It’s all there in his heart. His response? Dancing, spinning, whirling, pure unmanipulated emotion—a passionate appreciation for what God has done. It is a mixture of joy and gratitude.

In her research, Brene Brown discovered to her surprise that a key concept of wholehearted healthy people was the relationship between gratitude and joy. She discovered,

Without exception, every person I interviewed who described living a joyful life or who described themselves as joyful, actively practiced gratitude and attributed their joyfulness to their gratitude. Both joy and gratitude were described as spiritual practices that we bound to a belief in human connectedness and a power greater than us.

For David this joy overflowed from his deep gratitude for the work and presence of God. The Ark was not only the symbol of God’s presence in the nation of Israel, it was most literally the place of God’s dwelling. A little history on the Ark of the Covenant: wherever the Ark had rested, God’s presence had been manifested, either in great blessing or cursing (1 Samuel 4-5; 1 Chronicles 13:14). While the Lord was indeed present among His people, He chose to localize the manifest presence of His glory in the Ark. Exodus 15:22 reads, “There I will meet with you…on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you.” The people of Israel believed that the closest encounter one could have with the living God was in proximity of the Ark.

David is acknowledging before the Lord the passion of one who is subject to the One he loves, the ultimate King of Israel! The Psalmist refers to God as the “Shepherd [King] of Israel” who sits “enthroned between the cherubim” (Psalm 80:1, a direct reference to the Ark and the cherubim whose wings enfolded the top of the chest. This was the Ark of the King of Israel that had led the way in one military campaign after another (2 Kings 19:15; 6:2; Numbers 10:33-35). When they crossed the Jordan the river stopped flowing (Joshua 3:13), and in Jericho the presence of the Lord represented by the Ark, led the people to victory (Joshua 6).

David’s passion of gratitude and joy is enveloped in his conviction of the Lordship and presence of Yahweh over his life! This passion overwhelmed and overcame David. David was experiencing the risen Lord over Israel, Jerusalem, his kingship, and himself.

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