Ah yes, one of my favorite movies of all time: Raiders of the Lost Ark. In this bar scene, Indiana Jones and Renée Belloq are fencing with words over ideologies. But Belloq’s quote always stuck out to me: “Do you realize what the Ark is? It’s a transmitter. It’s a radio for speaking to God. And it’s within my reach.” There’s so much truth in that statement.
I’m currently teaching a series with our students on the Tabernacle called “Show Me Your Glory.” The basic premise is that if we get the pattern and principles right as prescribed by God, then we will continually experience His Presence. Last night, I had the privilege of speaking at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and I shared about David’s relationship with God cultivated through prayer. The centerpiece of his reign was returning the Ark to Jerusalem which released joy in such abundance that the king threw off his outer garments and ran through the streets like a crazy man.
Sadly, his predecessor didn’t take the Presence as seriously. He sought to achieve his goals in his own ways, even resorting to breaking God’s law in seeking out a diviner. He had access to the Creator of the universe but settled for some mere witch and her feeble abilities. He was too impatient to wait on God when first entering into battle against the Philistines. King David, on the other hand realized the Ark’s importance, rather obedience to Yahweh. “It is time to bring back the Ark of our God, for we neglected it during the reign of Saul” (1 Chronicles 13:2). Saul abandoned the key to God’s direction, favor, protection, and provision. David was determined to get the pattern right.
That is a key lesson to us, as Belloq so eloquently expressed. We must communicate with God. Not just talk, but listen! I believe He is always talking to us, we just have to tune it properly and eliminate distractions. David’s relationship with God is prevalent in the Psalms based on: PRAYER, PRAISE AND WORSHIP, and THE WORD. Simple but vital.
Saul’s last mention in the Bible can be found in Acts 13:22, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'” What a shame that centuries later, Saul was remembered as the one disqualified, found unfit to lead God’s people. That was in stark comparison to David’s reputation of being a pursuer of God!
People ask me why I’ve taken so many missions teams to Western Europe. “Why do you go to an area of the world where there’s such a Christian heritage and so many churches?” My response is “Those aren’t places of worship…they’re museums…reminders of what once was.”
I could see 20 years from now as a father is taking his son through the U of I campus, showing him where he went to school. The son asks while pointing at our facility, “What’s that building for?” I would hope the response would never be, “That’s where they used to worship. That’s where they used to pray and seek after God.”