As we continue to adjust to our new reality, I am reminded of a story that takes place in 2 Samuel. David has just recently become King of Israel and had been victorious in his first two battles as king. After these victories he wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem where he lived. He does this and after all of this work early in his kingship it says “the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him,” (2 Samuel 7:1). He had done a lot in his first few months as king and now he rested at home.
David realizes that God has provided him rest in his home, but yet the ark (the place where God dwelled) stayed in a tent. David realizes this and wants to build the ark (and God) a home, so that it’s not in a tent anymore. God appears to the prophet Nathan to deliver this message to David. 2 Samuel 7:5-7:
“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, ‘Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’’”
It seems like God is angry here with David for trying to build him a house. David had his best intentions in mind, but God is trying to teach him a lesson here. What God is saying to David is that he is not confined to a house or one certain spot. God has been moving ‘place to place’ and his presence cannot be contained in one spot. David’s offer to build God a house came from a good place but God is reminding David that his presence is more than just one physical place, it is all around us.
As we continue to adjust to our new normal reality, this lesson should ring true for us. Just because we can’t go to church right now does not mean that God is not with us. God does not dwell in one place. He moves from ‘place to place’. He doesn’t just exist at church but in your home as well. He is not confined to a physical space.
What is encouraging about this is that God moves with us wherever we go. When you return to school he will be with you. When you’re at home, he is with you. When you travel, he is with you. God’s presence is not contained to certain physical locations like our church, his presence is all over our world. Remember that God moves from ‘place to place’ and that he is with you right now.
Questions for Discussion/Contemplation