May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. -Psa. 68:1 NIV
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The role the Ark of Covenant played in the several victories of the Israelites over their enemies, not only during their journey to the Promised Land but also during their many attempts to retain their stronghold over the now possessed land, cannot be under-rated. Hardly would anyone have imagined that a gold plated box, made of acacia wood, two and half cubits long, one and half cubit wide and high (Exo. 25:10-22; 37:1-9), whose contents are simply the tablets that Moses came down with from Mount Sinai, a sample of the Manna that the Almighty God provided as food to the Israelites in the course of their journey to Promised Land (Exo. 16:32-34) and the budded rod of Aaron (Heb. 9;3-4), could be that spiritually powerful to give such support in times of war, but the important role of this Ark was not only known to the Israelites, but also to all their enemies such that it initially became something of great joy when the Philistines captured the Ark an event which also marked the beginning of a series of defeats for the Israelites – 1Sam. 4:1-11.
Even though, the people that claimed to capture the Ark were not comfortable with it being in their possession after a period of time, that the Israelites equally suffered immensely for losing possession of the Ark was not in doubt, so it was not surprising that one of the first major projects that David, son of Jesse, embarked upon immediately he became king, after the demise of King Saul, was to bring the Ark of Covenant back to Jerusalem. It must have been clear that it will be practically impossible for him to achieve victory for his people without the Ark in their possession and in place.
His first attempt to do this however ended in disaster as the Almighty God struck down Uzza for touching the Ark (2Sam.6:1-9), but having taken the necessary precautionary steps by updating his knowledge on God’s directives with regards to the handling of the Ark of Covenant, he was successful on the second attempt, as the Ark was returned to Jerusalem with pomp and pageantry. The foundation scripture for today’s Devotional is believed by most bible scholars, to have been part of the songs that David rendered and danced to whilst bringing the Ark of Covenant back to Jerusalem. The song revealed clearly the thoughts and expectation of King David with regards to the successful repossession of the Ark by the Israelites and can be enumerated as follows:
1. He hoped that the action of bringing the Ark back to Jerusalem will make the Lord arise in their situation. By this, he admits to the absence or inactiveness of the Lord in their situation.
2. Consequent upon the rising of the Lord will be the scattering and fleeing of their enemies who by then would have become the Lord’s enemies – Exo. 23:22.
He was definitely not disappointed in his expectations, just as the Bible says that the expectations of the righteous would not be cut off – Prov. 10:24. His belief and reliance on God became the source of His righteousness like in the case of Abraham – Gen. 15:6. He won many battles, the loss of most of which had accounted for final demise of King Saul.
Most Christians today are fighting and losing many battles simply because they do not have divine tools with them. It does not necessarily have to be the Ark of Covenant, like in the case of the Israelites but the role of whatever divine tool that should be deployed for the presence of the Almighty God to be felt in that battle, will not be played if the relevant tool has not been appropriately deployed. This role can be best explained using David’s expectations as revealed in today’s foundation scripture.
1. David in using the word “may” or “let” indicates his expectation that the rising of God into their situation will likey occur once he has successfully brought the Ark back to Jerusalem. It is also an indication and admission that God was not present or active in their situation up until that moment. The expected victory was not supposed to be due to any action of the Ark, but its mere presence was sufficient to create an atmosphere conducive for the movement of God to be expected, after all, the same Ark was with the Philistines and all it brought on them was calamity and sickness – 1Sam. 5:1-7:1. There is always a tool that the Almighty God has designed for every Christian or group of Christians, to fight specific battles, which may differ from one situation to the other. Such may be human or material in nature but its relevance to ensuring the presence of God in that situation to ensure victory can never be undermined. When praying to God for divine intervention in any situation, it should remain clear to the one praying that God will use someone or something to achieve this desire, and such a person should be on the lookout for such tool. Identifying such is actually the beginning of the journey to victory but total assurance will be dependent on the consciousness of the individual or group to recognise and allow such divine tool to take its divine position in that situation, else it will be regarded as God being present but not active. He will only arise when He is so recognised. The disciples of Jesus Christ had him in their boat but were still facing possible ship-wreck until they recognised him by inviting him – Mk. 4:35-41. It is insufficient to just have the tool, as the tool must be positioned or deployed in a manner that it can perform divinely assigned functions.
2. The consequence of properly deploying and positioning the tool is the immediate manifestation of the presence of God who then takes the leading role in the battle and thus achieve victory. In such situations, the individual no longer has any role to play outside being obedient to the instructions concerning the deployment of the divine tool. Under such atmosphere, not only do enemies scatter, they actually flee in different directions. That is when the promise of the Lord that enemies will appear in one direction, but will flee in several directions will come pass – Deut. 28:7.
Indeed you are a Christian and a true believer but if you are still losing all your battles, you may need to assess the tools you are deploying to fight those battles. If these are your own choice of tools, then you will have to desist from using them and seek to possess God’s choice of tools. However, if you already have God’s choice of tools for the battle, then all you may have to do will be to ensure that these tools are appropriately deployed and you will surely be on the path to victory in all those battles, because that is the only time that the Almighty God will arise and scatter all those enemies on your behalf. May God grant us all victories in all our life battles in Jesus name. Amen.