The Blessing of Being Conscious of the Presence of the Lord
Then David consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader. 2 And David said to all the assembly of Israel, . . . 3 and let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we have not inquired at it since the days of Saul” . . . 7 So they carried the ark of God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab, and Uzza and Ahio drove the cart. 8 Then David and all Israel played music before God with all their might, with singing, on harps, on stringed instruments, on tambourines, on cymbals, and with trumpets. 9 And when they came to Chidon’s threshing floor, Uzza put out his hand to hold the ark, for the oxen stumbled. 10 Then the anger of the Lord was aroused against Uzza, and He struck him because he put his hand to the ark; and he died there before God. 11 And David became angry because of the Lord’s outbreak against Uzza; therefore that place is called Perez Uzza to this day. 12 David was afraid of God that day, saying, “How can I bring the ark of God to me?” 13 So David would not move the ark with him into the City of David, but took it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 14 The ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house three months. And the Lord blessed the house of Obed-Edom and all that he had. 1 Chronicles 13:1, 3, 7-14 NKJV
In 2 Samuel 21:1, during a famine when David inquired of the Lord, he wasn’t seeking to get the presence of Lord in a place that God wasn’t already present. He sought the spirit of the consciousness of the presence of the Lord—that’s when the blessing comes.
When God’s presence is restored, consciously in our minds, He answers our famine, and afterwards, He fills us with His glory. Our scripture text above bears out this truth. For example:
The Ark could only be transported on the shoulders of the Levites with poles on their shoulders (See ex. 25:14; Num. 4:15; 7:9; 10:21 and 1 Chron.15:15). Transporting the Ark on a new cart was the way of the Philistines (1 Sam. 6:7), but not the way God prescribed. The methods of the world can violate the law of God, and produce death, as it did for Uzza. Uzza and his brother Ahio drove the oxen and the new cart carrying the Ark. This was a man-made attempt to bring back the presence of the Lord (the Ark). The right motivation is no guarantee of God’s blessing. God’s service must be rendered according to God’s law. The work of God calls for right motives and methods.
In verse 9, when the oxen stumbled, Uzza— whose name mean strength—put forth his hand to steady the Ark and the Lord struck him dead. Why? The hands of human strength tried to keep the “moving of the spirit” under control. We don’t move God; He moves us; we don’t touch God; He touches us! So, what is the blessing of being conscious of the presence of the Lord? You can clearly see the blessing when you compare and contrast the houses of Abinadab and Obed-edom (verses 11-14).
Abinadab had the Ark in his house for twenty years (1 Sam. 7:2) and there were no reports of his house being blessed; why, because he wasn’t conscious of the presence of the Lord. Is it because, you lose consciousness of God’s presence when you start practicing the presence of the problem. On the other hand, Obed-edom had the Ark in his house for three months, and had a consciousness of the presence of God and the Lord blessed his household and everything he had. God’s presence is the answer to famine, and there are blessings when you’re conscious of the presence of the Lord!