1 Samuel 4:5, "And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook."
In the movie, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, an archaeologist races against Nazi officials to recover the ark. After many perilous encounters, Jones and the ark itself fall into the enemy's hands. Yet through a miraculous turn of events, angels of death emerge from the ark to bring down judgment on the Nazis and spare Jones' life. Although fiction, we catch a glimpse of the power of God's presence and a reminder that He should not be taken for granted.
The ark was a wooden box covered in gold with two angels, called cherubim, on top facing the mercy seat. Every year, a priest was tasked with sprinkling the blood of a spotless lamb over the mercy seat to atone for the Israelite's sins - an appeal for God to show His mercy. When Jesus, the Lamb of God, died on the cross - in a mercy feat - He became the final sacrifice that would atone for the sins of the world. His sacrifice spares us from death; He makes it possible for us to be in the presence of God without fear.
In the Old Testament, the ark symbolizes God's presence. But, now, we no longer need to keep God in a box to experience His presence! With every prayer, we stand before Him. And in everything we do, He is with us and goes before us - no matter what we face.
God's greatest gift to us is His presence. So, let's take a cue from today's verse and make the earth shake with shouts of praise for our great God!
Take a few moments to simply enjoy God's presence. Whether it's through prayer, meditation, or looking at nature and taking in His creation, thank God for His never-ending presence and let Him fill your heart with peace.
God, I am in awe of Your never-ending presence, mercy, and grace. You are a personal and relational God. Therefore, please help me to continue growing in my knowledge of You and in my faith. And, guide my heart to acknowledge Your presence as I go about my day. In Jesus' name, Amen.