One of the greatest tragedies in Christianity is the fact that most believers absolutely lack any understanding of what it means that the presence of God is with them. One of the Lord Jesus’ names is Emmanuel, which means God-with-us. Therefore, by receiving Jesus-Christ into one’s life, one receives ‘God-with-us’, which means that one receives the in-dwelling presence of God into one’s life, commonly known as the presence of the Holy Spirit.
There’s an event that took place in the days of King David that gives us a powerful revelation of the significance of the presence of God in an individual’s life. It’s the story of the time when King David attempted to bring the ark of God back to Jerusalem from the land of the Philistines where it had been held in captivity for years. David and his people set the ark on a cart and headed back to Jerusalem. We read in 2Samuel 6:6-12:
“ And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. 7 And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. 8 And David was displeased, because the Lord had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day. 9 And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and said, How shall the ark of the Lord come to me? 10 So David would not remove the ark of the Lord unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite. 11 And the ark of the Lord continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the Lord blessed Obededom, and all his household. 12 And it was told king David, saying, The Lord hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.” (KJV)
The major points of this story are:
- David became afraid to bring the ark into Jerusalem, lest it kills more people.
- He decided to leave the ark in the field of a man named Obed-Edom.
- God blessed Obed-Edom within the space of 3 months.
- The blessing was such that even King David heard of it!
Here’s what powerful about all this: The name Obed-Edom means ‘Obed of Edom’, or ‘Obed the Edomite’. Therefore, Obed was a descendent of Edom, that is, Esau, Jacob’s brother. This means that there was a serious curse that operated in Obed-Edom’s life: The curse of Esau. This curse put every descendent of Esau under every descendent of Jacob. For this reason, the Edomites who dwelled among the Jews were treated as second-class folks. So much so that when King David became afraid of the ark, he decided to leave it on the property of Obed-Edom, with the reasoning that if the ark must kill people, let it kill those in Obed-Edom’s house. That’s how insignificant the lives of Obed-Edom and his household were to David because of the curse at work.
So when the Presence of God came into the house of Obed-Edom, it broke this curse and turned the situation around between Obed-Edom and David in such a way that if not for the eternal covenant that God had with David, God might have let Obed surpass David! God had planned before the creation of this world that David’s throne would be eternal since Jesus would come into this world through David’s lineage and reign forever. For this reason, God granted David mercy and grace and arranged for him to hear about what was happening in Obed-Edom’s house. This is why David ran to get the ark out of there! And it is also why he danced so hard when he finally brought the ark into Jerusalem. He had seen how powerfully the ark could bless people, and rejoiced because he was bringing this great Presence of God into his own city!
Kings don’t usually hear about every little thing that’s happening in the kingdom. Court officers only share important information with their kings. So what God began to do in the life of Obed-Edom was so powerful that King David’s officers felt the need to tell him about it! In fact Obed-Edom’s case is a classic example of the saying ‘the stone the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone!’ Here’s how this saying apply to this case: In the days of the kings, a person’s wealth determined his status in the society, and the very wealthy one were treated like kings. The common people flocked to the wealthy people for help with all kinds of matters, including passing judgment between them, just as they would go to the king. This is why, when Absalom wanted to dethrone his father King David, he went and sat at the King’s gate and directed the people to him for all their needs and issues. He helped them with their needs, and judged between them. Thus, he usurped his father’s office and position before the people. Instead of fighting his own son over the power of the kingdom, David chose to abdicate and leave the palace for Absalom. If Obed-Edom had been left alone with the ark in his house, he too could have grown in power and influence over King David.
In order for you to grasp the enormity of what happened in Obed-Edom’s life, consider this: It is the work and power of the curse of Esau that we are still witnessing today in the Middle-East between the Israelis and the Palestinians. No United Nations intervention and no deals brokered between the Israelis and Palestinians by anybody will ever break the hold that the Israelis have on the Palestinians. Isaac said to Esau that if he succeeded in breaking off the yoke that the curse has placed on his neck, then he would become free from it (see Genesis 27:40). The uprisings that the Palestinians engage in today is called ‘Intifadah’, which means ‘break off’. As we know, they keep trying to break off the Israelis’ hold on them, and never succeed!
This is why it is such a powerful thing that God was willing to break this curse in the life of Obed-Edom. Here are some powerful lessons from this:
- Whom God curses, no one can bless!
- Whom God curses, He can turn around and bless!
Think about this: Could God bless someone while keeping his curse on the person? He had to first of all cancel the curse of Esau in order for His blessing to work in Obed-Edom’s life. THIS IS THE AWESOME BENEFIT THAT BELIEVERS GET TO ENJOY FOR HAVING THE PRESENCE OF GOD IN THEIR LIVES! He comes into our lives ready to destroy every curse that may have been operating in our lives, and to replace it all with His awesome blessings! This is why if God is with you, who can be against you??? If God’s presence is with you, how can any curse work against you? How could He stand idly by while some curses are waging war against you?!? Rather He moves in and looks around your life, and sets out to destroy everything in your life that has been causing you trouble! In Obed-Edom’s case, verse 12 says “The Lord hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God.”
The keyword in that passage is ‘pertaineth’. It means that God went to work to bless Obed-Edom everything that even remotely pertained to the man. If a matter concerned Obed-Edom in any way at all, God dealt with it on his behalf to give him victory in the matter! This is what God wants to be able to do in the life of every single child of His in this world, and it pains Him so much to see His children suffering at the hands of various curses, all because we fail to live lives that would be conducive to His divine and Holy Presence!
Brethren, I pray that as you read these words, you develop a deep hunger for the presence of God in your life, and that you determine yourself to walk in holiness and righteousness, that the Lord might be willing to dwell in your life. You simply cannot make it as a Christian without his holy presence in your life because, as we know, the kingdom of God – Christianity – is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17). It is only His presence in you that can place His righteousness on you, and enable you to have His supernatural peace and joy flowing in you.
Make your life conducive to God’s divine presence, and begin to see His awesome power at work in your life, to His glory!