Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BLESSED (03/07/19)
- TITLE: Chronicles of a Neighborhood Watchman
By Karlene Jacobsen
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I visited often. No one dared touch that ark. A reverential fear hovered over us whenever going near its room. Even the youngest of children would allow enough berth around it to keep from accidentally brushing up against it—after all, that’s how Uzzah died. His story will likely follow after us for generations. “Be careful to respect the presence of the LORD,” men would whisper as they guided us away from it.
If I wasn’t so fearful of certain death, I might want to entertain the ark in my home for a spell. I mean, not only did Obed-Edom’s family maintain safe boundaries when near it, their home, like a magnet, attracted blessings. I believe they were as shocked (at first) as the next soul to see how their struggles seemed to ease. Had this been a trickle, I am certain neighbors would have given a slight nod, acknowledging Obed-Edom’s good fortune, then gone about their day.
Crops didn’t suffer regardless of weather conditions, cattle health became known as best of the region, babies birthed without incident, the Jordan could be in flood season and still couldn’t keep up with the flow of blessing. Enemies of the family either vanished or became too fearful of attacking due to the weighty presence of G*d hovering over the entire household.
But news of the Edom family’s newfound prosperity reached the ears of the king—the very man who, in anger, chose to leave it with them. I do wish I were a gnat on his wall when news of this rose to his hearing. “Three months now … and the king left it with them … blessed … can’t believe it myself … if only we could bring that ark here … imagine what our economy would look like with G*d’s presence here …”
Whatever the words, the king’s determination to get that ark to the City of David became an unquenchable hunger. The commotion his throng created had everyone up and lining the streets to witness the event. We had no idea what was happening until a priest, in regal garments I’d only read about, led the procession of other priests dressed in equal splendor, who carried poles on their shoulders, each pole running through a ring on the side of the ark. Every six steps they stopped, a sacrifice was made, then they moved six more feet. Now, I don’t mind saying, there were a lot of fattened calves slaughtered that day. But the sight of the king and his cohort dancing with abandon in worship of their G*d was something to behold.
I will never forget the nights following. The quiet. The solemnity. Our grief over the ark’s absence. It was as though our souls would break if we didn’t experience the blessing of its presence again. The story of the ark traveled about town. “It was more than a piece of furniture, children. It represented the One who can mend our broken souls. G*d Himself paid us a visit.”
Oh, how we long for the presence of G*d again.
*2 Samuel 6
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