At the end of chapter six of 1st Samuel the Ark of the Covenant is released by the Philistines and under God’s gracious direction returns to His people. It does not take up its rightful place in the tabernacle but resides in Kirath-Jearim for some twenty years.

The Ark was Israel’s glory. It represented God’s presence with them. To some it had appeared that God had abandoned His people, yet, although He had every right to do so, he graciously returned and remained with them. The whole time was a time of confusion and turmoil. They remained divided, and although God had returned to them, they did not truly return to Him. They demanded a King, God gave them one, Saul, who created even more confusion and chaos. It wasn’t until the kingdom was united under David that the Ark took up its rightful place in the tabernacle God had constructed for it. The nation then found peace, harmony and unity.

I think Wiersbe really captures the significance of this story for us. He says, “What the Ark was to Israel, Jesus Christ is to God’s people today; and when He is given His rightful place of preeminence in our lives, He will bless us and work on our behalf when Jesus Christ is Lord, the future is your friend, and you can walk through each day confident of His presence and His help.”