Come TogetherMay 3, 2012 - 5:00 am
“And David said to all the assembly of Israel, ‘If it seems good to you and from the Lord our God, let us send abroad to our brothers who remain in all the lands of Israel . . . that they may be gathered to us. Then let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek itin the days of Saul’.” — 1 Chronicles 13:2-3
Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to visit Israel can attest that the air just feels different there. Maybe it’s the sound of Hebrew – the language of the Bible – on its citizens’ lips, or the sight of Jerusalem – the city where the holy Temple once stood. Whatever the case, even a first-time visitor can feel that Israel is more than just a country on a map. It’s a holy land steeped in centuries of biblical tradition.
But what exactly gives Israel – the Holy Land – that different feel? Was it always this way? In fact, King David asked himself this very question. As he began to solidify his reign over Israel, David wished to imbue his rule with moral, spiritual value. After much discussion, David came to the realization that the Ark of the Covenant, the centerpiece of the Tabernacle, must be brought to his capital. After all, the Ark signified God’s relationship with His people, and for David to rule Israel properly he understood that his reign must be based on the relationship between Israel and God.
David knew, however, that simply transporting the Ark to the nation’s capital would not be enough. The Bible tells us that, as a prerequisite for the arrival of the Ark, David proclaimed that all of Israel must gather together in Jerusalem and receive the Ark as a united nation. David understood that in order for Israel to prosper, both physically and spiritually, all of those who held sacred the values and traditions of Scripture must band together in support for God’s covenant with His people, Israel – a covenant represented by the Ark.
Today, Israel is beset with enemies, and threatened on all sides. Nonetheless, the people of Israel – the people of the Covenant – stand firm in their land, united in loyalty to God, and to their brethren. But God’s people must not stand alone. It is up to us – those of us who honor the biblical values of our ancestors and trust in the God of Scripture – to gather together with all the people of Israel, and show our support for their commitment.