This One Thing
I will not give sleep to my eyes
Or slumber to my eyelids,
Until I find a place for the Lord,
A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob." —Psalm 132:3-5
The first hundred days of a leader's tenure are closely scrutinized, for they establish his or her priorities. David's first act as Israel’s king was to search for the Ark of the Covenant for, he said, "We did not seek it in the days of Saul" (1 Chronicles 13:3).
Saul was a secular man. He cared nothing for the ark, but abandoned it, left it to rot for forty years in an overgrown field. David, however, could not rest until he retrieved the ark and brought it up to Jerusalem and placed it in the little tent that became it's "dwelling place" (2 Samuel 6:1-15).
The ark, as you know, was a little box about the size of an army footlocker. It had no intrinsic value, or magic power, Raiders of the Lost Ark, not withstanding. It was merely a symbol—a visible reminder of the invisible, enduring presence of God, the reality of which dominated David's thoughts and prayers.
David wrote in another place, “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, that I might gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his tabernacle” (Psalms 27:4).
Obviously, David didn't plan to spend the rest of his life sequestered in a little tent, staring at a box. No, this was his way of saying that he treasured God and His love above all else—above mother, brother, friends, money, health, love or life itself. God was the "one thing" necessary—indeed the only thing. This was the measure of his greatness—and ours.