Obed-Edom a Foreigner Who Preferred His Presence


Let’s look at an example in the Bible of one who preferred the Presence of the Lord and the resulting blessing for having this preference. I am speaking about Obed-Edom. I always thought he was Jewish, but I found out that he was actually a converted Philistine from Gath who lived in Judah. The thing that makes him so special is that this Gentile foreigner was given the privilege to house the Ark of the Presence of God. Why? Why would King David entrust a foreigner with the task of hosting the most sacred and holy item from the Tabernacle of God (the literal Mercy Seat of God)? I believe David’s choice revealed Obed-Edom’s preference and love for the Presence of God. He loved God more than himself.

David removed not the Ark unto Him into the city of David, but carried it aside into the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. And the Ark of God remained with the family of Obed-Edom in his house three months; and the LORD blessed the house of Obed-Edom, and all that he had.”
1 Chronicles 13:12-14

Obed-Edom and His House

Obed-Edom and His House
My theory is supported first by the pleasure and blessing that was poured out all over Obed-Edom and his house. Yes, all that he had was blessed! But there is another sign that I’m right, and it’s revealed by what Obed-Edom did after the ark was moved up to Jerusalem. Obed-Edom chose to become a gatekeeper in the house of the Lord. Yes, he was willing to be a simple doorkeeper and attendant in the service of the Lord. He preferred the Presence of the Lord this much.

He also left Obed-Edom and his sixty-eight associates to minister with them. Obed-Edom son of Jeduthun, and also Hosah, were gatekeepers.
1 Chronicles 16:38 NIV

Imagine, throwing all in to be as close as you can be because you yearn for the Lord’s Presence that much! Obed-Edom saw the fruit of his preference for God with the blessings that covered his house after housing the Ark. But he didn’t just “take the money and run,” so to speak; he cashed in by making his preference a permanent thing. He would live in service to that very Blesser.

I’ll Be A Doorkeeper

I'll Be A Doorkeeper
A doorkeeper is not a priest. It’s the lowest station in connection with the Lord’s house. But Obed-Edom preferred this position over any higher position among the godless. For him, it was bliss to wait at the threshold and peek in. Obed-Edom considered it an honor to bear the burden and open doors for the Lord.

Kind of reminds me how Joshua stayed in the tent after Moses left the Presence of the Lord. Joshua preferred the Lord’s presence in the afterglow and proved it with his actions.

Inside the Tent of Meeting, the Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.
Exodus 33:11 NLT

The reward of preferring God to our self is huge. Blessing abounds for this one. But what we find is that it is not the blessing which is the motivation, but the Lord Himself. One who prefers the presence of the Lord will not only seek but also will find. This is the way of the Lord. When we give all up for God, He becomes our all.

A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.
Psalm 84:10 NLT

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8 months ago

Thank you for this informative and inspiring write up on Obed-Edom. Its really beautiful!

3 years ago

Another beautifully painted thought! It would have been torture for him to live with anything other then His presence after having been that close to God all if that time. I guess he was pretty saturated and never wanted to thirst again! I am reminded of the very thing David asked God not to cast him away from his presence or take His Holy Spirit from him. David would have been bankrupt. I am a teacher and feel His presence so strongly when I teach. My classes are held outside…Science and Social Studies…Team Building…I especially feel His presence outside. When… Read more »

3 years ago

When HE Himself is our preference & pleasure, everything in us is inclined toward Him; our heart ever toward Him. It isn’t what He gives, it’s Who He is. Anything, anytime, anyplace, in any way, it’s His pleasure & the satisfaction of His Heart that matters most. Our will prefers Him in choice. To be a living ark of His presence, this is heart engaged with His Heart of Love. When He is satisfied, we are satisfied..that’s love. The passionate joy of Obed-Edom! For us just plain people…& to think He’s made us His temple! A place of the presence… Read more »

3 years ago

What you are writing about now is so powerful! Thank you, thank you!

3 years ago
Reply to  Anna

Thank you so much Anna!

Tony Marotta
3 years ago

Thank you beloved brother. Amen and amen Let it be so in all of us.

3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Marotta

I agree totally. Love you Tony!

Kimberly Sutherland
3 years ago

Very beautiful!!!

3 years ago

Thank you so much Kimberly. So glad it spoke to you. I really love the Obed-edom reality!

3 years ago


3 years ago
Reply to  tammy

Right back at you Tammy! ❤️❤️