“Now it happened from the day when the ark remained at Kiriath-jearim, that the time was long; it was twenty years. And all the house of Israel lamented after Yahweh.” 1 Samuel 7:2 LSB https://bible.com/bible/3345/1sa.7.2.LSB
The presence of God, symbolized by the ark of the covenant, was not where it should have been for the people were not worshipping their God as they should have been, instead, they were suffering under the hand of God for worshiping and serving false gods. The philistines were lording it over Israel to their demise, discomfort, and despair until their hearts grieved for the days when God was blessing them when God was providing abundantly for them when God was giving them victory over their enemies. O that the church today would lament for God. Have we grown weary yet of the godlessness plaguing our country? We are not even able now to identify a man or a woman. For these past sixty years, we have denied the truth, disobeyed God, and encouraged each person to do whatever is right in their own eyes. The result? Greater depression, greater suicide, greater chaos, greater division, greater confusion, and greater dependence on chemicals and government. We are not happier or holier people than we were before we became so enlightened, so powerful, and so independent from God. Israel repented after they lamented. They cast out their foreign gods, humbled themselves before God, and sought to obey God. So too the church must do the same if we would see and feel the blessing and presence of God in our midst. We must remove the idol of selfish pleasures and personal pursuits, we must love God first and most and our neighbor as ourselves. We must study Scripture, pray fervently, and share with our neighbor continuously the love of God in Christ Who requires all people everywhere to repent and be born again.