Thursday, 13 June 2019

The Ark of the Lord

Scripture: 1 Samuel 5 v 7: "And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for His hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god."

Throughout the ages people have wanted to find the lost Ark of the Lord because the power of it confers complete protection. However, it was given to Israel as the Chosen people, to keep it in the Holy Place. To anyone else it became a huge destruction.

Wherever they went through the wilderness in their exodus from Egypt, a special tent was erected in the centre of the twelve tribes camped around it. This tent was a microcosm of the temple built by Solomon. At the very back of the tent was a curtained off portion called the Holy of Holies. In this place the Ark of the Covenant rested.

In the time of Samuel the prophet, the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and put it in Dagon's temple - Dagon is a false god. The next morning their idol  had fallen on his face and was broken.  To add to this shock  bubonic plague had also broken out in that city. 

So the Philistines decided to send it back to Israel via Gath and that city also contracted the plague. Next it was sent to the city of Ekron but they refused to let the Ark enter the gates as bad news travels fast.

Wherever the Ark went in the hands of the enemies of Israel they were destroyed by the mighty power of God. It was eventually sent back in style by allowing the Hebrews to collect it themselves. 

But Uzzah, King David's friend, riding alongside the Ark put out his hand to steady the Ark over some rough ground, and died on the spot. David was afraid and angry. He sent the Ark into the nearby home of Obed-edom for 3 months till he found the safest route for it to come to Jerusalem. Obed-edom received great blessings because the Ark was in his house.

That Ark represents Jesus Himself who now lives within you and who protects you just as fiercely as the Ark protected Israel, and scares your enemies away as long as you continue in holy righteous living. Anyone who puts a hand upon the people under His protection will suffer loss.

Jesus within you will destroy the idols in your life  and fill you with peace, healing and victory over your problems. One of the great attributes of the Ark was that Israel could not be defeated by any nation while she had the Ark and was being obedient to God. The same applies to us when Jesus is our Lord in more than name only.

Israel today is still under God's protection as her enemies try daily to destroy her.  Jerusalem is still standing and none of the cities of Israel look ruined like Gaza and the cities of Syria.  The cowardly terrorists barricade themselves within hospitals and schools to garner sympathy from the world when Israel targets their strongholds.  She also sends out leaflets to the Palestinians about upcoming attacks so they stay safe in their homes.

When plagues and pestilences like Covid 19, bubonic plague, ebola, HIV/AIDS, SARS, swine flu, bird flu, civil wars etc. trouble a nation, the root of the trouble is gross disobedience to God. Corruption in high places breeds a heavy burden of disease, destruction, death and loss of finance.   This is happening worldwide now as The Lord God Almighty reminds us that He is on the Throne of the Universe.

When we flout His will for us and turn that which He calls an abomination into acceptable church practice, expect a response!  Throughout history He has responded to the enemies of His Kingdom......

Nations steeped in idolatry are brought down by drought, floods, tsunamis, superstorms, earthquakes. They have rejected Jesus the Ark made flesh, and accepted doctrines of devils. Nothing happens on this planet that God does not know about. Through stubbornness comes calamity.  Jesus drew all men to Himself becoming a magnet as He hung dying. Now as we live in love and righteousness the Holy Spirit is our individual portion of the Ark of the Covenant of our Lord.

When Jesus died the four-inch-thick curtain interwoven with strands of gold, that separated the Ark from the priests and congregation, split down the middle from top to bottom. It was God's acknowledgment of Jesus the human Ark removing the curtain of the Law through His sacrifice and opening the Holy of Holies to all who respected it.

Prayer: Heavenly Father The Ark is very holy and precious to You especially in dealings with Israel.  Christians have been thought of as feeble and poor yet we have Your mighty power within us. Teach us to respect the power of Jesus and handle it very wisely. In Jesus' name. Amen.