Sunday, 20 October 2019

The Ark of the Covenant

Scripture: 1 Kings 8 v 6 - 11: "And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, into the oracle of the house, to the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.
7  For the cherubims spread forth their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above.
8  And they drew out the staves, that the ends of the staves were seen out in the holy place before the oracle, and they were not seen without: and there they are unto this day.
9  There was nothing in the ark save the two tables of stone, which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant with the children of Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
10  And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD,
11  So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD."

The Ark of the Covenant is a mystery to many to this day.  People search for the lost Ark for its value as an historical antique worth billions of dollars.  It is also said to possess a unique power that whoever owns it can never be defeated in battle.

This probably was as a result of the exodus from Egypt, and the conquering of tribes along the way.  It would have been greatly enhanced by the overthrow of Jericho.  It's walls were so high and thick that the city was impregnable by any known army.  Until the Israelites marched around it singing praises to their God.

Then walls which so wide that six chariots could drive around them side by side, suddenly went straight down into the ground at the blast of a trumpet.

Joshua 6 v  13 and 20: "And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets.

20  So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city."

We have no idea whether the Lord caused a sonic boom that took out those walls, or a pure miracle that flattened them, but after this news got out everyone wanted the Ark.

The first to steal it were the Philistines in the time of Samuel the prophet, when King Saul fell on his sword, and David became king of Israel.  Wherever the Ark was placed outside of Israel, misery struck.  The idol of their god, Dagon, fell over and shattered in a locked temple.  The bubonic plague broke out in every city that housed it, to the extent that no one wanted this Ark anywhere near them.  They had to return it with proper ceremony to its rightful owners. 

Even then, David's best friend, Uzzah, died trying to prevent the Ark being toppled when the oxen drawing its cart stumbled.  He touched the Ark and died.  This angered and unnerved David who stopped the journey immediately and had the Ark carried into the house of Obededom.
2 Samuel 6 v 8 - 11: "And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day. 
9  And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?
10  So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obededom the Gittite.
11  And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household."

Here we see that in the home of Obededom, an Israelite, the Ark brings blessings continuously.  So it's only when its in the right hands that the Ark of the Covenant relationship between God and Israel brings power, protection and blessing.  In the hands of her enemies it wreaks havoc.

For us today as Christians, the Ark of the Lord is the Holy Spirit who gives us protection, healing, power and blessing, which remains with us always unless we are wilfully disobedient.  He conveys our prayers to the Father and brings us answers, gifts and love from Him to us.

We are a new creation that is higher than "only human".  More is expected of us because we are now all priests and kings unto Jesus our Lord and King.  We must reign with Him, which means we are responsible for keeping the peace, loving our enemies, restoring moral purity, being sober, having wisdom from above, laying down our lives for our brethren.

We cannot make the excuse, "I am only human" any more.  That is a lie now because the Godhead dwells within us.  Colossians 2 v 6 - 10: "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 
9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:"

So the Ark the world is looking for now indwells us.  It has the same overcoming powers and authority that Jesus had on Earth, and He said we could do even greater things than He did.  We must trust Him and be obedient.  Let go of tradition and philosophy and be bold, be strong for the Lord our God is with us.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for the power, love and protection You have given us through the Holy Spirit, our own personal "Ark".  No wonder the enemy fears us and wants to divert and destroy us before we actually know who we really are.  Help us to know it without and doubt.  In Jesus' name. Amen.