⚡ T̾h̾e̾ ̾ A̾R̾K̾ ̾ o̾f̾ ̾ t̾h̾e̾ ̾ C̾o̾v̾e̾n̾a̾n̾t̾ ⚡ Exodus 37
1 = What's the most important item in your home that you value most?
2 = Once that question is answered, what is the most important thing in your life?
The Ark of the Covenant
1) This was the most important piece or item in the Tabernacle.
✨ T̾h̾e̾ ̾ A̾R̾K̾ ̾ o̾f̾ ̾ t̾h̾e̾ ̾ C̾o̾v̾e̾n̾a̾n̾t̾ ✨
2) The Ark of the Covenant of God or Ark of Testimony, known as God's earthly throne, was a portable box in which the Israelites kept the tablets of the Law Moses received from God, and maybe other sacred items too, probably Aaron's rod and a pot of manna. The tablets were the actual Ten Commandments written with the finger of God.
3) Yesterday we read God had given exceptional skills to Bezalel and Oholiab, and they became two master craftsmen. The large box was made by Bezalel, in fulfilment of God's command through Moses. It was made of Shittim Wood at Sinai, probably the modern red acacia tree, which are normally insect-resistant.
4) It was completely overlaid with gold. It included gold-plated wood with 4 rings attached to its lower corners. It was estimated to be around 131 cms long, 79 cms wide and 79 cms in height. All these were prepared and installed as per God's directions.
5) The priests could insert gold-plated poles and carry the Ark in processions.
6) On top of the Ark cover (mercy seat) sat two golden angelic beings or winged cherubim facing each other, their wings touching their heads ♂♀ (refer the picture sent yesterday). ♨
7) Above the entire Ark dwelled Glory Cloud of God (called Shekinah Glory). From between the two cherubim God used to speak to Moses. ☄
These creatures could be the same fierce cherubim that secured the entrance to the Garden of Eden with flashing swords all four sides (to protect the Tree of Life) after Adam and Eve sinned. The presence of the blessed cherubim shows God is continually attended to by the cherubim at all times. ⚡⚡⚡⚡
(cherub is singular; cherubim is plural).
8) The Ark of the Covenant was a symbol of God's saving presence among the Israelites. Great care was taken to cover the Ark with a veil, so none would see it, including the priests carrying it. During rest time, when it was not carried, the Ark was placed safely inside a Tabernacle erected as tent at that instant. The Tabernacle was God's sanctuary ⛺
9) It accompanied them during their 40-years wanderings in the desert, during which we get to read many stories where the Israelites were protected.
10) After they had started from Sinai, it went to many places, and then it was carried solemnly through the Jordan River on the final leg of the journey when the Israelites entered the Promised Land at Canaan.
11) As soon as the feet of the Levite priests carrying the Ark touched the waters of the River Jordan, that area became completely dry. The waters of the Jordan parted like the Red Sea waters earlier, so the priests could carry the Ark over on dry land to the other side.
12) Later, the Israelite soldiers took the Ark into battle, invoking God's strength against their enemies. God's presence would sanctify, protect, and bring Israel to her destination. ⚔
13) Without God instructing them, the Israelites started using the Ark for their advantage in battles, esp. against the Philistines. When God was not consulted, the Israelites were defeated and the Ark taken. During the time the Ark was with the Philistines for 7 months, the Philistines were plagued with deadly diseases.♂
14) When the Philistines were troubled due to the possession of the Ark, they sent it to Bethshemesh, where their men looked at the Ark, sinned by just looking at the Ark, and were killed by God. Then they moved it to Kirjathjearim, where it remained for 20 years. Later, King David retrieved it and brought it to Jerusalem, desiring to build a great Temple to place the Ark of God in it.
15) There his son Solomon eventually enthroned it in the Holy of Holies, it's special room inside the Temple. When the Ark was placed in the Temple by Solomon, only the Tablets remained inside it.
16) The Ark remained there until the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 B.C., when it was lost to history forever. Maybe it would reappear at the Second Coming of Christ. Just my guess. ⚱
17) On the day of atonement, when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies once every year (probably around October time) and sprinkled the blood upon the mercy seat and between the cherubim, God's judgement for sin fell upon an innocent substitute. After Jesus died for us, God actually saw the blood of Jesus, and His blood would pay the debt once and for all mankind who believe in Him. Jesus' sacrifice on the Cross washes away our sins.
✝ a) For God to dwell within His people there must be willingness to approach God this way, by the way of grace in Jesus.
✝ b) Now, through Jesus, we have our Holy God always with us, within us, present wherever we are! To all believers in Christ, the Ark of the Covenant represents God dwelling within the heart of anyone who loves Him and has received His free gift. Once again we become worthy of God's grace and favour.
✝ c) I was indeed wondering, whether we are all His Arks of the Covenant, as God is in us? Or, is it Jesus, who is the Ark? Because at baptism, we received the Holy Spirit of God. Through Holy Communion, we receive Jesus Christ. Please comment to me personally on this.
✝ d) Whatever is correct, God is in us, and we must keep our hearts pure at all times, strictly staying away from all sins, repenting of our sins, confessing, obeying God's Word, doing good deeds, remaining in prayer, reading the Holy Bible.
✝ e) God demands reverence, respect and righteousness of His children. This is so because of who He is. Just like the pillar of cloud and fire on top of the Ark of the Covenant, may the power of our almighty God guide and protect us from all harm, at all times, in all that we do. Also, always allow God's guidance on our lives, pray and follow God's instructions for us. God was in the midst of the Israelites with the Ark of the Covenant. Now He dwells in the midst of our hearts.
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Romans 12:1 NASB
Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2 ESV
Just as God instructed the Israelites from between the cherubim on the mercy seat, as Christians, we too should be reverent and obedient to God as we consider the gravity of being in His presence.
Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NIV
Remain blessed and anointed in the Lord.
- Bob, Bangalore!
Another unrelated supplementary note:Have you observed in chapter 36, that people responded to Moses with such overwhelming generosity that Moses had to give a commandment that people were to do no more work for the offering of the sanctuary? That's the kind of response we need today. I hope even the ordained ministers of God actively set an example in this regard, rather than always trying to receive much more than they actually give! Most of us lack true honesty when it comes to God's work.
The people at Sinai were restrained from bringing further material, because they had sufficient for all the work to be done (v. 36:7). Wow! May our churches too overflow with needed resources for the furtherance of the Gospel of Christ, without even asking, without any marketing done. And may the resources be used for rightful purposes than be used to squander at will and bring the curse of God upon such!
What we see in the chapter is a delightful picture of how God's people should enthusiastically respond to God's call. But it is remarkably an inspiring picture of what the church could be if people were completely faithful in their stewardship with what God has given. More reason to share more, to use effectively! ⛪
Exodus 35-40, is basically a repeat of chapters 25-31 in terms of content
Moses is passing the instructions to the Israelites that Yahweh instructed Moses atop Mount Sinai regarding how the Tabernacle was to be built, almost word for word.
The tabernacle was the dwelling place of God with them before the temple was built by Solomon.
*It was the place where sacrifices were made,
*it was the place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, and
*it was a place of worship,
….. *a place which was constructed according to the purposes and instructions of God.
In Exodus 35:30-34, it’s the first place in the Bible that mentions people being given special gifts or abilities by the Holy Spirit. We read that God not only equipped the master craftsmen with skill for their own work; he also gave them the ability to teach and supervise others.
*In other words, their gift was NOT just for them.
God gives every one of us special gifts, resources, talents, and abilities- – like teaching, preaching, evangelism, or leading others. Just like the Israelites, we’re called to willingly share our gifts for God’s purposes.
God is inviting each of us to participate in his work with Him.
BUT… He wants it to be done from the heart.
Because He is only interested in our hearts than in our money or talents.
Some of us may think that we don’t know what our gifts are…
It's not all that important to know what your gifts are.
WHAT IS NEEDED IS AN ATTITUDE TO SERVE Wherever we are and whatever opportunities are set before us.
If we're asked to do something, then do it.
If we see a volunteer opportunity at church or in our community,, sign up.
If the church has small-group work meetings, go to them and see what needs to be done.
Are we ready to share what God has given us?
The choice is ours.