The Ark of the Covenant

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Are you reading the Bible through with me? Grab your pen and journal, and get ready to write your thoughts as you journey through the Bible.

Today, read Exodus 37-38. There are 929 chapters in the 39 books of the Old Testament. Approximately 50 chapters refer to the construction, furnishing, and regulations of the Tabernacle, or worship place. This was “the dwelling place of Yahweh (God)” among His people.

Inside the tabernacle was a place called the Holy of Holies, where there was a large box called the Ark of the Covenant, or Mercy Seat. This Mercy Seat is where God would descend and accept burnt sacrifices.

Bezalel constructed the Ark of the Covenant. It wasn’t large. It was 45 inches long, 23 inches wide and 27 inches high. It was overlaid with pure gold inside and out and he placed gold molding around it. At each end, he created golden cherubim, or angels, facing each other with bowed heads and with their wings outstretched so that they literally covered the Mercy Seat.

At each lower corner of the Ark was a gold ring. These served a dual purpose. They served as the feet of the Ark, but when the Ark was to be moved when the Israelites traveled to a new location, it could not be touched by human hands. In fact, we will see in Numbers 4 that when it was moved, it was to be covered with at least 3 layers of cloth to prevent the priest or Levites from even seeing it. Poles were then placed through the gold rings so that it could be moved without a human touching it.

Why such care regarding the Ark? Simply because the Ark represented the Presence of the Holy One, the Sovereign God of all. No sinner could stand in the presence of His holiness. Once a year, God allowed the High Priest to enter that Holy of Holies to offer the sacrifice for atonement of the sins of the people. For anyone to enter at any other time would be instantaneous death.

God still takes sin very seriously! For those of us who have been born into a new life through the Lord Jesus, He Himself became the atonement for our sins and made us right with God. BUT, as His children, we must respect His holiness and realize His desire is for us to be holy, too. To fail to respect God is to invite disaster and even judgement. We should desire and try hard to be just like Jesus.

When was the last time that you wept over your sinfulness, dropped to your knees to confess and repent of your sins? When was the last time you opened your life to the Holy Spirit and prayed, “Cleanse me, fill me and use me to bring glory to the Father? Perhaps that should be your prayer today!

In your journal, list those sins which keep you from being holy. Ask forgiveness for each one, then pray for strength to overcome those sins. Work on being holy.

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