A Devotional Piece written for Redeemer Anglican Church
The Ark of the Covenant, famously depicted melting the face of Ronald Lacey in Raiders of the Lost Ark, was given to Moses to build as a part of the Tabernacle, the elaborate and rich mobile temple where God would meet with his people as they wandered the wilderness.
God commanded the testimony he gave them to be kept in the Ark, the stone tablets of God’s commandments. Added to this is some of the manna with which God sustained his people in their wanderings. The Law, yes. But also grace.
And upon the Ark was made a Mercy Seat, which would be where God would meet with Moses and speak to him face to face. On each side of the seat are set two cherubim with wings outstretched, overshadowing the Ark.
The Ark of the Covenant is not a stand-in, representing a god like the Idols of the nations. The Mercy Seat is empty, because the shekinah glory of God will appear over it. This is where he has promised to speak to his people, face to face.
Since the Ark, the Testimony, the Seat, and all the rest are given as a specific word from God, this means that they are a copy of something which exists in the heavenly realm, as the author of Hebrews tells us (Hebrews 8:5). But the Ark was lost long ago, along with the tablets of the law. How then can we be assured of God’s presence?
As God prepared for himself a dwelling place through Moses, he prepared a new dwelling for himself in Mary of Nazareth in Galilee.
The old Ark was a sign, a type, of that which was to come.
A place which will be inhabited by the Testimony and the Manna of God, his word and his nourishment for all people.
And the glory of God will overshadow this Ark, but what will come to her are not copies of things in the heavenly realm, but the very Son of God!
The Old Testament saints were zealous for the physical Ark of the Covenant, but perhaps it would be a surprise to them that it was God’s intention one day to make not a tent or building his home, but a human being.
This is a pattern for all of us. God is preparing for himself a dwelling place in every heart, where his word will dwell secure, such that the Testimony of his character and goodness will not be confined to one place, but be known in every corner of the world.