Devotion – Exodus 37

I’m a fan of the Indiana Jones movies, and I especially like the first one, Raiders of theLost Ark.  In this movie, the primary character, Dr. Indiana Jones is in search of the lost Ark of the Covenant.  He is searching for the very box that was made by this man, Bazalel in this chapter.

The Ark of the Covenant was a very important item for the Hebrew people, because it represented the presence of God.  When the Tabernacle was set up, the Ark would be in the Most Holy Place in the middle of the tent.  While the people were traveling, the Ark would go before them.  The Ark was made of wood, but covered in pure gold.  It had rings around the bottom, with two rods that ran through the rings.  It could only be carried by priests, and the priests could not touch the Ark itself, but could only carry it with the rings.  On top of the Ark was this elaborate image with a pair of cherubim (angels) with their wings spread out, and the Mercy Seat of God.  This Mercy Seat represented the place of God’s forgiveness.  It was a sort of throne, but when God sat on this throne, He accepted the sacrifice and forgave the people of t heir sins.  Three things were placed on the inside of the Ark.  First of all, the tablets of the Ten Commandments was inside.  God also had them place manna and the rod of Aaron in the Ark.  This box would always be a reminder of how a loving God provided deliverance for His people from the Egyptians.

The Ark was a thing of real beauty.  Imagine the feeling the people must have had to have the Ark lead them on their journeys and into their battles.  But the Ark also possessed the power of God.  Once, when David was the king, some men carried the Ark on a cart (see 2 Samuel 6:1-11).  God’s command was that the Ark was always to be carried by priests with the rods.  But it was easier to pull it behind some oxen on a wagon.  In the journey, the wagon began to tip and a man named Uzzah reached up to brace the Ark, and was instantly struck dead by God.  This seems harsh, but remember, the Ark signified the presence of God among His people.  He commanded the people to treat His presence with reverence and fear.  On the other hand, when the Hebrews took the Ark to battle, and were obedient to God, His presence brought victory.

In Raiders of the Lost Ark, both Jones and the German army are searching for the Ark in hopes that they can get the same power the Hebrews experienced.  Truth be told, the Ark disappeared when the Temple was destroyed about 500 years before the birth of Christ, and nobody knows where it went.  But God’s presence did not go away.  The message of the Gospel is that the new Ark of the Covenant is the heart of people who have repented and received Jesus as their Lord.  The same presence of God that was in the Ark is in us.

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