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Exodus Devotional | Day 3: The Greater Ark of the Covenant

The Book of Exodus

The Greatness of God to His People in Need

God Stays With Us and Goes With Us, Day 3

“1Bezalel made the ark of acacia wood. Two cubits and a half was its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. 2 And he overlaid it with pure gold inside and outside, and made a molding of gold around it. 3 And he cast for it four rings of gold for its four feet, two rings on its one side and two rings on its other side. 4 And he made poles of acacia wood and overlaid them with gold 5 and put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark to carry the ark. 6 And he made a mercy seat of pure gold. Two cubits and a half was its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. 7 And he made two cherubim of gold. He made them of hammered work on the two ends of the mercy seat, 8 one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end. Of one piece with the mercy seat he made the cherubim on its two ends. 9 The cherubim spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat were the faces of the cherubim.” - (Exodus 37:1-9)

The Bible is one big book--a collection, or anthology--of writings that we take as God’s Word, and it’s all about Jesus. Everything in the Bible, either more or less, directly or indirectly, points us toward the truth about who Jesus Christ is, what he’s done, and what that means for us. So, we’ve seen the following truths in Exodus:

  • Jesus is the greater Moses, the liberator and shepherd, leading his people out of slavery--not simply from human masters, but the mastery of sin

  • Jesus is the greater staff--when thrown down, he devours Pharaoh’s serpents, signaling his defeat over the greater serpent, Satan

  • Jesus’ Kingdom is the greater Promised Land--not simply an earthly paradise, “flowing with milk and honey;” it’s an eternal, perfect place of peace, where God reigns and dwells with us

Exodus 37 begins with the construction of the “ark,” a vessel God instructs Moses to make. It contains the Ten Commandments (God’s Law), a piece of Aaron’s staff (symbolizing God’s power), and a jar of mana (the bread from Heaven God supplied, representing his provision). On top of the ark is a space called “the mercy seat.” This is where God’s presence, when worshipped in the tabernacle, came to rest.

It was the centerpiece of the entire tabernacle and only the proper priests, ritually cleansed and having offered sacrifices, were allowed to draw near to it, much less, touch it. It was there that Aaron and other Levite priests would go to speak with God and worship him. All of the Israelites, even Moses, had to stay outside of the confines of the entire tabernacle, lest they be struck dead. God dwelt with his people, as they moved and stayed in various places, but they were never allowed into his direct presence.

Today, I want you to really think hard and then seek gratitude and wonder over this: Jesus is the greater ark and tabernacle. He’s the living Word of God, perfectly obeying God’s Law (the 10 commandments); he has all the power and authority of God as Christ (remember the staff?); and he’s the Bread of Life, the provider of our very lives (look at the mana); it’s because of Jesus that we can enter into God’s presence in prayer and in life, fully welcomed because the sacrifice has been made and we’ve been washed by his blood; the mercy seat is now Jesus’ throne and we’re welcome to meet with him, wherever and whenever we are.

  1. When you pray--or try to pray--do you recognize the great honor and gift it is that the Israelites never had?

  2. As you talk with God today, I want you to think and then honor him for being all that we need him to be; thank God for his perfection on your behalf, his power on your behalf, and his provision to you.

  3. Remember today, that as you go about your life and business, the greater ark of the covenant has found its seat in your heart and mind, and that God, himself stays and goes with you.

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