By Paul V. Reynolds
There is no need to take the church seriously … it’s not a big deal! Fit your devotions into the flow of your life style.
It’s the popular mind set of our day! It’s The baby boomer’s philosophy and it has swept millions into it’s subtle spider web. It’s “thought pattern” leaves whole congregations stripped of their Apostolic power and glory.
It’s a crying shame! From the sanctuary – and with the Word of God we are going to attack this vile spirit.
And the Philistines fought and Israel was smitten and they fled every man into his tent: and there slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot-men. And the ark of God was taken …”
I Samuel 4:10, 11
“… THE ARK … OF … GOD … WAS … TAKEN …” Tragic words! They summarize Israel’s pathetic state after God walked out. Loosing the battle to the Philistines was both humiliating and disgusting. Loosing the ark was TRAGIC and TERMINAL. It defies logic!
For a people who had so much to lose it is nothing short of incredible. They – that is – Israel, lost it all. Now, I don’t mean to be negative but it is the ultimate question – “Will this bit of spiritual history be repeated in the church?”
ONE: THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
Away from the noise of the outer camp … in beyond the bloody altar and washing laver of the outer court … passing through the flickering candle-lit Holy Place … beyond the thick dividing veil — was what was known to every Hebrew as the HOLY OF HOLIES.
This innermost room of Israel’s church was so hallowed, so sacred and so holy that the High Priest could only enter once a year on the day of atonement! And get this: Only one piece of furniture graced this holy compartment –
THE ARK OF THE COVENANT!
- The very seat of God’s presence.
- The dwelling place and habitation of Jehovah God.
- Made of Shittim wood and overlaid with pure gold – 1.5 cubits deep – 1.5 cubits wide and 2.5 cubits long.
- The cover of the ark was called the mercy seat. From the sides of the mercy seat rose TWO CHERUBIM with raised wings. Between these wings dwelt the very presence and habitation of Jehovah. I don’t need to tell you this made Israel special and distinctive among the nations of the world. Ahhhh – so special!
The Shikina presence of God gave the children of Abraham status — great power and glory. It marked her as different and distinctive. It set her apart from all other nations.
As long as the presence of God sat between the cheru-bims, water would gush from flinty rock to quench their thirsty … heavenly food would feed their hungry … clothes lost their decaying quality. Enemies dared not touch these glorious children of God — THEY POSSESSED THE ARK!