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The Temple and the Ark of God

Text: 2 Chronicles 5: 1-14

The Temple without the Ark is nothing: Solomon had just finished building the temple. And what a magnificent temple it was. But what is the use of a magnificent temple without the ark of God’s covenant? It is for this reason that Solomon summoned all the elders to bring in the ark of God (verse 2). In the same way, the Bible makes it clear that we are God’s temple (2 Corinthians 6: 16-18 ). But what use is our ‘temple’ to God if His ark is not granted a permanent dwelling place in our heart.

The Ark represents His presence and Covenant: What is the big deal with the ark? For Israel, the ark meant the very presence of God and His presence. The ark represents God’s covenant with Israel as a people, and assures them of His abiding presence. When the ark is present, Israel goes out with confidence against their enemies (1 Samuel 4:1-22; and 1 Samuel 5:1-12). When we become God’s children, He gives us the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit becomes to us in reality what the ark represented for Israel – proof of God’s presence and covenant (Ephesians 1: 11-14). Oh, the Holy Spirit in us makes all the difference.

Bringing the Ark Into the Temple: There are three important steps we notice that the priests took in order to bring in the ark of God into the temple…

Consecration: Verse 11 tells us that all the priests had consecrated themselves. This means they had taken time to surrender all to the Lord, and to abstain from evil (2 Corinthians 6: 16-18).

The ark was placed in its proper place: They made sure to place the ark in its proper location- under the wings of the Cherubim. It could have been anywhere else, but under the Cherubim is where God has chosen (verses 7-10). The Holy Spirit lives in the heart of all believers, but only those who give Him His proper place in their lives see His manifested presence.

They offered sacrifices to the Lord: Verses 4-6 tells us that the priests offered sacrificed so many sheep that could not be counted. Sacrifice may stand for appropriating the work of Christ deeply and totally for ourselves (Ephesians 1: 7; Colossians 1:12-20; Colossians 2:13-19; Colossians 3:3-4). It may also imply the act of generous giving to the work of God, or giving to meet the needs of others – in love (2 Corinthians 9: 6-15).

The praise of His Grace: Verses 12-14 tells us that the priests began to praise the Lord God and his wonderful work of grace. They sang to the Lord and worshipped. They worshipped until the weight of his glorious presence filled the whole temple. May our temple be filled with worship and the very weight of his glory!

I feel like singing this old hymn about God's faithfulness. Sing along if you like...

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside