A very special box
Do you have a special box where you keep treasures? I remember my mother’s special box. It was a place where she kept two $2 bills (one for me and one for my twin sister), some coins from other countries that she had collected, and other things. This special treasure box also contained a charm bracelet that I loved to admire any chance I could.
I loved looking at the interesting charms and the people or events they were associated with. My mom wouldn’t wear the charm bracelet everyday. She saved it for special times.
There was a special box in the Most Holy Place in the Tabernacle (that tent of worship they built in the wilderness of Sinai) called the Ark of the Covenant. It had been designed by God and crafted by the artists who made the items that were to be placed in the Tabernacle. (see Exodus 25:10-22) It was box covered with a lid, called the Mercy Seat. On top of the lid were cherubim with wings outstretched to cover the ark.
Eventually the Ark of the Covenant would contain the two tablets on which God had carved the 10 Commandments, also a jar of manna and Aaron’s rod which had been used by Aaron and Moses back in Egypt when plagues devastated the land of Egypt. These items couldn’t be taken out and admired anytime someone wanted to. Only the High Priest could go in the room where it was kept, and even he didn’t dare to disturb the contents. God’s people knew the ark was there in that room and they knew it was to be kept holy.
The Ark of the Covenant wasn’t just a treasure box of special items that Moses wanted to keep. It was where God’s Spirit dwelled in the Tabernacle. Each year, on the Day of Atonement, it would be sprinkled with blood to atone for the sins of God’s people. Without blood there was no atonement for sin.
We are not sure what happened to the Ark of the Covenant. The Tabernacle was replaced by the Temple during the reign of King Solomon. The Ark was placed in that Temple. Eventually that temple was destroyed and another built.
God’s Spirit dwells among His people today, not in a special box, but in the hearts of those who have trusted in His Son, Jesus, for their salvation. Jesus came, as a baby, to dwell among us. We celebrate that coming at Christmas each year. On Good Friday Jesus atoned for our sins when he died on the cross. His blood shed for all who could not save themselves.
Thankfully, we can celebrate God’s presence with us each and every day as we walk by faith with Him. Praise God!
On Sunday we’ll talk more about that wonderful salvation!