ArkofCovenant – Week9

Thank you all much for a great fall Bible Study on the Ark of the Covenant. In nine short weeks, we covered a lot of scriptural territory and discovered a lot about our God and ourselves. Attached are the final notes from lesson 9 and below is a short (10 min) video that encapsulates the Garden of Eden, the Tent of Meeting and the Temple built by King Solomon. The video is nicely done and will give you a visual while explaining many of the things we covered in the study on the Ark. Of course, it all points to Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith.

Until the next Bible study, be encouraged and know, I pray your strength in the Lord,Pastor Rossstrawbridgeumc.org

Greetings God’s representation in all the earth —

In last week’s study in the book of 1 Samuel, we saw the passing of the leadership mantle from Eli to Samuel (both of whom served as priest, judge and prophet) and we witnessed the glory of God dissipating over the Ark of the Covenant because of the desecration of the sacrament and offering by the servant priests, Hophni and Phineas. The resulting outcome was the Ark of the Covenant was captured (by a non-covenant people) and Hophni and Phineas perished at the hand of God.The Ark in enemy hands did not work out for those who captured it, as their cities were plagued with diseased rats and the people (mostly men) suffered tumors and death. Ultimately, they returned God’s Ark to the rightful owners and returned it with an offering. Whenever the enemy takes advantage of us, God demands our freedom and it must come with reward and increase granted us [note the similarities in how Israel left Egypt]. The Ark of God was in Shiloh and after capture and return, it remained for more than 20 years at Kiriath-Jearim in the custody of the priest, Eleazer. The nation Israel have moved from judges as leaders and now have kings. Saul the Benjaminite was the first king (chosen by the people) and David is the second (hand-picked by Yahweh). The issue of the Ark is revisited under David’s reign.This week we look at scriptures in 2 Samuel 5, 6 and 7, and 1 Chronicles 13-17, that divulge more Ark revelation. Read the following excerpts from scripture and answer the questions for discussion:EXERCISE for Preparation–1. Read 2 Samuel 5:1-12    a. In verses 4-5, David’s reign is defined by years. Do these numbers make you think of anything else in our faith?    b. Note the names of the places David conquers. What different names are given to the area occupied by Jebusites?    c. In verses 10-12, what are we told is a hallmark of King David?2. Read 2 Samuel 6:1-23 and 7:1-17    a. What huge mistake does King David make in moving the Ark of the Covenant? What event shows God’s anger?    b. What reason is given for the death of Uzzah? Do you feel this was fair?
        Can you understand how poor or errant leadership can set one up for failure?    c. After the event of God’s anger, where does King David send the Ark? What happens there?    d. As the Ark was heading to the capital city, what is David’s wife, Michal’s disposition? Why do you suppose this is so?    e. In chapter 7, what does King David purpose to do with the Ark? What does the prophet Nathan tell the king?    f. Why do you suppose some commentators believe verses 11b-16 speak of Jesus Christ?3. Read 1 Chronicles chapters 13, 15:1-15, 25-29; 16:1-6 and 17:1-15    a. What major differences do you find in this set of scriptures?    b. [* Based on your JEPD understanding, which tradition is the 2 Samuel text versus the 1 Chronicles text?]    c. [* How do the verses in 17:10b-14 (again, who commentators say refer to Christ) read different?]

ArkofCovenant – Week7

Greetings carriers of God’s covenant —

In last week’s study in the Book of Joshua, we saw the passing of the leadership mantle from Moses to Joshua and we witnessed the power of God passing to those carrying the Ark of the Covenant. This was no accident, but Almighty design and begins to display a pattern with God. His power and conversation was first with His servant Moses and passed to the Levitical priests; similarly His anointing and power was with His only Son, Yeshua (translated Jesus), before being passed to His church, a royal priesthood. Not incidentally, that means YOU and me.While carrying the Ark, the priests were able to stop the waters of the Jordan (Josh 3-5), defeat the massive wall around Jericho (Josh 6) and take the land God promised by conquering foes and inhabiting the land (Josh 7-22). In Joshua 23 and 24, the new leader begins giving his farewell address, dies, and is buried in Ephraim. In chapter 18 of the book, we hear the last mention of the Ark of the Covenant (for a while at least) as we are told it resides in Shiloh. Joshua 18:1 reads, the entire Israelite community assembled at Shiloh and set up the Tent of Meeting there; the land had been subdued by them.God is now shifting again and will appoint leaders for the nation called judges and kings. Just to be clear, the leadership for this nation has been a founding father (Abraham), forefathers (Isaac, Jacob), prophets (Moses), priests (Aaron and Levites) and (now) judges and kings — all roles and titles we will ultimately realize in Christ Jesus. The name of the place, Shiloh, is interesting because the Hebrew word is used as the title for Messiah (Gen 49:10). This now is the site of Israel’s early sanctuary and the Ark is only mentioned once in Judges 20:27, as Israel consults with it to fight there cousins, the Benjaminites. Hitherto, our study will pick up in the Book of 1st Samuel.EXERCISE for Preparation–1. Read Deuteronomy 10:1-5    a. Based on what you know, what troubles you concerning all you read in this text?    b. Given what you learned from the JEPD Theory, how can your concerns about the text be eased?2. Read 1 Samuel 2:12-14, 22-24 & 27-35; also 3:1 & 19-21    a. What nationality is Eli, Hophni and Phineas?    b. What nationality is Samuel? What is odd about v21, the Lord revealing Himself to Samuel?    c. [*Bonus question] Base on the authors of JEPD, which type of writing is this? (J, Yahwist; E, Elohist; P, Priestly)3. Read 1 Samuel chapters 4, 5 and 6    a. Look at the attached map and locate Shiloh and Philistia.    b. The Israelites took the Ark of the Covenant into battle. Why did they suffer a horrible defeat?    c. Did God make good on His promise to Eli and his family from chapter 2?    c. What do you discern is the plight for non-covenant people possessing the Ark of God’s Testimony?    d. How long did it take the Philistines to surmise they should return the Ark to it’s owners? What is seven?    e. What do you make of their idea for an offering and manner of return in 6:4-9?

Priestly greetings all–

In last week’s study in the Book of Numbers, we saw how the Ark of the Covenant was to be made mobile. The levitical priests had to first cover it with the veil that separated the Holy of holies and shoulder the Ark via the poles during transport. They only moved when the pillar of cloud (symbolizing God’s presence) was taken up and moved. When the pillar of cloud rested, the nation rested and the tabernacle was set up again. They left the foot of Mt Sinai and continued on the journey towards the land God promised Abraham, a land flowing with milk and honey.Twelve spies were sent into the Promised Land and asked to bring back fruit from the land and a report concerning the inhabitants. Ten spies gave a bad report, while two (Joshua and Caleb) testified that everything the Lord had spoken was true and the land could be immediately taken and occupied. The people believed the ten and begin to complain to Moses; they longed to return to Egypt and slavery, fearing they had been led into the wilderness to die. After the ten were struck down by the Lord, the people foolishly tried to take the inhabitants of the Promised Land by force and failed miserably. Neither Moses nor the Ark went with them on this fool-hearted escapade. The resulting punishment from God was they wandered in the desert 40 years until all the adults who came out of Egypt and passed through the Red Sea had died (including Moses); Caleb and Joshua were spared. The mantle of leadership was passed to Joshua and they are now poised again to enter the Promised Land.Exercise–1. Read Joshua 1:1-11    a. What do you learn from this text?    b. What book is being spoken of in verse 8?2. Read Joshua chapter 3 and chapter 4:9-11 & v14-24    a. What amazing powers are given to those carrying the Ark?    b. Do you feel you have the power to stop ‘troubled waters?’ Why or why not?    c. Read Joshua 5:1 Do you feel people outside the church fear God’s people?3. Read Joshua 6:1-20    a. What is different about the arrangement concerning the Ark?    b. Describe the transfer of the power of God in these text.    c. Is there a fortified stronghold or thing in your life (or your family’s) where you need the wall removed?    d. Given the new found revelation of God in you, what do you propose to do about the obstacle?
 
Grace and Blessings all–let’s keep this idea and theme of Model versus the Real Thing going as we continue our pursuit of understanding all things: Ark of the Covenant or Ark of the Testimony of God.Returning to some definitions for the Ark (n. ark, box, chest), we have the following:-> a box for carrying something, [i.e. the dead, a coffin (Gen 50:26) or money chest (2 Ki 12:10)]-> the chest in which stone tablets of the 10 Commandments, the “Testimony,” are placed (Ex 25:16, 40:3, 20);
made by a craftsman from the tribe of Judah (Bezalel, Ex 37:1), covered with a gold mercy seat between two (2)
stationed cheribum, where God’s presence will manifest itself and He will commune with His people.-> the Ark is placed in the tabernacle’s Most Holy Place, behind the inner veil (Ex 26:33-34) and is anointed by Moses
(Ex 30:26); it is the place where sacrificial blood of atonement is applied and forgiveness is granted (Lev 16);
-> the Ark has rings into which poles are inserted so that it can be carried without being touched (Ex 35:12).
-> the Ark is oblong and made of shittim (acacia) wood, overlaid within and without with gold.Then, during last week’s study, we came to a revelation: Maybe the ARK is symbolic of the new covenant people of God
(i.e., us, the individual people of God in the last age).With all these things in mind, and knowing Christ’s atoning work and entrance in the real, heavenly tabernacle, once and for all,
let us follow the model, Ark of the Covenant and see what fresh revelation we learn about our faith walk and potential in different

situations and settings.Read the following scriptures and make notes concerning any BIG PICTURE ideas you get–

  • Numbers 3:1-4 and 11-13 (understand the ordinance of Levites and Firstborn)
  • Numbers 4:4-6 (preparing the Ark for movement and travel)
  • Numbers 7:89 (the Lord speaks from His Ark)
  • Numbers 9:15-23 & 10:11-13, 33-36 (the Ark was not to move unless the Lord moved)
  • Numbers 14:36-45 (fool-heartedness of going into battle without the Ark)
  • Numbers 17 (God establishes the Levites as caretakers of the Holy Place).
Until we meet…

Peace and grace all–

Our week 3 lesson for Fall Bible Study is tonight Wednesday, Sep 29th (7pm) via Zoom and Facebook.In last week’s lesson we covered the arrangement of items in the Tabernacle (Tent of Meeting) and the courtyard. We preached on the strategic plan of God in making this “arrangement” the blueprint for how salvation for all would come to the earth and also, how we can obtain the same salvation by willingly walking thru the “Gate,” going thru each item and being presented in the Holy of Holies before God. To recap, here are the items again (Exodus 40)

  • The Ark of the Covenant – God sends His only begotten to earth
  • The Veil – Jesus went amongst His own and they knew Him not
  • The Incense Altar – Jesus was in constant communication with the Father (not My will, but Thy will be done)
  • The Lampstand – Jesus is the Light of the World
  • The Table of Showbread – Jesus is the Living Bread and the Word made flesh, a Life-Giving food
  • The Lavar or Bronze Basin – Jesus is the Living Water; one is re-born of water and Spirit
  • The Altar of Sacrifice – Jesus laid down His life as the sacrificial Lamb to atone for humankind’s sin
  • The Gate or Door – Resurrected Jesus is now the Way to access the Father; Jesus is the Door

By traversing these items in reverse, we realize and live in the free salvation offered to us thru Jesus. 1) We come in at the Door (Jesus), 2) we lay down our own way of living and thinking on God’s altar (self-sacrifice), 3) we are baptized via water as an outward sign of regeneration and we accept the Living Water that is Christ, 4) we eat of His body (bread) and drink of His blood (vine) and take the Word into the world as He instructs all disciples to do, 5) we become His light in the world and are called Salt and Light to the nations, 6) we learn to communicate with the Father (pray without ceasing) and meditate in the Word to learn His will for us, and 7) Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross rips the Veil from top to bottom [that is, we know Jesus’ true identity – Colossians Chptr 1], and 8) like the Cloud over the Ark, the Spirit of the Living God (Holy Spirit) rest on us, speaks, teaches, comforts and guides us in this life and into the next.Bless the LORD, YOU GOT IT!For tonight, we are going to see the danger of approaching this Ark of the Covenant in a way God did not intend and we will see how the forgiveness of sin (atonement) requires blood be applied or sprinkled on the MERCY SEAT. Read Leviticus 10:1-7 and chapter 16.Pay strict attention to how often the atonement sacrifice is made, what is the procedure and what on earth is the meaning of Azazel. On this coming WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY, all these things will be part of the message.

Peace and grace all–Our week 2 lesson for Fall Bible Study is tomorrow Wednesday, Sep 22nd (7pm) via Zoom and Facebook.In last week’s lesson we covered overview information about the Ark of the Covenant and also delved into details as described in the Book of Exodus chapters 25 and 31. The take home or preacher’s message for last week should ensure you know these facts:

  • God desires to come and meet His covenant people and tabernacle with them via sanctuary
  • The single thing preventing this Holy convocation is humankind’s SIN
  • God gives Moses detailed instructions in how His desire can be achieved and they have to be followed exactly
  • To build the sanctuary where God will dwell amongst us requires an offering, but only from WILLING givers
  • The specific things that make up the offering are treasures and will be used to make the tabernacle and all it’s furnishings
  • God also instructs Moses to appoint Bezalel, of the tribe of Judah, to craft and build the sacred items
  • The Ark of the Covenant will serve as the actual meeting place and the glory of the Lord will be over it
  • The testimony or commandments of the Lord will reside inside the Ark of the Covenant
  • The lid of Ark of the Testimony will be made of pure gold, with two cheribum facing each other and a mercy seat is between them
  • very careful instructions concerning this Ark’s building, transport and placement must be strictly followed

This weeks lesson has us focusing on Exodus chapters 35, 36 and 40. In your reading, you should first determine if Moses does everything God instructs. You should also begin to understand the things that are required for God to dwell amongst us and their spatial juxtaposition. The following terms and items should be so clear to you that you can visualize them. There are many pictures and artist renditions of these items on the internet and in your Study Bibles. Take a look and compare what you see to your own church or worship facility. Write down how much we still have in common and what things have been replaced. The list of items and terms in no particular order are:

  1. The Tabernacle
  2. The Tent of Meeting
  3. The Ark of the Lord
  4. The Table
  5. The Lampstand
  6. The Altar of Incense
  7. The Bronze Altar
  8. The Basin
  9. The Courtyard
  10. The Garments for Aaron
  11. The Holy of Holies
  12. The Curtain or Veil
  13. The Cloud by Day and Fire by Night

This may appear to be a lot, but a picture is really worth a thousand words. Find and study a few pictures and it will make sense and be easily visualized. Next week in preparing for Worldwide Communion Sunday, we will go to the Book of Leviticus and look another set of Offerings that get offered in the tabernacle [Burnt, Grain, Fellowship or Peace, Sin & Guilt Offerings]. We will also see the penalty for not presenting an offering as God desires. (Leviticus chapters 10 and 16).

Ark of the Covenant – Overview

Ark of the Covenant – syllabus

Peace and grace saints–On next Wednesday, September 15th (7pm), we begin our Fall Bible Study on the Ark of the Covenant, also in scripture called the Ark of the Testimony. We will uncover what Almighty God intended when he instructed Moses and the Israelites to build this spiritual vessel and what it means concerning Christ and us, the Kingdom of God.As always, we want for you to be thoroughly prepared and ready to dig in to the scriptures. For that purpose, attached is a short summary (pdf) of some things you need to know concerning the Ark of the Covenant. Read through it and jot down any questions or thoughts you would like to share as we study. The study will be accessible via ZOOM and FaceBook.