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March 25 Today’s Reading: — 1 Samuel 7-9
Christ our Ark
“The men of Kirjath-jearim came and fetched up the ark of the Lord.”
1 Samuel 7:1
We have reason to thank God that no one has ever found that ark! If anyone were to find it, foolish men and women would make an idol of it, make pagan pilgrimages to the “holy land” to see it, and worship it. But in its day, under the ceremonial, typical religious service of the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant was one of those “ordinances of divine service,” which beautifully typified and pictured the Lord Jesus Christ and our redemption by him.
We can never understand the Old Testament Scriptures until we see that everything in the Old Testament Scriptures represents, points to, and pictures Christ, our Substitute (Luke. 24:27; 44-45). And the Ark of the Covenant was one of the most beautiful and instructive types of Christ in the Old Testament. It was made out of shittim wood, overlaid on the inside and the outside with pure gold, representing both the incorruptible humanity and glorious deity of our Savior. The ark was the symbol of God’s holiness, power, and glory. It was carried about from place to place upon the shoulders of the priests by staves fitted into rings attached to the ark. Even so, Christ is carried throughout the world upon the shoulders of chosen men, through the preaching of the gospel.
Inside the Ark
Never, like the men of Beth-shemesh, would I presumptuously look into the secret things which belong unto the Lord our God. But with an eye of faith, let us look today inside the Ark, asking God the Holy Spirit to show us our Savior.
Come into “the Holiest of all”, by the “golden censer” of our Savior’s merits, asking God to show you Christ, our Ark, as he was portrayed in that Old Testament type. What can be found in the ark? Let’s do by faith what no mortal man could ever do in those days of types and shadows. Let’s lift up the mercy-seat and look inside the ark. Remember, the Ark was but a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. What do we see in the ark? We see the two tables of the law of God, which we have broken. The broken law, our sins, is under the mercy-seat, under the blood.
Those broken tables of the law, under the blood, represent God’s purpose of grace. The law was written upon tables of stone, representing both the hardness of our hearts and the inflexibility of God’s law. The law represents our curse and condemnation by reason of sin. The tables of God’s broken law were always kept in the Ark, under the mercy-seat (Exodus 25:16, 21), representing perfect redemption by Christ. — That perfect redemption of his elect is the purpose of God (Romans 8:28-31). The law of God, being perfectly satisfied by Christ, cries as strongly for our salvation as the grace of God. We are, in Christ, free from the law, because the law’s demands have been fully met for us by Christ’s obedience and blood
Look again. There is something else inside the ark. There is Aaron’s rod that budded. That rod represents God’s power. Aaron’s rod that budded portrayed the gospel of Christ, the Man whom God has chosen (Numbers 17:10). Christ, the Rock of our salvation, was smitten by Moses’ rod, which represented God’s holy law. The water of life flows out to sinners by Aaron’s rod, the gospel, which is the power of God before which Dagon must fall, the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16-17)
There is one more thing inside the ark, the golden pot that had manna. That is a picture of Christ, God’s Provision (Exodus 16:33-34). It was a golden pot, portraying the richness of God’s free grace in Christ. It was a big pot, holding an omer of manna; and Christ is a great Savior, a bounteous store of mercy and grace! This golden pot had manna, the bread of heaven, portraying Christ, the Bread of Life. All God’s provision for sinners is in Christ Jesus. His name is Jehovah-jireh, the Lord will provide (Ephesians 1:3). All the provisions of grace, of providence, and of eternity are in Christ! Come to the Ark, Christ Jesus. The way is open. All who come to God by Christ are forever saved. All we need, all God requires, all that heaven can bestow is in Christ, the Ark. Come to the Ark!