Summary: With all that we are going through, Don't lose the Glory of the Lord
In our lesson this morning we see that the Glory had departed from Israel because of their lack of obedience to God and because they had become a superstitious and an idolatress nation.
I know that we do things in our lives, and we do things in our services to give God glory in what we do, but what I love about God is that he reciprocates and gives glory back to us more than what we could ever give to him. Because what we have to know and understand is that God has always intended for man to be in his presence and in his glory. From the beginning in the Garden of Eden, God visited man in the coolness of the day. But, because of sin, we have all fallen short of the Glory of God, and sin has caused the Glory to depart from man and depart from the Church because what we must realize is that the Glory of God is not going to dwell in the same place with sin abides.
When we look at the history of what was going on the children of Israel were at war with the Philistines. During the first encounter, the Philistines killed 4,000 Israelites, and they asked themselves “Why has the Lord allowed us to be defeated today?” Somebody came up with the idea that we need to bring the Ark of the Covenant into battle with us.
Let’s look at the Ark. Notice that the Ark of the Covenant was a beautiful symbol of God’s presence and his glory. Notice that the ark was made out of the hardest of wood that was made, Shittim wood and was overlaid with Gold. It was a typology of Christ or a symbol of Christ in the Old Testament.
Now the Ark of the Covenant was covered by the Mercy Seat, which emphasized the purpose of Christ.
If you were to notice the Mercy Seat, it was a plate of pure gold, it was not a piece of wood. And on the mercy seat is were two cherubim, that is two angels that would sit facing each other, so it was believed that the Mercy Seat was God’s throne.
The ark was so full of God’s glory, and it was so full that it could not be touched by human hands and when transported it had to be carried with poles. It is said that it was so powerful that in 2nd Samuel 6:7 when Uzzah touch the ark and died, because God could not be handle in just any kind of way.
Now inside the Ark of the Covenant there were three items.
1. The tablets of stone that were engraved with the Ten Commandments
2. A Golden Pot of Manna that fell from heaven.
3. Aaron’s Rod that budded which proves that Aaron was God’s chosen.
Unfortunately, two of the items that were in the ark were lost by the time of the dedication at Solomon’s Temple, and all that remained were the two tablets of stone.
Now the ark was placed in the innermost room of the temple, in the Holy of Holies. And only once a year, the high priest could enter beyond the veil, to sprinkle blood on the mercy seat for the atonement of sin, and that was good for them. But now because of the blood of Jesus we don’t have to rely on the priest to enter in to the Holy of Holies. As a matter of fact because of the blood of Jesus the veil was ripped and we can go beyond the veil into a place of true worship. In fact, it’s because of the blood that we no longer have to worship in the outer courts.
Now during this battle someone came up with the idea that we should bring the Ark of the Covenant into battle with us. First of all God did not tell them to bring the Ark into battle. What they really needed to know was that their safety was not in the Ark of the Lord, but it was in the Lord of the Ark.
This act only shows how, superstitious and paganistic they had become. And that’s the way we have become about some of our churches. Our safety in not in the house of the Lord but instead our safety is in the Lord of the house.
You see the ark is a symbol of God’s Glory and his presence, but my GOD can’t be put into a box that you can bring along like a good luck charm to fight and win your battles. And the problem is just as the children of Israel did back then, we are still trying to put God in a box.
The Children of Israel thought the success was in the box, they thought power was in the box, they thought the deliverance was in the box. Just as we do today, we try to carry God around and let him out of the bos when we want too. We shout when our favorite person sings, we say amen when our favorite preacher preach. We get happy only when we pray. We put all of our faith and trust in buildings and fancy pulpits but the power is not just in the buildings. The building is not the Church, the Church is right here.