June 6, 2016
1 Kings 8
When the elders arrived, the priests picked up the Ark. 1 Kings 8:3
LET IT GLOW
Don't touch that! Hot water, fire, and hot stoves burn, electrical wires and outlets shock, needles stick, snakes, spiders, and wild animals bite. Experience has taught us that and we don't want our children to get hurt, shocked, burned or bit if we can prevent it. So it was with the Israelites. They were not allowed to touch something. Join me as we find out what it was.
The new national Temple was ready. It was time to bring the Ark of the LORD's Covenant and put it into place, the Holy of Holies, to restore the Ark to its role as a national religious symbol. The Ark contained the two tablets of stone, on which the Ten Commandments were written.
So Solomon summoned the elders and all the heads of the tribes of Israel to Jerusalem.
The MacArthur Bible Commentary informs us:
The elders of Israel were respected men who were in charge of local government and justice throughout Israel. They advised the king on important matters of state. The heads of the tribes or chief fathers were the oldest living males within each extended family unit. They were the ones responsible for learning the law and leading their families to obey it.
The word elder, in the Hebrew language, refers to old men or women.
These men were responsible for bringing the Ark from its location in the City of David to Zion.
Zion was the hill which David took from the Jebusites, but later the name was applied to the Temple area northward, in Jerusalem.
Now, the dedication of the Temple wasn't until several months later so it corresponded with the regular festival of the Feast of Booths or Tabernacles, the Festival of Harvest. This was celebrated a week after the Day of Atonement.
During this week, the Israelites lived in tents to remind them of the hardships of their ancestors as the lived seeking and conquering their Promised Land.
What a joyous time for Israel. A permanence for the Ark, which symbolized God's presence, was established. It was a place of worship, a place of sacrifice for their sins, a place where they could meet with their God Jehovah, Yaweh. I am sure they found security in this. God wasn't moving away from them, as He had moved in the 40 year wilderness journey. He was their God and here to stay. All they had to do was to keep Him first in their lives, worship Him only, no idolatry, and follow His laws. Then they would have a blessed life. (Of course, history tells us that 500 years later, they failed at keeping these commands and were sent into exile in Babylon.)
Are we supportive of the elders in our church and in our family?
LET IT GROW
David learned a lesson the hard way concerning the transporting of the Ark. Back in 2 Samuel, he put it on a new cart to transport it back to camp. However, God had made it a rule that the Levites, priestly tribe, were to move the Ark on poles that were through rings on the side of the Ark, resting on their shoulders. The burden was to be upon their shoulders. Well, when David did not obey, it cost one man his life. That cause David to seek the Word as to God's instructions on the matter.
Solomon knew what had happened previously, and did not make the same mistake. Then King Solomon and the entire community of Israel sacrificed many sheep, goats, and cattle that no one could keep count. (verse 4)
The people were not allowed to touch the Ark, which is contrasted with our access to God through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:19-22). We Gentiles are grateful for Jesus being our intercessor for our petitions reaching God! Such love!
Now, as adults, we know that we are warned to not touch things as pornography, another's spouse, items that do not belong to us. God warns us to not covet our neighbors' things. We will be hurt if we do, as well as others.
LET IT GO
Be thankful for what I have that God has provided.
Heed His warnings.