What do you think of when you hear the term “The Presence of God”? King David came to know of its value and sought daily to abide in the dwelling place of Zion.
This is why David had the burden and ability to establish the Tabernacle of David upon Mt. Zion. It is the dwelling place where God chooses to abide. (Psa 132:13) Should this not be our desire and aim? The significance of the presence of God is captured when examining the Ark of the Covenant which for a time was part of Moses Tabernacle. There were three items contained in the Ark; each giving insight and perspective into who God is and what He is doing.
Heb 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
1. The golden pot that had manna speaks of the hidden truths of God’s Word. The church of our day needs to place a high premium on the study and meditation of God’s Word. Is the Bible a part of your daily spiritual diet? Consider the following verse:
Num 11:6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.
The children of Israel began to despise God’s daily provision of manna. This resulted in a change of appetite; a hunger for worldly portions at the expense of the pursuit of the hidden treasures from God’s Word. They were a people who began taking the presence of the Lord for granted. It is vital that we do not make this same mistake. Consider the man in the following verse:
Mat 13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
Mat 13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
This is the attitude of heart that is needed in our approach towards the Bible; a seeking for the treasures and the hidden truths that God reveals through His Word.
Prov 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.
2. Aaron’s rod that budded speaks of authority and resurrection life. (Num 16-17) The leadership of Moses was being challenged due to his lifting up the standard of holiness. (Num 16:1-3) Even today the preaching of the cross proves to be an offense to many. How did God make a distinction amongst the leadership in Moses day? Each of the 12 tribes was instructed to place their respective rods containing their names before the congregation. The next morning it was the rod of Aaron that blossomed and budded. God made it abundantly clear that Aaron and the priestly tribe of Levi had the authority and recognition of God. A similar distinction needs to be made today to help clear up much of the confusion over doctrinal issues clouding today’s church.
Num 17:8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.
Aaron’s rod also gives a picture of resurrection power. There is an experience that goes beyond the knowing that Christ died and rose from the dead; it is a reality that needs to become personal. The apostle Paul came to the place of desiring the reality and experience of resurrection power in his own life.
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Aaron’s rod that budded is a signal that we too can know this power of resurrection life. The same Spirit that quickened the Lord’s mortal body with Resurrection Power is the same Spirit available to us. (Rom 8:27) Are you experiencing barrenness in areas of your life or still searching for the realities of unfulfilled promises? Does your situation resemble the dry bones that are illustrated in Ezekiel 37? Be encouraged and cry out for resurrection power. Believe God and take Him at His Word.
3. The Tables of the Covenant speaks of God’s law. Today’s world is awash in lawlessness. The sense of right and wrong has given way to moral relativism; where man becomes a law unto himself. God’s laws have been redefined by a compromising church in its quest for relevance. What do you think happens when God’s laws (10 commandments) starts being removed from schools and public places? It soon becomes either God’s way or man’s.
Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not…
It’s time for the church to become a clarion voice to declare who God is, what He is like and the laws by which His kingdom is governed. God is preparing a company of New Testament priests who will effectively teach the precepts of the Lord. Will we be among the modern day Ezra’s and Zadok’s?
Neh 8:8 So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
The items contained in the Ark aid in giving perspective and understanding in how a people can come to the place of dwelling daily in His presence. It is a New Season of God’s favor and we are being provided an opportunity to seek the hidden treasures represented by the Golden pot of manna. In addition we are called to uphold God’s standards while experiencing the realities of resurrection life as seen in Aaron’s rod that budded. Finally we are called to be a people who make known the ways of God to the people. (Psa 103:7) In grasping the message of these items we come to know the secret that David possessed in having a love for the presence of God. We also come to understand why David had the privilege of establishing the Ark on the holy hill of Zion. The opportunity to ascend God’s holy hill is afforded to the kings and priests of our day. Will we choose to abide in that dwelling place? The three items in the Ark serve as keys that can bring us there.
It is important to note that the Ark of the Covenant was not always stationery. The purpose of the Ark’s journey in the Old Testament from Shiloh to Zion was to determine those who had a true love for God’s presence. This will be picked up in our next message.