READ EXODUS 25
God is starting with the center of the tabernacle in His blueprint design. He first gives commands about the Ark of the Covenant, which is the place He will descend and dwell among His people.
Recall yesterday’s study. Why were the poles to be left always in their rings?
For a vulnerable nation – one just developing their own culture outside the bondage of slavery and just learning the Laws which will govern them – this was a merciful command from God. Can you imagine if one night, in the middle of the night, the nation was awakened to the sound of enemy battle cries? Knowing they need to flee, what is their most prized possession? Surely, it’s the Ark that carries the Covenant of God within it. But no one can touch it, or they will die. And without the covenant of God going with them, how will they know the way? So God commands them to be ever-ready to move the Ark with them wherever they go.
Mentally compare the covenant to God’s Word today. How can you take God’s Word with you wherever you go? How can you ensure in your own life that His Word is always your top treasure, no matter where life takes you?
Because the Ark of the Covenant was the location of God’s presence in the tabernacle, God’s design was specific. Not only was the Covenant to dwell within the Ark, but God arranged for something to be on top of the ark.
Read 25:18-21. What is to don the top of the Ark? Why do you think this is?
Cherubim are referenced throughout the Scripture, and are described as serious angels in the service of God. Generally, cherubs today are thought of as chubby and smiling babes, but the picture in the Word of God is drastically different.
Read Ezekiel’s description of these angels in Ezekiel 1:5-11, 13. What are they like?
These attendants of God are severe. They are blazing in glory, and majestic in their form, and throughout the Word of God we see that they are always in service to the King of kings.
The first reference to these angels in Scripture appears in Genesis chapter three. Read Genesis 3:22-24. What is the role of the angels?
How is their role atop the Ark of the Covenant similar?
The angels in the garden guarded the way to the Tree of Life. Because Adam and Eve sinned (and all humanity fell in their wake), the way to God’s eternal presence had to be barred. The man and woman, in their fallen state, couldn’t reach out and take from the tree, and so God place a good and right guard to the entrance to the garden, barring the way for improper and unholy re-entrance to God’s presence.
Where does God promise to dwell?
Now, let’s summarize:
What surrounded God’s presence?
What was beneath God’s place of presence (within the Ark)?
God dwelt between the cherubim, with praise and glory and service cast in gold to His eternal praise. They represented the reality that the way to God through unholy means was prohibited, and reminded the people of the seriousness of God’s presence and holiness. Under God’s feet was the Law. The commands of God, written by Him and flowing from His character, rested in the Ark beneath Him, always reminding the people that the Law came from the character of God, that He authored and authorized it, and that their covenant relationship with Him was always held together by His divine presence.
How does this remind you of the Gospel?
How does it point you (and Israel) to your need for a Savior?
PRAY & REFLECT
Confess to God that He alone is perfectly holy. Confess to Him that He is worthy of all worship and honor. Ask Him to help you grow in honoring Him – in your words, your life, and your worship.