The Ark of the Covenant was a symbol of God’s presence and power with the Israelites wherever it went. We first read about the Ark in Exodus 25:10, as the Lord speaks to Moses on the details of the tabernacle and the Ark that was to be built.
In Joshua 3:6-17, 4:10-11, 18, Joshua gives specific instructions to the priests to take the Ark and as they reach the brink of the Jordan, they are to stand still. The Jordan was parted to make a path for the Israelites to walk through the river and get to the other side.
In Joshua 6:3-4,6,8,11-13, the Ark partakes in the seven day procession around the city of Jericho and the eventual destruction of the wall of Jericho.
Throughout the Old Testament, we can also see the Ark involved in battles that the Israelites were in. It served to secure a victory for the people. But this didn’t interfere with the power of choice of the people. When the Israelites disobeyed the Lord, the Ark couldn’t save them from the wrath of God. It’s the same with Jesus; He’s our secure victory for any battle we face. He’s a guaranteed protector but if we go against His Will, we are surely to be penalized for our actions.
In I Sam. 5, the Ark is taken from the Israelites during a battle with the Philistines. They take it from Ebenezer to Ashdod and settle it in the house of Dagon, their idol. When the people arose the next morning, they noticed Dagon had fallen on his face before the Ark; so they set him back in his place.
The following morning, the same incident occurred but this time the head and the palms of his hands were cut off; only the trunk of Dagon was left standing.
Is it possible to have two things in our life guiding us? It’s either one or the other. There was no room for the Ark and other idols in the same room. Consider the room our life; we have good and evil fighting within ourselves. One is going to win; who do you choose?
The Philistines didn’t know God and they took something that didn’t belong to them. What are the results when we take something that doesn’t belong to us? We have it in our possession but it just doesn’t feel right; there’s an unsettlement in our spirit about it. Do we hold on until it destroys us or do we relinquish it and allow the proper person to receive it?
The people of Ashdod were punished for having the Ark in their possession. The Lord caused
They needed to get rid of the Ark and so they carried it to Gath. The Lord caused more tumors to fall upon the people and they were exceedingly panicked by all this.
The Ark was moved again to Ekron and as the people saw it, they cried out. They wanted the Ark to be sent back to its own place. People were in panic as the hand of God was heavy upon them. If men didn’t die, they were stricken with painful tumors; the cry of the city went up to heaven.
The Philistines had the Ark for seven months before they returned it back to the Israelites.
This pattern that occurred with the Ark going from place to place is the same pattern we mimic when we try to keep something in our life that doesn’t work. We often try to fix it by putting it somewhere else. We know it may not be proper for us but we’re not ready to let it go. We try to justify the reason for these things in our lives so we make excuses to keep it a little longer.
When it is not from God, it will fail every time. No matter how many times we try to work it out, it will always fail one way or another. Let’s not confuse this with the stuff that just happens in life. In order for our faith to grow, trials and tribulation will occur so that we rely on the Lord and not self. But then we have the things in life that just don’t even belong to us. But because of our selfish ways, we want what we want. This causes unnecessary pain in our life.
God mocked the Philistines for seven months. How long does it take us to realize that we have to give up on something?
We went out one night to Boston Chicken and were in line to get our food. As we were talking and enjoying our conversation, a man appeared in front of me. He came through the side door and slid himself in front of me. I looked at him and he smiled at me. I thought about saying something to him, however, I just felt that I should let him go. He was an older guy and thought that I should do a good deed. As we got closer to the line, he placed his order. The manager shouted out that his order was the last family meal and the extra chicken we were going to buy for $1.99 was just taken by him as well. I took a step back and started to laugh. We decided to go to Ruby Tuesday’s and had a wonderful dinner.
Now, some may say that the Lord was blessing us with the last family dinner meal and the extra chicken but I allowed someone else to take that blessing from us. But my thoughts were different. When I allowed the man to cut the line, I was at peace. I don’t feel that it was meant for us. We don’t know this man nor his situation. But we can imagine that he may have had enough money to purchase the food for his family to last for a few days. Perhaps money was tight for them and the Lord placed us there to assist in deliverance of a blessing for him. We will never know why it happened, but I was at peace throughout the situation.
Philippians 4:9 (AMP)
Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.
Let’s walk in peace; receive what belongs to us and let go of what doesn’t belong to us.