Today: [2 Chronicles Five] The Ark of God at Rest in Us. In this chapter the temple is dedicated. All of Israel gathers to the newly built temple and witnesses the ark of the covenant brought to it’s permanent resting place. The presence of God has moved from tent to temple. The staves used to transport it are removed for the last time and a holy cloud of glory fills the courts of God with a holy hush. This is the same glory that Paul speaks of as “Christ in you the hope of Glory”. This holy moment a 1000 years before Christ was a portent of the day that we as temples of God in our bodies would become the dwelling place of God on the earth.
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[2Ch 5:1-14 KJV] 1 Thus all the work that Solomon made for the house of the LORD was finished: and Solomon brought in [all] the things that David his father had dedicated; and the silver, and the gold, and all the instruments, put he among the treasures of the house of God. 2 Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the chief of the fathers of the children of Israel, unto Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of the city of David, which [is] Zion. 3 Wherefore all the men of Israel assembled themselves unto the king in the feast which [was] in the seventh month.
Solomon after seven years finishes the work of the temple. All the artifacts and sacred furniture is installed and the ark of the covenant is ready to be placed in the Holy of Holies. The priests have been training for service in this new edifice since David’s day and all thorughout the construction period. The elders and heads of the tribes and chief of the fathers in families throughout Israel and gathered for this event. The ark for this time apparently is at Zion where the king’s personal residence is – still in the tabernacle of David, the open air tent surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of worshippers. It is the feast of the seventh month.
There are actually three feasts of the seventh month grouped together under the title of the feast of tabernacles. They are the feast of trumpets, the day of atonement and the actual feast of tabernacles. The seven feasts in order are:
- Unleavend Bread
- First Fruits
These feasts correspond to salvation, baptism of the Holy Ghost and the baptism of fire (or putting on of immortality, more commonly known as the rapture of the church). In this chapter the ark of God’s presence is moving from a temporary tent to a permanent dwelling place. This speaks of moving from mortality to immortality. Remember the New Testament teaches we are the temple of God. One day there will be a people on the earth who will walk into immortality by the presence of God. When we read of the dedication of the temple we are reminded that this whole scene speaks something to us of who God is on the inside of us and what our destiny is in eternity.
4 And all the elders of Israel came; and the Levites took up the ark. 5 And they brought up the ark, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and all the holy vessels that [were] in the tabernacle, these did the priests [and] the Levites bring up. 6 Also king Solomon, and all the congregation of Israel that were assembled unto him before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen, which could not be told nor numbered for multitude. 7 And the priests brought in the ark of the covenant of the LORD unto his place, to the oracle of the house, into the most holy [place, even] under the wings of the cherubims:
The place of the ark was the holy of holies. It was also known as the oracle. An oracle is a place where a person makes inquiry of the diety he worships. When we inquire of God we are not triangulating our prayers to some far off place. That is the teaching of Greek philosophy – that God is in some distant Mount Olympus, inaccessible to us. Jesus on the contrary taught that the kingdom of God is in us. Paul taught that Christ in us is the hope of glory. We are not looking outwardly but inwardly for the voice of God in our life. All outward resources of instruction and illumination should likewise point to the voice of God in our own lives.
There were untold numbers of sheep and oxen that were offered up. Paul taught in Rom. 12 that we are to be living sacrifices. The offerings made here were consecration offerings not sin offerings. The sheep and oxen were given in proxy by way of the worshipper indicating his or her own fidelity to God and desire to worship God. The sheep represent those who receive ministry (Matt. 9:6) and the oxen represent those who give ministry (1 Ti. 5:18). All is done as an outworking of faithfulness and worship to God. The ark of the covenant was place under and in between two large cherubim that loomed in the space that made up the holy of holies. This represents your human spirit where God lives (John 15:4). The holy of holies, the holy place and the outer court represent the human spirit, soul and body. God lives and makes his home in our spirit. Our soul is the container of our spirit the same way our body is the container of our soul (mind, will and emotions).
8 For the cherubims spread forth [their] wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubims covered the ark and the staves thereof above. 9 And they drew out the staves [of the ark], that the ends of the staves were seen from the ark before the oracle; but they were not seen without. And there it is unto this day. 10 [There was] nothing in the ark save the two tables which Moses put [therein] at Horeb, when the LORD made [a covenant] with the children of Israel, when they came out of Egypt. 11 And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy [place]: (for all the priests [that were] present were sanctified, [and] did not [then] wait by course: 12 Also the Levites [which were] the singers, all of them of Asaph, of Heman, of Jeduthun, with their sons and their brethren, [being] arrayed in white linen, having cymbals and psalteries and harps, stood at the east end of the altar, and with them an hundred and twenty priests sounding with trumpets:) 13 It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers [were] as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up [their] voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the LORD, [saying], For [he is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever: that [then] the house was filled with a cloud, [even] the house of the LORD; 14 So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of God.
When the ark was placed in the holy of holies the staves or poles that were used to make it portable were removed for the last time. This is the permanent dwelling place of God and it speaks of God living on the inside of us. This is holy ground. This is inward abiding not just religious sentiment or philosophy. The indwelling of God is not properly theologically addressed. This is something perhaps only best expressed in the language of mystics and divines. To quote just one mystic on the indwelling of God:
“The eye through which I see God is the same eye through which God sees me; my eye and God’s eye are one eye, one seeing, one knowing, one love.”
Having set up all the artifacts and made sacrifice and brought the ark to rest, the people and the priests all retreat to the outer court with their faces toward the holy of holies. They begin to sing reverently and extol the mercies of God that endure forever. A cloud of glory fills the house that is so powerful that it silences every singer. Every porter and gatekeeper stands with his hands to his side. The sacrificing of sheep and oxen ceases as the cloud of glory envelopes 1000’s of people in one holy embrace. This is the same glory that Paul declares is the focus of his gospel and the same glory that lives in each and every one of us as living dwelling places and temples to God where His spirit rests on the inside of us.
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