Share This Episode
Cross Reference Radio Pastor Rick Gaston Logo

Bringing up the Ark of Yahweh (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
The Truth Network Radio
April 4, 2023 6:00 am

Bringing up the Ark of Yahweh (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 1047 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

April 4, 2023 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts


As I mentioned, the only piece of original furniture going into God's structure, this building, nothing could replace the throne of God in the law, which is the idea.

Nothing replaces. You can get other lamp stands and tables and other things, but the mercy seat of God is exclusive. And I think that's one of the lessons that I get out of it. First Kings, chapter 8, bringing up the Ark of Yahweh, parallel account is in 2 Chronicles 5 and 6. Looking at verse 1, now Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers, the children of Israel, to King Solomon in Jerusalem, that they might bring up the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh from the city of David, which is Zion. Well, he's invited all of the bigwigs, we would say, for the dedication festivities, that they might bring up the Ark of the Covenant of Yahweh. Finally, it has been over 400 years without a home. It was, of course, designed initially to be portable for the priests to carry on their shoulders, but now it is going to be stationary. It is not supposed to move again.

It will, of course, but not under ideal conditions. Its holiness, though, was not temporary. It was wherever God's present was supposed to be, if the Jews would just follow him. And I think one of the great lessons we get out of that, and that's what these things are in here for, is culture does not put out of date, antiquate God's commandments. God's word is his word, and it's not going to change unless he gives an update, which the New Testament does for us. The New Testament looks at the Old Testament and says, this remains, and this has been completed, and this means that. And we learn that way, but it's a closed canon.

It's not changing anymore. There are no more apostles to come along and revise the teachings of God's word. If you were to tell Uzzah, who reached out his hand to steady the Ark when the oxen stumbled, he thought he was doing the right thing when he was struck dead, you'd say, well, you know, don't worry about touching it, because the culture has changed since the days of Moses. And you can go ahead and touch the Ark now, and nothing will happen to you.

The Philistines could look inside of it. They could get away with breaking God's word, ritual, and his ordinances like that, because they were in deeper trouble, and that's the truth to this day. You have somebody who is struggling with some sin but does not have salvation, and you can tell them right out.

Your biggest problem is not that maybe you have a short temper or you're a thief or something. That's a problem, but the greater problem is you're going to hell because of it. And God's word, again, does not ask any culture in history, you know, what do you think we should do? God makes this declaration, Numbers chapter 4, and when Aaron and his sons have finished covering the sanctuary and all the furnishings of the sanctuary, when the camp is set to go, then the sons of Kohath shall come and carry them. But they shall not touch any holy thing lest they die. These are the things in the tabernacle of meeting which the sons of Kohath are to carry, and he goes on to itemize them.

So the Levites who were assistants to the priests, they had to wait for the priests to cover up these articles and they would go move them, but they had to follow the protocol. I mentioned Uzzah, who was a Levite, 2 Samuel 6, when they came to Nacon's threshing floor, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. Then the anger of Yahweh was aroused against Uzzah, and God struck him there for his error, and he died there by the ark of God.

It does not mean he went to hell, it just means God exercised his judgment on him in front of everybody to make a very important point. So this is the same ark of the covenant. This ark of the covenant that Solomon is bringing into the temple is the identical ark that was under the leadership of Moses. It says from the city of David, which is Zion. Zion was that fortress, hilltop, there by Mount Moriah.

Its name has evolved. Initially it was this hilltop, it became the city of David, then referred to Jerusalem in general, and now it is used to refer to Israel in general. But at this point, it is the city of David which was in close proximity to the threshing floor of Ornan. Again, Zion is used figuratively of Israel. We find this in Isaiah 60, for example, where these references are made. And to this day, the Jews referring to Zion have multiple meanings.

Verse 2, therefore all the men of Israel assembled with King Solomon at the feast in the month of Eth-anem, which is the seventh month. Home worship was not to be a substitute for public worship, and that's the idea behind the temple. You're free to worship home, of course, anywhere you want. Well, for the Jew, they could worship, but they could not carry out the rituals in just any old place they wanted to once the temple was up. But the temple now is the national official site of worship, where the sacrifices and the offerings will be taking place. It says at the feast in the month of Eth-anem, which is the seventh month, middle October, middle September to October.

It's cooler. And Solomon, he finished the temple in the eighth month of the previous year. This now tells us that these events here, this celebration that's about to take place and bringing up the ark, is 11 months later. So for 11 months, the temple structure was complete, but there was no service going on.

Now, during that time, I'm sure there was a punch list. What we read about the detail of the temple, it probably took some time. You couldn't just get the parts right away. Everything had to be fabricated off-site. We're going to get to a part where Solomon's going to speak from a platform that's made out of bronze.

I'm sure they were making that platform during that 11-month period. They were making preparation for this. They had more animals than they could number to sacrifice during this celebration. So it stood complete. And of course, that means they scheduled this dedication of the temple to coincide with the Feast of Booths, which was in this one a jubilee year, so it was like a double holiday season.

None of it was by mistake. Now, that Feast of Booths reminded the Jews that they were slaves in Egypt, that they were delivered out of Egypt, and that they wandered in the wilderness, living in tents. And to this day, the Jews celebrate this, and they put up little booths.

If they have a terrace and you go into a neighborhood where the Jews are celebrating this, you'll see little, little lean-to's on their terrace, little, you know, tents-like, and it's commemorating this very holiday. Jerusalem would be crowded with pilgrims, as in the day of Pentecost, when they were all coming. The men were mandated to attend the Feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem. The pilgrims, men and women, coming, converging on Jerusalem, and so the timing of it was intentional. And so, just to review about the Ark coming to the temple, there was that 11-month wait.

It gave them time to prepare and make sure everything was in place. They wanted it to coincide with also the Day of Atonement, which preceded the Feast of Booths, the Jubilee, the Ark moving in, and the Tabernacle of Moses. So, the Ark had been separated for decades from the rest of the Tabernacle of Moses. The bronze altar, the golden altar, the tent, all those things, the showbread table, the lampstand, the utensils, all that was separate from the Ark. And now, Solomon's going to bring all of it back. Most of it will be stored.

The only piece of furniture that will be used from Moses' temple is the Ark of the Covenant. Everything else has been replaced, but he's going to bring it, and those extra rooms that he built into the temple precincts around the temple would be where they would store it. Verse 3, So all the elders came. It gets exciting.

I don't promise, but I think it will. So all the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the Ark. As I mentioned, this was the Ark that Moses oversaw its fabrication, that Joshua, when he brought the people into the Promised Land, it was the priests who carried this very Ark into the Jordan River, and the river rolled back, and the people crossed over on dry ground as the priests stood there with the Ark. They couldn't see the Ark. It was covered, but they knew it was there, and nobody would dare peek under the... And these poles, incidentally, evidently the poles to carry the Ark, they had rings on the side of the Ark, and they'd slip these poles in so they wouldn't touch it, and the priests would carry it on their shoulders.

This is about 30 feet long. We'll get to that in a little bit. You say, that doesn't sound right. Well, you can disagree with the verse. I don't remember what exact verse it's in, but we'll come to it if you like, but I don't have a problem with it. It actually works out well for the priests.

More of them can help carry it. Deuteronomy 31, 9. The priests, the sons of Levi, who bore the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord.

They are the ones responsible for carrying the Ark. As I mentioned, the only piece of original furniture going into God's structure, this building. Nothing could replace the throne of God in the law, which is the idea.

Nothing replaces. You can get other lampstands and tables and other things, but the mercy seat of God is exclusive, and I think that's one of the lessons that I get out of it. Just think of this. All the people involved in making the original Ark, and the men and women, because the women contributed also. They kept the homes of the men who worked, the artisans who worked and fashioned the Ark, for example. This was something that all the people had something to do with in that sense. All of them, every single one of them, were born slaves, the adults. They were born slaves. Every sinner ever forgiven, every sinner who has received mercy of God is born a slave to sin.

Every child of Adam is born a slave to sin, and yet there's mercy from God for just those kind of people. And I think that it's an interesting thing, again, of all of the articles of furniture that was retained, that was to sit forever, was the Ark of the Covenant, and it was called the Ark. The chest, the chest itself was one piece. That's where the rod of Aaron, the manna, and the tablets of the word were stored, and then the lid was called the mercy seat, with the cherubim facing in, overlaid in gold, must have been very beautiful, but it was very significant, and that's what's going to come out of this chapter. Of course, we can't get the whole chapter. There's 66 verses.

If you'd like to stay to midnight, we can give it a shot, but we'll break it up at least into two parts. Verse 4, then they brought to the Ark of Yahweh the tabernacle of meeting, and all the holy furnishings that were in the tabernacle. The priest and the Levites brought them up. So there is the permanent link now between the tabernacle of Moses and the temple of Solomon, the Ark of the Covenant. Then they brought up the Ark of Yahweh, the tabernacle of meeting. That's Moses' tent and all of the things that went with it. Of course, the Ark being the only one preserved, as I've said a few times already. Just looking at the Ark of the Covenant, for a long time it remained in Gilgal, the first camp of the Jews once they crossed into the Promised Land, where Joshua said, God's rolled away the shame. We're not the people who were delivered out of Egypt, but couldn't be delivered into the Promised Land. Now we're in the Promised Land.

Gilgal was their first base. The temple was there with the Ark, and then it moved to Shiloh, and then Mizpah. At some point, the Jews decided, well, at the point when Eli was the judge over Israel before Samuel, they went to war, the Jews did, with the Philistines, and they decided to take the Ark of the Covenant with them into battle. Well, they lost, and the Philistines got hold of the Ark. God persuaded the Philistines to bring the Ark back, and they did. Then it was taken to Kiriath-jearim, a Levite city, a priestly city, and for 20 years, that's where the Ark of the Covenant stayed, separated from the other parts of Moses' tabernacle. Then, of course, David comes along, and he wants to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.

Uzzah gets struck dead. The journey stops, and the Ark goes to the house of Obed-Edom, and it stays there for a while. Then David goes back, and he brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. Finally, it is brought into the temple by Solomon, reunited again with Moses' articles of the tabernacle. And there the glory of Yahweh will fill the house as evidence of his grace and his approval.

He will sanctify this. Verse 5, Also, King Solomon and all the congregation of Israel who were assembled with him were with him before the Ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen that could not be counted or numbered for multitude. Now, with all these animals around, in a sandal-clad world, street sweepers would have been a must. I mean, they're just, I mean, animals, they're just not as cute as cartoon animals, to me. I'd better not talk about animals, because people can get quite un-Christian about animals. Just a warning, don't have more love for pets than lost souls. That's the devil messing with your head, redirecting love. You know, it's easier to love a pet than a lot of people.

But you have to fight it. I mean, Christ died, you know, for sinners. So we'll just leave it at that.

Please, no hate mail this time. Animal blood sacrifices. There's so much butchering, slaughtering and butchering going on, that they couldn't even count it. It had to be just quite a scene. A lot of meat would come out of this, and the Temple Mount was a palace on the inside, in the temple itself.

But a slaughterhouse on the outside. And sin has done this. And this is just, life is like that. There are these palace-type things about life that make us want to cling to life, but then there's the butchering, too.

There's the horrible things about life that we say, man, I can't wait to get out of here. I think the contrast and the allegory and the emblem of these Old Testament events are very helpful. Because you look at them and you say they fit so well together in so many areas of life, they're not necessarily expressing doctrine directly, but they are telling us about life in a cursed world under a sovereign God, who has more plans for us, for those who come to Him. That this is not everything. That there is life beyond this life. And to get there, the inspiration is to do the best we can for this sovereign God, who is as loving as He is sovereign. So, it's not wasted.

I don't think it's wasted. Little things like that. Again, if you come to the temple, your first contact with the Jewish temple would have been your sense of smell. If they were putting the burnt sacrifices on the altar, you would smell it before you got there. Oh, you'd probably see the smoke first.

That would probably be the first thing from a distance. And then the smell. And then the sight. And it all meant something then and it means something now. But what has happened is the cross of Christ has eclipsed it all. We have the cross of Christ. We have the Son of God innocently slain like a lamb to the slaughter for me, personally. And all of these things in the Jewish religion of the Hebrews was an anticipation, in anticipation of the cross of Christ and His resurrection. Because there's no, so you just have a slaughter, but there has to be something else.

It's just butchering. And something else is the forgiveness, and thus the bronze. The bronze speaks of judgment and repentance. Because if there was only judgment, there'd be no altar.

You'd just be judged. But the fact that there is an altar means that there is a place to find propitiation for my sin. Forgiveness.

There's a way to approach God, to have my sin dealt with. Verse 6, the priest brought in the ark of the covenant of Yahweh to its place, into the inner sanctuary of the temple, to the most holy place under the wings of the cherubim. Now the king is the religious leader at this time, not of ritual. There are things he cannot do. He most definitely cannot offer incense on the golden altar, which we'll get one of the kings tried to do it, and went bad for him, and stayed bad for him. And he was a good king, and there's a lot of lessons in that too. But here, the king is the religious leader. Now, he is subject to a dispatched prophet of God. Jehu, the first king of the northern kingdom, is appointed by God. And when he began to sin, God dispatched an unnamed prophet to deal with him. And to deal with him, he did. It is how God set it up.

We'll touch on it a little bit more. Verse 7, for the cherubim spread their two wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim overshadowed the ark and its poles. Exodus 25, verse 15, the poles shall be in the rings of the ark, they shall not be taken from it.

Well, they're going to stay in. He brings the ark into this temple, and the poles will stay in, and they will be visible, sort of poking out of the curtain, because to go from the holy place to the holiest place where the ark sat, there was a curtain, but there were also doors. Presumably the doors remained open because these poles would stick out. In verse 8, the poles extended so that the ends of the poles could be seen from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary, but they could not be seen from outside, verse 8, and they are there to this day. Well, the suggestion, the ark, again, is the presence of God.

That's what it symbolizes. God is with them, which is why they took it to battle, but they reduced it to a rabbit's foot. They weren't obeying God at that point. They were just using the emblem of God. Here, that the poles suggest the ark is right here, that the presence of God cannot be contained by this holy place.

He's bigger than this. The rabbis said that the poles were visible bumps behind the veil, just so you could see their imprint. I don't know how they would have got to see that. Maybe a priest came out and told them, yeah, let me draw you a picture. Well, can I see? You can go see.

You just won't come back to tell anybody. Now, the ark is just about 3 foot, almost 4 foot wide, about 2 foot high. This holy place in the temple is 30 foot square, so you just do the math. They placed it, the cherubim were in the center of the room.

They were huge, 15 foot tall, 15 foot wide, with their wings spread out, these cherubim. So if the ark is in the middle of the room, and these poles are sticking out on one end, well, you've got to say, well, the other side is a wall, so they probably slid them back just a little bit. How long were these poles? Let's take a pole. They were made out of acacia wood, and I guess that's some pretty tough stuff. You know, you have so many questions, it just creates.

And you look at artistic renderings, you say, well, that doesn't match. The poles are too small. This thing could hold, you know, 7 or 8 guys on each end, each single pole, one side, I guess. We should reconstruct this.

Anybody got 30 foot poles? Anyway, that's that on that, and they are there to this day. So that means this section was recorded about 380 years before this whole temple's going to be destroyed. It's got about, the clock is ticking, and God is bigger than any temple. So the one who compiled this section is long dead by the time the other chapters, latter chapters come in, in chapter 25 of 2 Kings, we have the story of the temple being destroyed. So you have multiple contributors to the Book of Kings, because who could live through all the generations? Verse 9, nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb. Then Yahweh made a covenant with the children of Israel when they came out of the land of Egypt. So not only is this the very ark that Moses could, he saw the ark, of course, he saw it in vision, in reality, but the stones, nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of stone which Moses put there at Horeb.

You know, I guess the closest thing we might have is, you know, George Washington actually wrote with this pen, you know, his quill or something. But this is so much greater than that, the very stones that Moses had are still with them. Thanks for joining us for today's teaching on Cross-Reference Radio. This is the daily radio ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia.

We trust that what you've heard today in the book of 1 Kings has had a lasting imprint on your life. If you'd like to listen to more teachings from this series or share it with someone you know, please visit We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast too so you'll never miss another edition. Just visit and follow the links under radio. Again, that's Our time with you today is about up, but we hope you'll tune in next time to continue studying the word of God. Join us again as Pastor Rick covers more in the book of 1 Kings on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-04 09:22:45 / 2023-04-04 09:32:29 / 10

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime