Exodus 25:10-22 It is through the written and the spoken word that believers manifest God’s power
Exodus 25:10-22 It is through the written and the spoken word that believers manifest God’s power
The Ark of the covenant
“They shall construct an ark of acacia wood two and a half cubits long, and one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high. 11 You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and out you shall overlay it, and you shall make a gold molding around it. 12 You shall cast four gold rings for it and fasten them on its four feet, and two rings shall be on one side of it and two rings on the other side of it. 13 You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold. 14 You shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, to carry the ark with them. 15 The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be removed from it. 16 You shall put into the ark the testimony which I shall give you.
17 “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold, two and a half cubits long and one and a half cubits wide. 18 You shall make two cherubim of gold, make them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 Make one cherub at one end and one cherub at the other end; you shall make the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at its two ends. 20 The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat. 21 You shall put the mercy seat on top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony which I will give to you. 22 There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.
The Tabernacle is the sanctuary that houses the Ark. The Ark which hosts God’s presence and is located at the inner sanctuary of the tabernacle: holy of the holiest.
God spoke to His people through the Ark by way of the written and spoken word. And through the word, the Ark opened rivers and destroyed cities to establish God’s kingdom. Today, believers become the Tabernacle through which God manifests His power to heal and to save. As believers etch God’s written word in their hearts and converse with God face to face, we become the Tabernacle to do God’s mighty exploits. Today’s devotion teaches us: It is through the written and the spoken word that believers manifest God’s power.
“They shall construct an ark of acacia wood two and a half cubits long, and one and a half cubits wide, and one and a half cubits high.
The Ark is a box with dimensions of 2.5 cubits in length (1.25m), 1.5 cubits in height (0.75m), and 1.5 cubits in width (0.75m). On the top of the Ark was a golden plate upon which two facing cherubim, with raised wings covered the Ark.
And in the ark you shall put the testimony which I will give to you. There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the Ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.
The tablets containing the Ten Commandments were placed in the Ark. The presence of God was located just above the mercy seat. It was from between the two cherubim which are upon the Ark where God met with Moses. It is important to note that the Ark not only housed the written commandments (the tablets), it is where God communes with Moses.
It is through the written and the spoken word that believers manifest God’s power
The word of God is an intrinsic part of the Ark
The Ark hosts the word of God which comprises the written and the spoken word. It is by the word that the Ark manifests the power of God. By the word, the Ark opened river Jordan, destroyed cities, and plagued the enemy. God gave Moses the written word in the form of the Ten Commandments. It represents the values and principles through which God work. The written word is universal, timeless and unchanging. It is part of the covenant that God made with Israel. God told Moses to impress the written word in the hearts and soul of the people. God said,
“You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.” – Deuteronomy 11:18
Besides the written word, God spoke to Moses from between the two cherubim providing instructions for Israel. Unlike the written word, the spoken word pertains to specific situations only and is time-bound. Through the spoken word, we see God intervening and preserving Israel through every crisis. In the days of Moses, God communes with Israel through the Ark. How does God commune with His people in the New Testament?
Through the New Covenant, the word transforms our nature.
In the New Covenant, the word is no longer housed in an external structure. It is internalised within the believer. The word is no longer written in tablets of stone. It is etched into our hearts. Here, the Spirit regenerates our nature to love God and love others. God said,
“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. – Jeremiah 31:33
Here, the word merges into the believer’s soul, transforming their intrinsic nature towards Christ-likeness. No longer do we need to be reminded daily to obey God’s Law. If we need to be reminded, then the word has not yet transformed us.
The believer’s focus is not in quoting scriptures, but in hearing the voice of Christ.
In the Old Covenant, the word was written on tablets of stone. Hence, the people were drilled continuously with scripture verses so that they may remember not to sin. God said,
You shall teach them (the Law) to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” – Deuteronomy 11:19-20
In the New Covenant, the focus is not in quoting scriptures, but in hearing God’s voice, to know Him, and to become like Him. From Jesus’s interaction with His disciples, we do not see Him quoting scriptures from the Old Testament. However, we see Him quoting from the Old Testament when He dealt with the Pharisees who accused Him of breaking the Law. In the New Covenant, there is a seismic shift from educating the mind to knowing God in the heart. And this results in the regeneration of the heart. God said regarding the New Covenant,
They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” – Jeremiah 31:34
Therefore, scripture no longer serves to reform the mind alone. But even more importantly, it serves the bridge to meet with Christ.
Put in a nutshell, it is through hearing Christ’s voice (spoken word) that scripture (written word) is truly internalised. Therefore, the believer must study and understand the bible daily. And even more, he must wait on the Spirit to meet with Christ and to hear His voice. The process of studying scripture is to gather “Observation”. And waiting on the Spirit brings “Truth”. I spend 20% of my time sitting down to study scripture and 80% of my time communing with the Spirit. It is here that God impresses upon my heart His truth and what He is and will be doing in the world. I have learned the secret of communing with God in the Spirit while I am driving or doing some work.
Many scan scriptures in large portions within a short time thinking they have internalised them. They listen to teachers that appear convincing without reconciling with scriptures or seeking the Spirit’s perspective. As a result, they become oblivious to what God is doing in the world. They cannot converse with Christ face to face because from time to time, their erroneous convictions surface as conversation killers. Until we read the scriptures verse by verse, chapter by chapter and book by book, our minds remain misaligned with God. Until we learn to walk with Christ and hear His voice, scripture remains as mere knowledge.
Believers are the Tabernacle through which God manifests His power.
Believers who know Christ, who hear His voice and converse with Him will become God’s instruments to do great exploits. Therefore, the focus is to follow Christ by walking with the Spirit moment by moment while having a loose grip over all our convictions. Many follow their personal convictions as opposed to following Christ. They have not read the bible, yet they possess strong beliefs and opinions. When we stand before God, we are like children who know nothing. Our black or white mentality crumbles before the all-knowing God. Personal convictions go by what is right in one’s own eyes. Although he does nothing intrinsically evil, his ways remain his own and separated from God’s perfect will. Proverbs says,
There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. – Proverbs 14:12.
Believers must always depend on Christ’s spoken word to form convictions and make decisions.
The Gibeonite’s deception of Israel is one classic example. God had earlier instructed Israel not to make peace with any nation in their vicinity (see Exodus 34:12). In Joshua chapter 9, the Gibeonites who lived in the region came with dry crumbled bread, worn-out clothing and scandals. And they deceived Joshua into thinking that they were from a faraway place. Joshua made a hasty peace covenant with them and did not seek God’s counsel through the Ark. As a result, Israel bore unwarranted burdens in the course of conquering Canaan.
From a scale of 1 to 10, how much are you aligned with God in the following matters:
- Your career and business decisions
- Your dealings with people
- Your assessment of the people in your organisation, in governments and churches.
- Your understanding of what God is and will be doing in the world.
- Your understanding of how God will carry out the final judgment.
Are your perspectives derived from scripture because you have read it verse by verse, chapter by chapter and book by book?
Do your convictions come by way of your direct conversations with Christ or by your rationale?
Do you form opinions because you heard various views and have decided on the ones that appear most reasonable or forthcoming to you?
Dear Lord, I thank you for giving us the scriptures and the privilege to converse with you face to face. As I devote myself to reading the scriptures, speak to me as you spoke to Jesus, Moses and the great men and women of faith. Use me as your instrument to heal, and to save by turning many from deception. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.