What is the Ark of the Covenant?
There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.Exodus 25:22
When the tribes of Israel came out of Egypt, Moses led them to Mount Sinai to cut covenant with the God of their ancestors, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Covenant is more than a solemn agreement. It signifies the joining of two or more different entities into one and is formalised with a shared meal. Jewish tradition describes this ceremony on Mount Sinai as a wedding.
The people of Israel took two days to prepare themselves and then approached the mountain where God had first appeared to Moses in the burning bush. God spoke the words that we now call the Ten Commandments. The sound of God’s voice was so terrifying that the people begged Moses to be their representative and to go up the mountain alone. But before that, 70 elders including Moses, Aaron and Aaron’s two eldest sons shared a covenant meal with God. They saw God on His throne and lived.
Moses went up the mountain where he received the plans for the moveable place of worship, the Tabernacle, and the basic laws for the nation that was being formed. Hebrews tells us that the Tabernacle was a copy of the courts of God in Heaven (Hebrews 8:5). Each article had a specific purpose for the worshippers to prepare their hearts to meet with God.
Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.Exodus 25:8-9
We’ll look at the instructions for the Ark of the Covenant and follow it’s journey to David’s Tabernacle in the next articles.