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Christ, the true Ark of the Covenant

Posted on Mon, Nov 9, 2009

When Christ, the true Ark of the Covenant, really enters the heart of fallen man, all idols will fall, and every endeavor to set them up again will be vain; sin as well, will be forsaken, and all unrighteous gains dismantled; the Lord will claim and possess that heart. But pride, self-love, and worldly lusts, though dethroned and crucified, still remain within us, like the stump of Dagon. Let us watch and pray that they may not prevail. Let us seek to have them more entirely destroyed. (1Sa 5:6-12)

When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained.” 1 Samuel 5:3-4
 
The chiefs of the people of Israel had resolved to take out to their war camp the Ark of the Covenant from the Holy of Holies in the Tabernacle at Shiloh because they had previously suffered defeat in their battle against the Philistines. They assumed that with the Ark of the Covenant in their camp, “the Lord will be among us.’’ Thus, the Ark will bring them victory.
Sadly, in the battle, they were defeated and the Ark of the Covenant was taken by the Philistines to Ashdod, one of their chief cities. The Philistines set the Ark in the temple of Dagon, their fish-headed idol. The next morning, when they came into the temple, the image of Dagon was lying on its face before the ark of the Lord. They stood the image up again; but on the next morning, not only was Dagon fallen down before the ark, but the hands and the head of Dagon had been cut off and were lying on the floor.
God is supreme with ever increasing power and wisdom. He cannot coexist with evil; before him every knee must bow - be they principalities or powers, or rulers of the darkness of this world. And no one can fathom his wisdom and understanding. He ably turned the tide against the Philistines and humiliated their god. We have a God who is eminently above reproach, one who requires no mortal effort for his existence. He is the Lord of all things in heaven and on earth. All of mortal powers and might rest and emanate from him.
The children of Israel wrongly assumed that because God had given them victories in the past, he would do it again with the Ark of the Covenant in their midst. They rightly recognized the holiness of the ark, but sorrowfully assumed that the Ark itself was their source of power. Thus, they used it as a good luck charm, expecting the Ark to protect them from their enemies. A symbol of God does not guarantee his protection or power. Therefore, it is wrong to live on the memories of God’s blessing to the neglect of daily renewed fellowship and relationship with God from whom spiritual victories flow. In this instance, the children of Israel had a sad lesson; we should learn from them to trust in the true God and not on objects.
When Christ, the true Ark of the Covenant, really enters the heart of fallen man, all idols will fall, and every endeavor to set them up again will be vain; sin as well, will be forsaken, and all unrighteous gains dismantled; the Lord will claim and possess that heart. But pride, self-love, and worldly lusts, though dethroned and crucified, still remain within us, like the stump of Dagon. Let us watch and pray that they may not prevail. Let us seek to have them more entirely destroyed. (1Sa 5:6-12)
 
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