Wednesday, February 4, 2009


All the surrounding nations worshiped images of humans, animals or reptiles. But God forbade the Israelites to worship an image of anything in creation. Israel’s God wasn’t part of creation. He was the Creator of the universe! You can’t make a statue, an idol, a picture or any other kind of physical image to symbolize God. Only in the abstract can we illustrate some of God’s nature. For example, a triangle represents the tri-unity of God. A circle represents the infinity of God. And even these analogies are human and week, helping our tiny minds to get a glimpse of our awesome God.

The other nation’s would look at Israel's Ark of the Covenant with curiosity. We know from the Bible that it was used to contain the Ten Commandments, among other things. To the other nations, it seemed to be nothing more than a richly ornamented pedestal. It was a wooden box overlayed in gold with two angels on top of its lid. These angels were not in the middle, so they weren’t the focal point of the lid. They were more to the edges, and they were each bowing in the direction of one another as though to some invisible Deity between them. In the middle of the cover, where every other nation in the world would have put some kind of image or idol, there was nothing but empty space!

I can imagine the children of Israel taking this ark out to the battle field. They approached the enemy’s camp. Their songs of praise could be heard as their little golden box came into view. They were going to battle carrying what looked like an empty stand, singing songs of praise. But who were they singing to? As far as their enemy could see, there was nobody on top of their box to worship! I imagine some of those enemy soldiers were wondering. One of them may have sneered, “That’s a beautiful pedestal, but aren’t you missing something?"

The enemy didn’t realize that God was right there enthroned over that empty space. “Yet thou art holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel” (Psalm 22:3 RSV). He had promised to lead the way and fight for them. “I will go before you and will level the mountains ; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron” (Isaiah 45:2). He was there alright, but He was there as “...the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God...” (1Timothy 1:17), He was Israel’s secret weapon!

When you face battles and trials of many kinds, remember the same secret weapon carried on the backs of priests still fights for you. You no longer have to carry the portable tabernacle and pedestal for the Invisible King to sit upon. If he sits on the throne of your heart, then you carry him everywhere you go!

[Photo by: Sacred Destinations on Flickr's Creative Commons]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share Your Views! Please allow time for moderation before comments post.