Article taken from the book Journey Of The Ark. Can be downloaded for free from here. All rights belong to the author.
God’s people started their journey in Egypt as the they were about to be delivered from slavery. They were about to experience salvation from their oppressor, but they could not leave until they had celebrated their first Passover, and the Passover lamb
was slain. This powerful symbol of our salvation from the slavary of sin, pointed to Christ dying in our stead. God led them from Egypt to Sinai where He reintroduced His people to His law and Kingship. Then they were ready to enter the promised land to
become citizens of God’s kingdom. Well that was the plan. It was only intended to take a few months to implement God’s ‘Plan A’ and for them to enter the promised land, but they didn’t cooperate with this plan. I’m sure this is also the case with many of us too. God has a ‘Plan A’ for our lives too, one that is straight forward and simple and brings His peace to us sooner, but we rarely choose God’s plan for our lives. Fear, and doubt that God wants the best for us take us down many roads God never intended for us to travel, leaving us with heartache that could have been avoided – and so everyone had to die in that wilderness. A new birth is the only path to salvation. So whenever you may have experienced turmoil in your life, God had planned a more straight way, but how is all this related to the Ark of the Covenant? Well the Bible is full of practical examples, put there to lead us onto the right path. Right now there are people claiming the Ark of the Covenant is hidden in many different places, and so which one is correct? Perhaps the answer to this question is right there in the symbolism found in Scripture. One of the purposes of the Ark in the wilderness was to search out a resting place for them. “And they departed from the mount of the LORD three days’ journey: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them in the three days’ journey, to search out a resting place for them.” (Numbers 10:33). One of the tasks was therefore to go before God’s people to lead them to a place which would provide rest and their other needs. I want you to remember the specific wording, “rest”. Why didn’t God say as usual that “He” would go before them in this particular verse? Why specify that the Ark itself had this task? Nothing in the Bible is accidental. When they had finally entered the promised land the Ark was taken to Shiloh. Shiloh was probably named after the Ark was taken there, as ‘Shiloh’ was a prophetic name for the Prince of Peace, The Messiah that they were waiting for. They probably thought they had reached their resting place after 40 years wandering in the wilderness, but as we know, Israel’s true, spiritual rest had not really arrived.
The Bible says, “When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God… ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.” (Joshua 3:3). So could this message still be relevant today? Where is the final resting place God wants to lead His people? The place where they could obtain true freedom and peace at heart? To the foot of the cross. How beautiful, if the purpose of the Ark is to guide us to our resting place, and it traveled all the way to Skull Hill, right at the foot of the cross! And it hasn’t moved
from the cross since. Israel had long relied on their ceremonies, as well as victory over their enemies to give them rest, but that didn’t give them rest. For the real rest, they needed to “go after” the Ark, to the cross. There God will take your burdens, and give you salvation through Christ’s righteousness. There is the Ark. There is your spiritual resting place, where your carnal man dies and a new spiritual man is born, now a citizen of heaven. The cross is the last place where people can find rest on this Earth before entering heaven, and the Ark is at the gateway. Praise the Lord for that!
Yet how sad it is for those who think the Ark is hidden in Egypt – the symbol of Satan’s kingdom of sin. Some say it’s in Ethiopia and tell you to go on a pilgrimage there. Ethiopia is connected to punishment upon Israel, and to disobedience. In the Bible, Ethiopia was Egypt’s ally. In fact the term “rest” is only used in connection to Ethiopia when God said He would overcome the Ethiopian army and thereby give Israel rest. So here, “rest” pertains to the destruction of Ethiopia’s army. (See Ezekiel 30, 2 Chron 14:1-12; Deut 12:2, 10; Isaiah 18, Isaiah 20; Isaiah 43:1-7; Isaiah 45:14; Jer.46, Deut 25:19, Amos 9; Ezek 38, Nahum 3; Zephaniah 2-3)
Some allege the Ark is in the wilderness, but the book of Hebrews clearly states those who wandered there did not enter into “God’s rest” (Hebrews 3:7-13 to 18). Some say the Ark is in Mount Nebo in Moab. What did God say about that place? While they were there He said, “For ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth you.” (Deut 1:1, 5 & 12:9). Some say the Ark is underneath the old temple site, but the Bible says that
those who think they can be saved through the ceremonial law are still in captivity. They have not received God’s rest. That was the old covenant system, the sacrificial laws that were flawed and couldn’t save. Would the Ark really lead the people of God there? The blood of animals could never save (Hebrews 10:4). What did Christ say? “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24).
If the Ark led us to any other place it would have failed it’s task of leading God’s people to rest. So did God’s throne fail? You know where the Ark is don’t you? It is where it always wanted to lead the children of Israel to, because “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6).
If the Lord of the Ark led you to any of these other places then surely such places wouldn’t be a resting place at all, but a place of death, sin and confusion. But the Ark isn’t in Egypt, Jordan, Ethiopia or the Temple Mount – it couldn’t have led people there – that wasn’t it’s task.
It’s final station is the cross – it points to the cross. The law points to the cross. There is your rest – there is your salvation. There is your faith and your deliverance.
Don’t be fooled and follow the counterfeit allegations of the Ark in Egypt, the wilderness or the place of the imperfect, old covenant, sacrificial system. Follow the real Ark discovery. You know where to go. You know where our resting place is in this world, and don’t think you are being led to a cave. No one was allowed to see the Ark veiled in the Sanctuary in the wilderness. They had to look up, to the Shekinah above His throne – the real Leader. The Ark was a symbol of kingship, but their salvation was with their King. You too must not run to a cave below Golgotha to find rest, but look up to where Christ died for us. God wants to remind the world of what took place there. So we can as a people still follow the Ark and trust it will lead us to our resting place, at the foot of the cross. The Ark was never lost – we were