A Biblically Defined Religious Spirit


I. The Ark and the Tabernacle – Exod 25 –
A. Beginning with this chapter, God lays out the plans and details for the construction of the Tabernacle, the Ark, and other furnishings of the Tabernacle
B. Verse 2 – 7: collect what people willingly contribute to the construction
C. Verse 8: God to allow/let people build
1. To represent God dwelling among them
2. It will be a sanctuary or sacred place for people
D. Verse 9: to be build to the exact plans God reveals
E. First up is the construction of the Ark verse 10-22
1. a rectangular box with dimensions in cubits corresponding to a fraction over 4′ long, 2.5 feet wide, 2.5 feet high
2. covering, called Mercy Seat
3. to contain the ‘Testimony I will give’ verses 16 and 21
4. serves as a meeting place with God verse 22
F. Continues into following chapters instructions for building tabernacle
1. a rectangular tent about 45′ long and 15′ wide divided within into two compartments by a curtain. Smaller one (15’x15) was where the ark would be kept.
2. the tabernacle was placed within an outter curtained fence that defined the court around the tabernacle (150 ft x 74 ft).
G. Details on contruction material, ornation, and dimensions were spelled out from the Lord
H. Made to be taken apart and carried to another location and assembled. Tribe of Levi were tasked with this responsibility.

II. Tabernacle build and carried throughout the wilderness
A. In promised land, Joshua set up tabernacle in Shiloh: Joshua 18:1
B. Remained there over 300 years to time of Saul as King
C. When Hannah, Samuel’s mother, and Elkanah, Samuel’s father, worshipped and offered sacrifice, they came to Shiloh where ark and tabernacle located: 1 Sam 1: 3
D. God appears to Samuel at Shiloh: 1 Sam 3: 21)
E. At sometime during Saul’s reign, tabernacle moved (without ark, see III) to Gibeon 2 Chronicles 1: 3

II. The ark was always with the tabernacle in the wilderness and into promise land for over 300 years.
A. Ark lead way in wilderness (Num 10: 33)
B. When entering the promise land, people had to cross flooded Jordan River (Josh 3: 14-17)
1. Priest carried ark and when entered Jordan river stopped flow and ground dry for people to cross
2. When all crossed, the priest carried ark across and as they left the Jordan, flow returned
3. Power of God was with the ark
C. When losing in battle, Israelite brought ark for its power (1 Sam 4: 4)
1. Ark is separated from tabernacle & does not return
2. Ark is captured by Philistine
D. 1 Sam 4 – 6 reveal the havoc the ark causes on Philistines and their return of the ark
E. Psalms 78: 60-61 and Jer 7: 12, 14 explain God’s perspective of his judgement
1. People in religious, misplaced, unfaithful worship
2. God forsakes Shiloh; delivered his strength (ark) into captivity
3. For such wickedness God will forsake ‘house called by His name’ even if He had placed Himself there
F. When ark is returned to Israel
1. People at Beth Shemesh 1 Sam 6: 12-13, 19
a. recognize the ark
b. irreverence to ark
c. punished for irreverence
2. ark sent to Kirjath Jearim & remains there 20 yr (1 Sam 7: 1-2)
3. David, as king, desires to bring ark to Jerusalem
a. goes to Baale = Kirjath Jearim 2 sam 6: 2
b.Uzzah’s irreverence punished 2 Sam 6: 6-7
c. ark left at Obed Edom house verse 11
d. Obed Edom’s household blessed by presence of ark (verse 12)
e. David brings ark from Obed Edom to City of David with gladness (verse 12) and placed in tabernacle David built (ver 17) not Moses’ tabernacle
G. Heb 9: 4 — the testimony/covenant which God said he would give and have placed in ark is revealed
1. golden pot of manna (Exod 16: 33) = bread from heaven
2. Aaron’s rod that budded (Num 17: 1-10) = dead brought to life, i.e. resurrection
3. tablets of covenant (Exod 34: 29) = word of God
H. So who is the bread from heaven, the resurrection, the word?

IV. We have the ark which represents the presence/power of God, or God Himself and we have the tabernacle which represents the location, means, opportunity, ritual, tools to identify with God
A. No illustration of power of God associated with Tabernacle or Tabernacle leading the way. Only the Ark
B. Ark is separated from Moses’ tabernacle to David’s tabernacle
C. Irreverence to ark (i.e. God) is punished
D. Relating to the ark with reverence and gladness is blessed

V. Solomon – David’s Son
A. Raised in Jerusalem where David brought the Ark and worshipped
B. Becomes king after David
C. Goes to find God in Gibeon (2 Chr 1: 3)
1. God meets him there
2. Why travel to a high place to find God when His presence was where Solomon dwelt (Jerusalem)?
3. Was he being more religious?

VI. Religious spirit amongst us
A. When where, how, when, with whom we worship is more important than God
B. When we forget or don’r realize God dwells within us – such that our behavior reflects that we have to somewhere, perform some action (traditions, sing certain songs, use certain translations, a certain day or time, make a certain offering) to get into the presence of God
C. When wee make a high place out of a doctrine, a leader, a teaching, a prophecy
D. When we are note or become critical that others are not doing it right
E. When we lose our awe and joy for God
F. When we don’t recognize that we are being or can be punished by God for our irreverence of Him

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