Jesus Hiding in the Ark of the Covenant

We know that everything done in the Old Testament was to shadow Christ and His coming.  There are a lot of amazing pictures of Christ found throughout the Torah, the Prophets, and the Psalms.  One particular picture that most people don’t think about is what was found in the Ark of the Covenant.

“the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.”

Hebrews 9:4

What was contained in the Ark of the Covenant was incredible! 

Manna represented God’s provision for His people, the Israelites, as they were wandering the desert.  It fell down from heaven to satisfy their hunger everyday.  It typified life to the people of God.

The tablets of the covenant were the ten commandments.  The ten commandments are God’s law.  They are God’s truth and were given to Moses on Mount Sinai.

And Aaron’s staff.  Why is Aaron’s staff in there?  What did that represent?  Well, who was Aaron?  He was the high priest.  Aaron represented the intercessor between God and man for forgiveness and atonement.  The high priest would sacrifice on behalf of the people and be the way that the Israelites could have a right relationship with the LORD.  Think about all of this.  What did Jesus say in John 14:6?

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Jesus was hiding in the Ark of the Covenant!!!

Truth Can Be Found

You teens are faced everyday with a postmodern worldview.  It is in the movies you watch, the friends you may have, your teachers who instruct you, and even among church leaders today.  Postmodernism says that truth is found within yourself, your experiences, and your desires.  It says that truth cannot be known by an outside source like the Bible, so decide for yourself what you believe.  The Bible says that the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men “suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18), so this is expected out of sinful people.  But you all must be on guard against such heresies.

You can see postmodernism in two major places within America today: secular society and within the church.  Outside the church people claim Buddhism, Mormonism, Christianity, etc. are all truths, just different truths.  Within the church, people claim that difficult passages of Scripture cannot be fully understood without contradiction so they decide that every person’s interpretation is truth and now it’s okay.  It’s the settle-for-what-YOU-think-is-best strategy.

As an American evangelical teen, where do you get your truth?  From your experiences and what you think or the Bible?  For Jesus said to the Father, “Sanctify them in the truth, your word is truth” (John 17:17).  Did you get that?  God’s word is truth! 

How do you interpret Scripture?  From within yourself and what you want it to say?  Or from constant prayer, study, and exegesis (which is understanding what the Author’s intent of the passages are in Scripture)? 

Do not settle for ignorance.  Do not settle for contradictions in Scripture.  God has revealed His truth to us.  Remember your AWANA theme verse?

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

So when you are faced with uncertainty within secular society, find your truth in Scripture.  And when you are faced with uncertainty within the church itself, rightly handle Scripture. 

God’s Omnipresence in Hell

There’s a common viewpoint among evangelicals, especially in America, that hell is a place absent of God. Those who hold this belief claim that the worst place to be for a human would be away from the presence of the Almighty. But is this what Scripture really teaches?  Many theologians would disagree.

“The worst thing about hell is the presence of God there.”

R.C. Sproul

Scripture says that hell is a place of shame and everlasting contempt (Dan. 12:2), unquenchable fire (Matt. 3:12), weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 8:12), and eternal torment (Rev. 20:10-15).

What’s frightening to realize is that God is the One who created this atmosphere. And God not only created this place, but hell is the place where God bestows His absolute fury, anger, and wrath upon unbelievers for eternity. Romans 2:8 says, “for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger.”  Can God bestow wrath and anger without being there?  Can He display His emotions in a place absent of Him?

Revelation says,

“he, too, [the unbeliever] will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever.” (14:10-11)

David says elsewhere, “If I go up to the heavens, You are there; if I make my bed in the depths, You are there” (Psalm 139:8). David is claiming God’s omnipresence, which is the term used to describe God’s presence everywhere, all at once.

But is that true? Is God everywhere all at once? If we claim that God is omnipresent, can we claim that God is not in hell? If God is not in hell, then is He still omnipresent? Or is He just omnipresent for a certain amount of time, then the earth ends, and He becomes specifically present?

Is God there watching the torment and burning of unbelievers from the beginning of time to the end?  Or is God in heaven with those who believed?  Can God be in both places at once?  Is it possible that He cannot be somewhere?  Think about it!  What do you believe?

Other verses about God’s wrath and hell: Prov. 11:4; 11:23; 27:7; Isaiah 13:9;13; Daniel 12:2; Nahum 1:2; Zeph. 1:15;18; Matt. 3:7,12; 8:12; 12:32; 18:8; 25:41,46; 26:24; Mark 9:43-48; 3:29; Luke 3:17; 16:24,26; Rom. 1:18; 2:5-8; 3:5; 5:9; 9:22; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6; 1 Thess. 1:10; 2:16; 5:9; 2 Thess. 1:9-10; Heb. 6:1-2; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 12-13; Rev. 15:1,7; 16:1,19; 19:3,15.