THE SERVANT GENERAL
ARK OF THE COVENANT
Today’s reading: Revelation 11:19-12:10
God’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple.”
ark of the covenant was the holiest and most important article
in all Israel. It contained the stone tablets of the law (Ex
25:16,21; 40:20; Dt 10:5), and thus was first called the ark
of the commandments (Ex 30:6; 31:7; 39:35), and later the
ark of the covenant of the Lord (Nm 10:33).
ark played a significant part in the life of Israel. It preceded
the Israelites as they crossed the Jordan, with the waters
of the Jordan parting to allow them to cross on dry ground.
The ark was paraded around Jericho, and on the seventh day
the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites stormed
the city and took it (Jos 6:20). Their enemies were frightened
of the presence of the ark (1 Sm 4:6-7). The ark, captured
by the Philistines, wreaked havoc among them and their god
Dagon (1 Sm 5:7).
was divine power in the ark of the covenant!
Later the prophet Jeremiah, following a divine revelation,
brought the ark to Mount Nebo, found a room in a cave, put
the ark there, and blocked up the entrance (2 Mc 2:4-5). Those
who tried to mark the path later could not find it (2 Mc 2:6).
Ultimately the ark could no longer be found.
had said: “The place is to remain unknown until God
gathers his people together again and shows them mercy. Then
the Lord will disclose these things, and the glory of the
Lord will be seen in the cloud” (2 Mc 2:7-8a).
Then John had his explosive revelation of his vision at Patmos.
It was a time of crisis among the faithful, who were being
ruthlessly persecuted by the Romans. Even with the threat
of martyrdom, the Christians were being exhorted to await
the fulfillment of God’s mighty promises. They were
encouraged to look to the triumph of God in the world.
Christians, especially the Jewish Christians, would have been
very much aware of what Jeremiah said about the most precious
ark of the covenant. It would again be found when God gathers
His people together again and shows them His mercy. Then the
glory of the Lord will be seen in the cloud.
John spoke of his vision of heavenly worship. The elders said:
“We give thanks to you, Lord God almighty, who are and
who were. For you have assumed your great power and have established
your reign. The nations raged, but your wrath has come, and
the time for the dead to be judged, and to recompense your
servants, the prophets, and the holy ones and those who fear
your name, the small and the great alike, and to destroy those
who destroy the earth.” (Rev 11:17-18).
the time indicated by Jeremiah have come?
And then what happened next was just mind-boggling. “Then
God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his
covenant could be seen in the temple.” (Rev 11:19a).
After so many centuries, the ark of the covenant reappeared!
something even more remarkable followed. There was a great
theophany, with “flashes of lightning, rumblings, and
peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm.”
(Rev 11:19b). Something extraordinary was about to happen.
Was the glory of the Lord about to be seen in the cloud?
happened next was amazing. “A great sign appeared in
the sky, a woman clothed with the sun” (Rev 12:1).
appeared was Mary. Mary was, and is, the ark of the covenant.
Now the ark also contained the manna and the rod of Aaron.
In the ark “were the gold jar containing the manna,
the staff of Aaron that had sprouted, and the tablets of the
covenant.” (Heb 9:4). These three objects were very
significant. They symbolized God’s covenant with His
people, whom He would care for (provider), minister to (priest),
and rule (king and lawmaker).
precious and holy as the three objects the ark bore were,
they paled in comparison to what Mary bore.
ark contained the manna, which was God’s miraculous
provision of food in the desert, keeping them alive over forty
years. Mary bore in her womb the Bread of Life himself, with
the promise of eternal life. Jesus himself said, “This
is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors
who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live
forever.” (Jn 6:58).
ark contained the rod of Aaron, the high priest. Mary bore
in her womb Jesus, the eternal High Priest.
ark contained the tablets of the law, the very word of God.
Mary bore in her womb the Word made flesh, God Himself.
The ark was of the Old Covenant. Mary is the ark of the New
from “Forty More Days with Mary,” Day 9)
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Mary - Part 11[PDF]