The lost Ark of the Covenant
I SAMUEL 4:22 - …”The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God was taken.”
The popular movie Raiders of the Lost Ark familiarized a whole new generation with an ancient Biblical relic that has been largely forgotten: the Ark of the Covenant. The ark represented God’s presence among his people, and His awesome holiness. Not only is the actual ark lost today, but I believe we have lost what it represented as well. We have lost the sense of God’s holy presence among His people.
Nothing is viewed as sacred anymore. Cameras intrude into bedrooms, courtrooms, and all areas of our private lives. Networks air suicides to capture ratings. Ordinary people and celebrities mock God openly. We have lost the reverence of God that is critical to our very survival. Listen! Even the seraphim who surrounded the throne of God knew when to cover their eyes. Even the sun knew to hide its face on Good Friday. How we need to bring back the ark to our land, to recover our sense of the sacred. How do we bring back the ark? The same way Israel did. We repent, confessing our sin to the living God who makes ethical requirements of us. We return to Him with our whole heart, acknowledging His authority over us. Then we remove the foreign gods from among us. Foreign gods? That’s right. “Little-g” deities like the god of comfort, the god of beauty, the god of gain and ease and activity—all of these must go if the ark is to return. Then we are to serve God only, and God alone. He is not to be just a part of our agenda, but our entire agenda. He is to be involved in every endeavor, every relationship, every dream and desire.
There’s an agricultural truism that fits here, I believe. When a farmer whose crops were choked out by weeds would blame the soil, he would be told “any soil that will grow weeds will grow beans.” A life that is sensual can also be a life that is pure. A life that is prideful can be a life that is humble. It is possible to live in the presence of God in a wicked world. The ark can still reside among us!