The Berean Expositor
Volume 17 - Page 13 of 144
Index | Zoom
seems so apparent, we can hardly dismiss as fanciful that suggestion that the two natures
"flesh" and "spirit" (Rom. 1: 3, 4) are set forth by the wood and gold used in the
construction of the ark. Within the ark was placed, at different intervals of time:--
The tables of the covenant.
Aarons' rod that budded.
The golden pot of manna.
The tables of stone are called "the testimony" and "the covenant", and give their
names to the ark. These were the only articles placed in the ark when it was first made
(Exod. 25: 16). The tables of stone originally given to Moses were broken by the angry
law-giver at the sight of the people and the golden calf, and after having demonstrated
that they had so soon broken the covenant into which they had entered, Moses prayed for
the people:--
"Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now,
if Thou wilt forgive their sin---; and if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book which
Thou hast written" (Exod. 32: 31, 32).
Passing over much that we shall have to consider later, we find the Lord restated the
covenant, after bidding Moses to hew tables of stone like unto the first. After the
proclamation of His mercy and graciousness, the Lord in restating the covenant lays
particular stress upon idolatry (Exod. 34: 10-28). Moses returned to Israel with the
new tables of stone, and Exod. 35: 4 re-introduces the question of the tabernacle.
What we have to learn from this rather complicated parenthesis is the old lesson of the
ages. Before Israel actually received the tables of stone, they had broken them, and when
Moses once more returned with the fresh tables of stone, he said in effect: "Make an ark.
This covenant cannot be kept by you. All that you can hope for is to have a system of
types and shadows, and await the advent of Him Who alone can magnify the law and
make it honourable."
The same story is found in Gen. 3: Man failed, and is shut up to the promised Seed.
Israel failed, and is shut up unto the faith that should afterward be revealed. The
important fact for us at the moment is that the ark contains the unbroken law. It is
fundamental to both doctrinal and dispensational truth that it should be so. One cannot
imagine, after a knowledge of the truth, the broken tables of stone being placed in the ark.
The ark speaks of a law and a covenant fulfilled. Now the tabernacle and its furniture
were shadows of the true or heavenly reality. Two references from the Apocalypse will
be sufficient to prove that the ark was a pattern of a heavenly reality:--
"And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the
ark of the His covenant" (Rev. 11: 19).
"Behold, the inner shrine of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened"
(Rev. 15: 5).
Following the former quotation came lightnings, voices, thunderings, earthquakes, and
great hail, which in turn is followed by the sign of Israel and the dragon (Rev. 12:).