Arise, O Lord

And whenever the ark set out, Moses said, “Arise, O LORD, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.” And when it rested, he said, “Return, O LORD, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel.”

Numbers 10:35-36

We read in the Old Testament that God led the nation of Israel, newly freed from slavery in Egypt, by His very own presence-a great cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. It must have been an incredible sight. The verses above give us the words of Moses as Israel would begin to move being led by the ark of the covenant

The ark of the covenant symbolized the presence God among His people. It was even referred to as His footstool. It was a golden chest with a lid of two angels or cherubim. It could only be carried by the Levites. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the blood of an unblemished sacrificial lamb would be sprinkled on the lid of the ark to symbolize cleansing and the forgiveness of sin God granted His people.

The ark pictured God’s very presence as well as the sacrifice to be paid for sin. What the ark represented was fulfilled completely in Jesus Christ. He is God incarnate- He is Immanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). He is the One who in His own death on the cross and resurrection from the dead paid for the sins of His people. John the Baptist, when seeing Him said, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

Moses’ stirring words from Numbers 10 point us to Jesus. He is our King who goes before us. In the words of the Westminster Catechism, Jesus “conquers all His and our enemies.”   More than that, He is with us always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).   He has returned, in a manner of speaking, in His promised presence but will also return one day visibly. Jesus is the embodiment of this battle cry from the lips of Moses!

Beginning next Wednesday, we will be taking a very in-depth look at who Jesus is. We will examine from the Bible Jesus’ humanity as well as His divinity. We will consider His work on our behalf.   I am excited to pursue with you an intense look at Jesus.

I hope you’ll join us next Wednesday night, May 11th, at 7PM. We’ll have supervised childcare for those for those 5 and under. Older kids are welcome to play outside if they wish. We’ll have dessert and coffee for you as well.