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     Tudor Parfitt, author of recently published The Lost Ark of the Covenant claims to have found the Lost Ark. Matt Lauer interviewed Parfitt on February 29, 2008 on the Today Show. I am aware that Parfitt’s book and the attention it was given on the Today Show has brought many hits to my recent posts on His Whisperings.

    I must confess that I’m a skeptic to the claims made by Parfitt. He has chosen to place one set of scriptures over another and dismisses the gold coverings spelled out in the Exodus 25:10-22 account. I’m not inclined to accept this omission. Also, the object he claims to be the Arc has a circular bottom and oval shape. It doesn’t fit any of the sketches that Biblical scholars have created.

     Another 2003 news article has been updated on the subject concerning another person who believes he expects to find the Ark of the Covenant. You can read this for yourself at http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34103

     I am compelled to respond to any person’s claims of finding the Ark of the Covenant with mixed feelings. God was so specific with his directives on how the Ark was to be created and handled. The history of events recorded in the Bible concerning the Ark make it clear that those who did not handle the Ark in the manner God prescribed suffered, even to the point of death. If God had that power then, he still has it today. I consider it quite possible that the reason no one has produced the Ark is that anyone who has found or attempted to move it may not have lived to tell about it.

     As a Christian, I accept that we are now under the New Covenant – and that is the grace offered by Christ for our salvation. It is possible that the consequences of viewing or touching the Ark changed when Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead.

     I really can’t claim any great knowledge on this topic, I can only point to the Scriptures. I’m not sure I would want to be the person to find the Ark nor to take the responsibility on myself to find a place to keep or display it.

     37 David left Asaph and his associates before the ark of the covenant of the LORD to minister there regularly, according to each day’s requirements. 38 He also left Obed-Edom and his sixty-eight associates to minister with them. Obed-Edom son of Jeduthun, and also Hosah, were gatekeepers. 

    39 David left Zadok the priest and his fellow priests before the tabernacle of the LORD at the high place in Gibeon 40 to present burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of burnt offering regularly, morning and evening, in accordance with everything written in the Law of the LORD, which he had given Israel. 41 With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and designated by name to give thanks to the LORD, “for his love endures forever.” 42 Heman and Jeduthun were responsible for the sounding of the trumpets and cymbals and for the playing of the other instruments for sacred song. The sons of Jeduthun were stationed at the gate.

     43 Then all the people left, each for his own home, and David returned home to bless his family.

1 Chronicles 16:37-43  (NIV)

The ark of the covenant is finally back in Jerusalem. The great ceremony has taken place and it was magnificent. God’s name was exalted and his praises filled the air.

Before it was time to go home, David took care of some important details. To make sure that God’s name would continue to be lifted up, he Asaph and his associates to minister regularly at the ark of the covenant. Another group was assigned the responsibility of gatekeepers. A third group was in charge of the burnt offerings every morning and evening. A fourth group of musicians were responsible to continually offer thanks to the Lord. They were to sound the trumpets and cymbals and play other instruments to praise the Lord at the gate.

Only after all of these arrangements had been made, was it time for all the people, including David, to return to their homes.

David still was not finished, however, for when he went home, he blessed his family. Perhaps a reminder is in order. The last mention of David’s family was of his wife’s bitter scolding of him for his exuberant dancing in front of all the people. No doubt, he was expecting to face more criticism when he stepped in the door. But we are told in this passage that he “returned home to bless his family.”

But David had spent the day in worship and praise of his God. He had also put things in order with his public ministry. Surely God’s presence followed him home and helped him to sooth the ruffled feathers from earlier in the day.

Lord help us to seek you through heartfelt praise so that we may be prepared to deal with the struggles we have in our everyday lives.

Have you ever experienced a time when God’s presence, in a time of worship, empowered you to deal with hurtful situations in your life. You are invited and encouraged to share them with our readers in the comments section below.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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1 Chronicles 16:7-36 (Click on this link to read the passage. It is too long for me to copy into this post without breaking the Copyright law that governs its use.)

This passage is a psalm of David’s even though it is not in the book of Psalms. It is a song of thanksgiving and praise to God for all he has done for his people. The cause of this celebration of praise was the restoration of the arc of the Covenant to Jerusalem.

In this psalm David is thanking God for all of the wonder acts he performed on behalf of the Israelites. He is calling for the Israelites to rejoice and to glory in the name of God. He calls on them to remember the wonders and miracles God has performed as well as his righteous judgments against those who rebelled against him.

David remembers God’s faithfulness to his covenant even when the people were not faithful. He remembers God’s faithfulness to give the Promised Land to his people as an inheritance.

David recalls how God protected the Israelite nation as they wondered in the desert with no place to call home – yet. He then calls on the Israelites to sing God’s praises and to declare his glory to all nations.

David declares God’s sovereignty over all other gods. He challenges the Israelites to give God the glory and honor he is due. He calls on the earth to tremble before the Almighty God.

My feeble re-telling of this great psalm leaves much to be desired. One needs to read this Psalm over and over. Try to imagine King David’s uncontainable excitement as he sings his heart out to the Israelites through these words.

As I have written these words today I have wondered how we could bring this psalm closer home. Those of us who live in the United States have a history that, at least at the beginning of our nation, had very close ties with God. His name is embedded in our national documents, and his people were at work making our nation great. It is grievous to see how far away from God we have moved in the past 100 years.

I would like to see this psalm re-written to fit our nation’s history and to challenge our own citizens to “Cry out, ‘Save us, O God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, that we may glory in your praise.’ Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.” (1 Chronicles 16:35-36 NIV) 

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

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Ark of the Covenant

Illustration above is from Easton’s Illustrated Dictionary
Electronic text and markup copyright 1995 by Epiphany Software.

The ark of God has several names in the Old Testament though they are all speaking of the same item. This arc was the most highly revered of everything that was a part of the first Tabernacle that Moses had constructed. The ark of God is also known as the ark of the covenant, the ark of the LORD, and the ark of the testimony.

The ark was crafted according to specific directions given to Moses by God. This first tabernacle was an elaborate tent that could be disassembled and carried with them as the Israelites moved across the desert as God led them to the promised land.

The instructions God gave to Moses for making the ark are recorded in Exodus 25:10-22. The ark was a chest made of acacia wood and overlaid inside and out with gold. It had rings on the sides through which two acacia poles were inserted, never to be removed. The purpose of these poles were for carrying the ark from place to place as the Israelites crossed the desert. On the cover of the ark were two cherubim, facing each other with their wings touching.

The ark contained sacred items such as the stone tablets with the Ten Commandments, scrolls of the Law, manna, and the rod of Aaron. It was always kept inside a tent until Solomon’s temple was built. When it was being moved, the ark was covered with the cloth pieces that were used to make the tabernacle, so the ark was never visible to anyone other than the priests who cared for it.

It was the ark of the covenant that led the way when the Israelites broke camp to travel across the desert. The ark was the first to cross the Jordan river when the Israelites finally entered the Promised Land.

The Israelites lost possession of the Ark when they tried to use it like a lucky charm to defeat the Philistines. The Philistines still won the battle and captured the Ark. (see 1 Samuel 4:1-11)

In 1 Chronicles 15 & 16 we read the account of King David successfully bringing the ark of God back to Jerusalem.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

UPDATE: The Ark of God has been found! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UyqxzuSMCo  Go to Ron Wyatt’s page 

Note: His Whisperings is now in a new location. If you are interested in following this blog you need to follow it at www.hiswhisperings.com.

The Creation by Janice D. Green

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1 Chronicles 16:1-6 Click on link to read passage. You may select your own version of the Bible after the link opens.

I see no evidence that the celebrations were over and done with once the ark of the covenant was put into the tent that had been prepared for it.

The celebration and praise continued. More sacrifices were made to God. Some were burnt offerings and some were fellowship offerings. The fellowship offerings were eaten by the people in an act of honor of God. Gifts of bread, date and raisin cakes were also given to each man and woman.

The musical instruments were played regularly before the ark of the Lord. Again, David assigned the responsibilities to play the various instruments before the ark of the covenant.

We should be vigilant in our worship of God. Our Bibles shouldn’t have to be dusted off each time we read them. Our voices should always be ready to sing God’s praise. Our hearts should find reasons to praise God throughout the day.

Lord, lift our eyes to you and fill our hearts with joyful praise as we consider all your blessings and your mighty deeds.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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1 Chronicles 15:25-29 Click on link to read passage. You may select your own version of the Bible after the link opens.

The passage in my previous post emphasized the planning that went into preparing for the acts of worship as the ark of God was brought back to Palestine. Today’s passage tells how the praise was carried out.

There was much ceremony with the singing and the musical instruments. All the singers, musicians, and persons involved in the procession, including King David, were dressed in fine linen. Seven bulls and seven rams were sacrificed as an offering of praise and thanksgiving to God.

Because of the differences in the ancient culture of these Israelites in comparison to the ways we celebrate and worship today, it is hard for us to wrap our minds around the events of that day. But I think it is time well spent to stop and close my eyes and try to imagine all of these things happening at one time. The people were celebrating with their whole heart, body, and soul.

David was so caught up in the celebration and worship of God that he danced for joy. His wife, Michal, who was the daughter of the former King Saul, was embarrassed by David’s dancing and despised him in her heart. According to the account as it appears in 2 Samuel 6:20-23, Michal’s harsh words to David cost her dearly. God closed her womb, and she never bore any children.

God is worthy of our worship and praise. If we are uncomfortable in expressing sincere adoration and praise to him, we need to evaluate our relationship with him. Seek him with all your heart and soul and you will find him.

Father God, please accept our offerings of worship and praise. Help us to know and love you more that we may praise you more.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

Add to Technorati FavoritesNote: His Whisperings is now in a new location. If you are interested in following this blog you need to follow it at www.hiswhisperings.com.

1 Chronicles 15:16-24 Click on link to read passage. You may select your own version of the Bible after the link opens.

At first glance this seems an insignificant passage in the scriptures with its long list of names. Granted, we don’t know much about the majority of these individuals apart from their brief descriptions here. But God doesn’t waste space in his Bible.  So let us glean what we can in an overview.

David went to the Levites, God’s appointed priesthood to the Israelites, to work out the details of the music to be sung and played when the ark was to be brought back to Jerusalem. The leaders of the Levites were to select from among their brothers the singers and the musicians to play musical instruments. The players of the bronze cymbals were named in verse 19.  Verse 20 and 21 name the persons who are to play the harps and lyres in each of what appears to be two different styles of music. Because Kenaniah was such a skillful singer, he was placed in charge of the singing. Doorkeepers and trumpet players were also named.

Nothing was left to chance because David knew the important role music had and still has in worshiping God. Restoring the arc of God to Jerusalem was not to be taken lightly.  We must offer our best to God when we worship him and sing his praises.

Most holy God, please accept our offerings of praise as we attempt to make our joyful noise as we worship you. May we offer you only our best.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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1 Chronicles 15:1-3, 11-15  Click on link to read passage. You may select your own version of the Bible after the link opens.

 

The ark of God, contained the tablets on which God had carved out the Ten Commandments in Mount Sinai. It had been kept in the section of the tabernacle reserved for it. It had been captured by the Philistines and David had attempted to bring it back to the Israelites. His first attempt had ended in disaster because he had disregarded God’s longstanding instructions on the proper way to move the ark from one location to another. (See Chapter 13) This time, David did his homework and followed God’s instructions precisely.

No one knows where the ark of God is today, so specifically caring for it is not an issue to us. But we should not miss out on the lesson that David and the Israelites learned from this experience. God has given us his instructions on how to live our lives in a way that pleases and honors him. These instructions are found in his Word, the Bible. Do we study and cherish it as we should, or have we taken his instructions for granted and tried to do things our own way? The stakes are high both in our lives on this earth and in where we will spend eternity.

Copyright © 2008 by Janice Green

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