Celebrating the Hope of Mercy

The entrance of the Ark into Jerusalem symbolises the coming of God’s presence and mercy and is fulfilled in the coming of Jesus.

2 Samuel 6:1-5 

David again brought together all the able young men of Israel – thirty thousand. He and all his men went to Baalah in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it,[c] and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, with castanets, harps, lyres, tambourines, rattles and cymbals.

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Celebration describes the scene in these verses (1 to 5).  There were 30,000 of David’s most able young men and we can only guess at how many others were there joining in the festivities.  It was, shortly afterwards, to go terribly wrong but for the moment all was joy.

The Ark, in the tabernacle and later the Temple, rested in the Holy of Holies and symbolised the presence of God.  It was overshadowed by the Cherubim as a guard against people improperly entering the presence of God.  The Cherubim also did this just after the fall (See Genesis 3:24).  The Ark (a box) had as its lid the mercy seat which was the place of atonement where sacrificial blood was sprinkled on the Day of Atonement for the forgiveness of God’s people.  This scene is brimming with symbolism.  It is no wonder the people were excited.  The Lord would be present with them and there was the expectation of his mercy blotting out their sin.

Like everything in the Old Testament this is all looking forward to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the presence of God with us.  That is what the name Emmanuel means.  He also is the place of mercy and sacrifice.  It is he who offered himself as our sacrifice to bring us complete forgiveness.  He is also the atonement, an old concept that simply means our reconciliation with God.  That means then, that the Ark symbolised the hope of God’s people to find peace with God and to find mercy and forgiveness through the Lord Jesus Christ.

No wonder the people would be excited about that.  As we would expect, if the people were celebrating the symbolism, when the reality entered Jerusalem there would also be great excitement.   We usually call it Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem, and it is recorded in Matthew 21:1 – 17 among other places; similar celebration, similar excitement.

For us now there is an interesting thought.  Jesus has completed everything symbolised by the Ark.  In him we have the presence of God, forgiveness, and we are gloriously at peace with our God as we trust in Jesus.  Jubilant excitement would seem to be an appropriate response, along with a lot of music and other celebrations.

Head: Make the clear connection between the Ark and its significance and its promise being fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Heart:   Let the reality of the blessings you have in Jesus be the impetus for a heart that is filled with love, joy and yes excitement about Jesus.

Hands: It would be entirely appropriate for this delight in Jesus to be expressed at the gathering of God’s people.  It would also be entirely appropriate for this delight to be expressed when we talk to our friends who have yet to come to faith.

Prayer: Loving Father, I thank you for all that Jesus has done for me.  Forgive me that I am often subdued in my expression of joy and love.  Help me to be a more faithful and loving servant full of joy and gratitude to Jesus.  In Jesus name. Amen.

A song to listen to:       Rejoice

Dave Johnston

Living Church Creek Road