At long last, Israel was ready to cross over the Jordan River and possess the land which God had promised her ancestors so long ago.
There’s a lot we could say about all this, but wish to focus on only one thing.
The verse in our title was the instruction for the people to watch for and follow the ark of the covenant. Granted, they could not see the actual ark for that was covered when being moved and was not simply to be an object to be looked at, Numbers 4:5, 6. It was the place where God met with His people under very strict conditions, indeed, only one man was permitted once a year on the Day of Atonement to enter the Holy of Holies to sprinkle the blood of a specific sacrifice on it.
We no longer have an actual piece of furniture called an ark. All the things the Old Testament tabernacle and Temple foreshadowed are found in the Lord Jesus Christ. We no longer are forbidden to enter His presence except on one day of the year. We have freedom to come into His presence and seek His blessing and aid at any time, Hebrews 4:14-16.
The point is that even as Israel was to look to the ark as it entered the land, so we must look to the Lord Jesus as we enter a new year.
I’m actually writing this post a few days before Christmas, to be published on New Year’s Day. I don’t know what will happen next year; I don’t even know what will happen in the few remaining days of this year.
I am very concerned with the direction this country is being taken by its leadership. I’m very concerned with the direction the organized church, for the most part, is taking. Wolves have indeed taken over.
Things which were unthinkable just a few years ago, to say nothing of in my youth more than a few years ago, are now commonly accepted and are considered “rights” by many. Considering where this year has taken us, I can’t begin to imagine what might happen this next year. And I don’t want to. The tipping point may finally come when this country crashes and burns, to become a smoking ruin on the trash heap of history.
Yes, I am pessimistic. It will take more than a new Congress or a new President. The problems in our country aren’t merely political or economic or social. They are moral and spiritual. It will take a mighty moving of the Spirit of God. It’s certainly not beyond His power. It just may be that we’ve told Him to go away, and He has. I do not mean this in the sense that we somehow have defeated Him or made it impossible for Him to work. There are no such foolish limitations on Him as that. I think it’s just that we’ve told Him to go away, and He’s showing us how that works out.
So, this new year, let us reject self-will, self-assurance and self-image and return to the only One Who can really do anything about it.
We have not passed this way before.