As I promised – today we start in earnest.

The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's. - Song of Songs 1:1

Song of Songs

At first glance, it seems as though we are looking at the title and author. Well—yes and no.

Check out the word pattern—Song of Songs. Does that remind you of anything? George Frederick Handel used John's words when he wrote his own Song of Songs, the Hallelujah Chorus—King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:6)

King of Kings—the high King of heaven

Lord of Lords—the one Master of all.

Clearly, 'Song of Songs' doesn't say good song. It's more—much more.

This Song isn't a good song and it's not a great song, it's the pinnacle of all songs.

Hey—even if it was Solomon’s best work—and he wrote 1005 songs, (1 Kings 4:32) it would be amazing. (I was impressed when I heard that Fanny Crosby of  “Blessed Assurance” fame wrote 80 hymns.)

NO—this is THE SONG of ALL SONGS. 

An interesting contrast here – just 7 verses before the Song of Songs in another of Solomon’s writings, Ecclesiastes, we have this pattern again:

"Vanity of vanities," says the Preacher, "all is vanity!" - Ecclesiastes 12:8

…which is Solomon’s

So, who is Solomon? You can read up on him on your own. His story is the first 11 chapters of 1 Kings. For our purposes, here is what we need to know.

  • He was the third king of Israel.
  • He was the son of David (of giant killing fame) and Bathsheba (of roof bathing fame)
  • He ruled Israel in its best and most glorious days. He reigned for 40 years of peace and prosperity. Israel extended its borders without a day of war.
  • Oh, did I mention he had 300 wives and 700 concubines?
  • He amassed riches unequaled in history, the stuff of legends and Hollywood extravaganzas.
  • Perhaps most notably, he was given a greater measure of wisdom than any man before or since.

Even as a young man, when given the opportunity to ask the Lord for anything, he didn't choose long life, or riches, or even victory over his enemy. He asked the Lord for the ability to rule his people well—for wisdom.

It was pleasing in the sight of the Lord that Solomon had asked this thing.

God said to him, "Because you have asked this thing and have not asked for yourself long life, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked for the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself discernment to understand justice, behold, I have done according to your words.

Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days.

If you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days." - 1 Kings 3:10-14 NASB

And so we embark upon a journey to discover the greatest song ever written by the wisest man who ever lived. Are you ready?

Come back next week and we will take a look at a Kiss that will rock your world.

Thanks so much for reading today.

Ben

photo credit: vlaaDnet via photo pin cc

2

But they did not know that I healed them. Hosea 11:3 NASB

I was chasing down the cross reference from Matthews account of Jesus’ birth

"OUT OF EGYPT I CALLED MY SON." - Matthew 2:15 NASB

and it led me to Hosea 11.

There I found a heartbreaking story of how the Father led His children, Israel, out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt. The language is touching and tender:

I called My son.
I took them in My arms.
I taught them to walk.
I healed them.
I led them with bonds of love.
I lifted their yoke.

That last bit reminds me of the Psalm.

He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. - Psalm 107:20 NASB

And yet, the sad truth is:

But they did not know that I healed them. - Hosea 11:3 NASB

Do we miss what God has done in our lives?

He called me His son—us His sons and daughters.

He stretched out His arms toward me.

He taught me to walk.

He saved (sozo - saved, healed, delivered, freed) me to the uttermost.

He led me with bonds of love so deep and strong it cost his very life.

He took my yoke upon Himself.

And there are days I forget that He healed me. I forget He lifted my yoke. I forget how to walk as He taught me.

Lord, heal me again. Let us walk together. May my heart and mind ring with your truth day and night. May I walk in all that you have given me and never again despise your gifts.

10

IMG_0692

Let’s try again, to make some simple Old Testament observations around the Sabbath day.

The first actual mention of the word rendered “Sabbath” is in Exodus, when the children of Israel were in the wilderness and God was feeding them with manna.

Moses said, "Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field. - Exodus 16:25

On the Sabbath – there was no new manna and the manna from the day before stayed fresh. God was careful to create a culture in which it was necessary to stop the normal day to day tasks and give the day to different things.

Yesterday, we talked about God sanctifying the Sabbath, and today we see that it was, in deed, set apart from other days, because you had to have a different routine. If you had not gathered two days worth of manna on the 6th day, you would be hungry on the Sabbath.

See, the LORD has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." - Exodus 16:29

A little further down the page we read that the Sabbath was given to them. The Sabbath was a gift. I suppose there have been those through the years who have looked askance at this particular gift, but it is none the less, a gift.

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. "Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. - Exodus 20:8-11

There were plenty of things that God gave to the people before He gave the law, but not all of them got into the top 10 list. The keeping of the Sabbath is the fourth commandment.

God made it holy, and Israel was commanded to keep it holy.

In his retelling of the law in Deuteronomy 5 Moses adds this bit about Egypt

You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out of there by a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to observe the sabbath day. - Deuteronomy 5:15

Here we get the sense that the Lord is saying, remember the days when you were slaves, and had to work seven days a week for your masters. Now you have been rescued from those evil masters, and as an remembrance and thanks for the one who brought you out of slavery, stop your work for one day every week.

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. - Exodus 31:12-13

Next we see that the Sabbath is not only intended to be kept holy or separate from all other days, but the observance of the Sabbath was intended to be a sign between God and Israel which set it apart from all other nations.

I live in Bergen County, New Jersey, in fact the next town over is the famous Paramus, New Jersey. It is famous for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the invention of the shopping mall. I believe the Garden State Plaza was the first shopping mall in the world. But more notable is the fact that though it may well have more major shopping malls than any other town in the country, it also has the most strict blue laws in the nation.

This from Wikipedia:

Bergen County in New Jersey is notable for their blue laws banning the sale of clothing, shoes, furniture, home supplies and appliances on Sundays kept through county-wide referendum. Paramus, New Jersey has its own blue laws even more strict than the county itself, banning any type of worldly employment on Sundays except necessity items such as food and gasoline. Wikipedia: Blue Laws

So then Paramus, New Jersey is set apart from all other shopping destinations on Sunday’s. By the way, it is wonderful to drive on the State Highways in Bergen County on Sundays. Hurray for blue laws!

For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings. - Leviticus 23:3

On the Sabbath there was supposed to be a convocation or meeting, assembly, or the word can even mean reading – such as a public reading of the Word of God.

Every sabbath day he shall set it in order before the LORD continually; it is an everlasting covenant for the sons of Israel. - Leviticus 24:8

God’s intention is for this sanctified day to be remembered as long as time is kept.

There is a very serious story in Numbers about a man caught breaking the Sabbath:

Now while the sons of Israel were in the wilderness, they found a man gathering wood on the sabbath day. ... So all the congregation brought him outside the camp and stoned him to death with stones, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. ... "It shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD, so as to do them and not follow after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you played the harlot, - Numbers 15:32, 36, 39

As we get to the prophets, and as Israel slides further and further away from Father, we have some strong words to consider:

Bring your worthless offerings no longer, Incense is an abomination to Me. New moon and sabbath, the calling of assemblies-- I cannot endure iniquity and the solemn assembly. - Isaiah 1:13

God is nauseated by the celebration of Sabbath when it was polluted, and not kept holy.

If because of the sabbath, you turn your foot From doing your own pleasure on My holy day, And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the LORD honorable, And honor it, desisting from your own ways, From seeking your own pleasure And speaking your own word, - Isaiah 58:13

Rather than a holy convocation, it became a day to do their own pleasure, or to continue to work and pad there pockets. [Tweet This] They did not stop and honor the God who gave them the power to be free, the power to get wealth. They simply went about their business, and tipped their hats to God on the Sabbath day, and it made God sick.

Her priests have done violence to My law and have profaned My holy things; they have made no distinction between the holy and the profane, and they have not taught the difference between the unclean and the clean; and they hide their eyes from My sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. - Ezekiel 22:26

I do pray Lord, that I would be found doing your pleasure, everyday, Sabbath included.

Ben NelsonI must ask you to come back tomorrow. Remember, we live in a New Covenant, and I promise there is some good news coming, but for today, this is enough.

See you tomorrow

Ben

1

Many Waters - SoS header

I thought I was done with Song of Songs chapter three, but then I ran into this beauty, and realized there is a ton of buried treasure here. So stick with me one more week, won’t you?

Go forth, O daughters of Zion,
And gaze on King Solomon with the crown
With which his mother has crowned him
On the day of his wedding,
And on the day of his gladness of heart.

Song of Songs 3:11

Our maiden is finally married to the man of her dreams. She has entered into a covenant relationship with this Shepherd King. No longer is she the invited dinner guest who comes for a visit and stays in the guest chambers, but now she is family.

No longer does she look at what her Husband is doing and wonder if she is worthy or up to the task. Now she is part of His life for keeps.

She has come through some trials and testing to get to this place, hasn’t she?

In chapter one she was faced with her own sin. She plugged into ministry and failed to keep her own house in order.

In chapter two, along with an increase in intimacy, she also faced the fear and timidity it took to step into the life she longed for.

Remember her two part desire, draw me and we will run.

He has drawn her to His side, and now they are ready to run.

We see her response to this vast outpouring of love and protection He has lavished on her on their wedding day, is to turn her eyes toward ministry. She is now the one doing the drawing, and this outward facing posture will continue and grow as her life with the Master endures and as her intimacy deepens.

She calls to the “daughters of Zion” and invites them to “gaze on King Solomon.”

We have seen this man depicted as first Shepherd and now King. This is an interesting contrast. Solomon as the third real king of Israel would understand the concept of a shepherd king since his earthly father was of course the classic shepherd king of all time, David.

David demonstrated as a boy, standing before then king, Saul, that when Israel thought they needed a king what they really needed was a shepherd. When they thought they needed a warrior with sword and spear, what they really needed as a boy with a sling and a stone. I digress.

Today we see a King, Solomon to be exact, standing here as a type of Christ at His own wedding, the wedding of the Lamb, to His beautiful bride the Church, and in particular, you, His beloved.

The maiden, now bride, calls to those in the Church, and in her circles of influence to come and gaze on the beauty of this King.

The term Christian is falling out of favor in our day, possibly due to the way we have tossed the name around and put it on everything from music and tee-shirts, to TV channels and news services. Many have turned to the title Christ follower, and I’m OK with that, or perhaps Jesus lover, which I like too. But in reality what we used to call a Christian is a person who has entered into a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. The only real Christian is one who is the bride of Christ, a full partner in the ministry in which Christ walked and into which we are commissioned.

As our maiden enters into covenant, she takes up the cause, and begins to see others and their need to enter into this covenant as well. So her call to the others in her circles – come gaze on my Wonderful Husband!

This verse reminds me of what the writer to the Hebrew Christians says:

photo credit: helgabj via photopin cc
photo credit: helgabj via photopin cc

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

1 – It has the same exhortation – fix your eyes on Jesus

2 – It explains one of the joys set before Jesus; the day we would say “I do.”

There comes a day when we sit at a heavenly wedding feast! In the mean while, let’s partner with the Lover of our souls, and bring many brothers and sisters to that table.

Lord, I am so glad you called me, and allowed me to hear your call. Use me to call others to this wonderful covenant.

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

See you next week.

Meanwhile… Shine where you are plugged in.

Ben

 

Stack of BiblesIn Paul’s account of the gospel he uses this phrase twice:

…Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures ~ 1 Corinthians 15:3- 4

So let’s take a look.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. ~ Isaiah 53:4-5

 

My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?
I am poured out like water,
And all my bones are out of joint;
My heart is like wax; It is melted within me.
My strength is dried up like a potsherd,
And my tongue cleaves to my jaws;
And Thou dost lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs have surrounded me;
A band of evildoers has encompassed me;
They pierced my hands and my feet.
I can count all my bones.
They look, they stare at me;
They divide my garments among them,
And for my clothing they cast lots.
Psalm 22: 1, 14-18

 

As I began to poke around after a reference to three days I was pretty blown away by what I found. There are 41 uses of the phrase ‘three days’ in the Old Testament (using the NASB translation) and as I scan through them I find tons of references that point to the three days Jesus spent in the tomb. Check this one out:

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. And when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Then he cried out to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet. There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. ~ Exodus 15:22-25

So perhaps you will say I am stretching things, but I see in this account – Israel passing through the Dead Sea and going 3 days into the wilderness. They find no water for three days. Finally, after 3 days there is water, but it is just more death. Then when the tree (cross) is thrown into the bitter water of death, it becomes the source of life for all who drink of it.

The most obvious is probably Jonah in the belly of the whale, who Jesus himself pointed to as a foreshadowing of the time He would spend in the grave.

Jesus fulfilled hundreds of Scriptures, which foreshadowed everything from His conception, His birth, His ministry, His torture, death, burial and resurrection.

I love the account of the two disciples walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus on the day of Christ’s resurrection. You can find it in Luke 24. Jesus shows up and walks the seven miles with them, and during that hike He explained everything to them from the Scriptures.

Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. ~ Luke 24:26-27

My point? The gospel of Jesus Christ was not something that was cobbled together after His death to create some religion, so the disciples would save face.

The gospel of Jesus Christ – His death, burial, and resurrection was planned and set in motion long before that first Christmas, long before Israel ventured into the wilderness. As far as that goes, the gospel was in motion before Adam sinned, before God breathed the breath of life into the dust of the Earth and made man in His own image.

Is He not:

“the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” ~ Revelation 13:8

All I have to say is Glory to God for the eternal gospel of Jesus the Christ.

Ben NelsonSee you tomorrow

Ben

Many Waters

For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
The flowers have already appeared in the land;
The time has arrived for pruning the vines,
And the voice of the turtledove has been heard in our land.
The fig tree has ripened its figs,
And the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. ~ Song of Songs 2:11-13

We have been camped here for a couple weeks looking at the season change described here in the Song. Last week we looked at some signs of life, signs that the seasons in life were changing.

In the Song winter is turning to spring. It’s interesting because if I suggest to you a spiritual winter, you might think cold and dead, and many Christians do go through a cold dead winter. However in our Song we actually see that our maiden has been snuggled in by the fireplace, so to speak, in a calm and intimate place. She has definitely been in the “comfort zone.” The Lord is calling her out of the comfort zone and into ministry now that spring has sprung.

Turtledoves - Photo Credit Wikidedia

So back to the signs of life.

Turtledoves singing:

The Turtledove is a migratory bird, and one of the last such to show up on the scene. Once this dove is cooing from the trees it is full on spring. The turtledove is traditionally a lovebird, faithful to one mate, and it's low mournful cry can be heard when it arrives from the south.

The turtledove played a part in the sacrificial system and in fact Jesus’ earthly parents offered a pair of turtledoves at His birth. Jeremiah speaks of the turtledove in much the same way as Solomon does here, as a sign of the season change.

There is however a reference to the turtledove that I love in Psalm 74, a Psalm of Asaph.

This Psalm is a cry to the Lord to return and rescue Israel. It starts out like this:

O God, why hast Thou rejected us forever?
Why does Thine anger smoke against the sheep of Thy pasture?
Remember Thy congregation, which Thou hast purchased of old,
Which Thou hast redeemed to be the tribe of Thine inheritance;
And this Mount Zion, where Thou hast dwelt. ~ Psalm 74:1-2

Sounds like winter to me. Asaph cries out to the Lord later in the Psalm:

Do not deliver the soul of Thy turtledove to the wild beast;
Do not forget the life of Thine afflicted forever.
Consider the covenant; ~ Psalm 74:19-20

This winter for national Israel is clearly not the cozy winter by the fire of the Lord hearth.

Our maiden experienced a safe warm winter by the fire, yet there are times (and she will face these times too) when it just feels like God has turned us over and left us for dead.

I love the references in this Psalm, I love how Asaph calls out to the Lord, and how he refers to God’s people.

We are:

The Sheep of His pasture
His Congregation
That He purchased
That He redeemed
His inheritance
His dwelling place
His turtledove

And finally – Consider the covenant.

Remember, Lord your great and precious promises to me.

Do you hear the singing of the turtledove today as you move through the seasons of life? Are you in a soul winter?

Remind the Lord  - call upon His name.

He made you, then purchased you, then redeemed you. If that does not demonstrate your great value, you’re missing it. You are the Lord’s turtledove, His lovebird, the apple of His eye.

I got a little rambly this morning, forgive me.

Come back next week, and we will finish these signs of life.

BenBut for now – cry out to the Lord, He is listening.

See you soon.

Ben

And I say to you, that many shall come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom shall be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. ~ Matthew 8:11-12

Ok – so what do you make of this?

This is where I am in my stroll through Galilee with Jesus and He blurts this beauty out there. Just happened to come on a Friday, so I thought – hey let’s get some chatter going on this one.

So in context He is talking to the Roman Centurion we have been talking about for a few days, and who demonstrated great faith that caught Jesus’ attention.

Perhaps He is simply putting this out there for the Pharisee’s in the following masses. He makes the point that He has not found this kind of faith or understanding of His authority in those of Israel’s race.

John brings light to this in the opening of his wonderful account of Jesus’ life, when He says

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, John 1:11-12

So is that it? Or does this run deeper?

Clearly it is not an indictment of all Israel since these that come from the East and West are reclining with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

What do you think?

Tell me your take on these strong word from the Word Made Flesh.

BenThanks for coming by

Ben

Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled, and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel." ~ Matthew 8:10

I am due for a little word study, don’t you think?

  • He marveled ~ NASB
  • He was impressed ~ CEB
  • He was so surprised ~ CEV
  • He was amazed ~ ERV
  • He was astonished ~ Phillips
  • Jesus said to His followers in amazement ~ Knox
  • Taken aback, Jesus said ~ MSG
  • He was surprised and wondered ~ NLV
  • Jesus was stunned ~ VOICE [i]

I am just pondering this idea. Jesus is blown away by the faith, the confident expectation, of this foreigner, this gentile.

He is not a Jew, but a Roman. He has not grown up being told the stories of Israel’s history, and celebrating time after time when God’s hand was manifest in the outcome of this nations life.

Yet this centurion understands the kind of power and authority Jesus wields, and it amazes Jesus.

What does it take to surprise, amaze, impress Jesus?

When was the last time Jesus was impressed with you?

You say (yep – I can hear you) I don’t impress Jesus. The only emotion I evoke in Him is disappointment.

NOT SO!

I love this story because it helps me see a side of Jesus we don’t hear much these days.

He get’s excited when we move in the right direction. He is thrilled and amazed when we  move out and expect Him to show up.

You know this verse in Hebrews:

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. ~ Hebrews 11:6

We tend to focus on the first part, life without faith, but miss the fact that it is not only possible, but part of the normal Christian life to please Him with our faith filled words and actions.

When you speak out loud your expectation of the Father's presence in your circumstances, He sits up straight and takes notice. [Tweet This]

BenTrust Him today, will you?

See you tomorrow

Ben


Common English Bible (CEB) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible; Contemporary English Version (CEV) Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society; Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) Copyright © 2006 by World Bible Translation Center; J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS) J. B. Phillips, "The New Testament in Modern English", 1962 edition by HarperCollins; Knox Bible (KNOX) Knox Bible. Copyright © 2012 Westminster Diocese. Published by Baronius Press. All rights reserved; The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson; New Life Version (NLV) Copyright © 1969 by Christian Literature International; New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.; The Voice (VOICE) The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

three_crosses_on_kreuzberg_mountain_bavaria_germanyThink of Jesus' last 24 hours before the cross.

  • He was slapped
  • He was spit upon
  • He was despised
  • They plucked out His beard
  • They pressed thorns into His head
  • They mocked Him
  • They whipped Him with a cat and nine
  • They forced Him to drag that massive cross through the streets
  • They pounded nails into His hands and feet

He could have prayed and the Father would have scrubbed the mission and annihilated the nations of Israel and Rome in one fell swoop.

But like a lamb to the slaughter He was quiet, and continued to turn the other cheek.

Why?

Why?

Why are you silent, O precious Lamb of God?

Why do you heal the wounds of your attackers?

Why do you pray for the forgiveness of those who tear you apart?

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart. ~ Hebrews 12:2-3 

Part of that joy was reconciliation with the very ones who beat Him.

BenSee you

Ben

Last week we were praying, and this story came into my spirit. I would love to share a couple of insights that we prayed through that evening.

A late 19th-century artist's conception of the...
A late 19th-century artist's conception of the Ark of the Covenant, employing a Renaissance cassone for the Ark and cherubim as latter-day Christian angels. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the LORD of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim. And they placed the ark of God on a new cart that they might bring it from the house of Abinadab which was on the hill; and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were leading the new cart. So they brought it with the ark of God from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill; and Ahio was walking ahead of the ark. Meanwhile, David and all the house of Israel were celebrating before the LORD with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, and with lyres, harps, tambourines, castanets and cymbals.

Uzzah Reaches for the Ark Photo Credit: J. James Tissot

But when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out toward the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen nearly upset it. And the anger of the LORD burned against Uzzah, and God struck him down there for his irreverence; and he died there by the ark of God. And David became angry because of the LORD’S outburst against Uzzah, and that place is called Perez-uzzah to this day. (2 Samuel 6:1-8 NASB)

I have always looked at this story as a pretty negative situation in the life of Israel, but this day I saw something brand new (to me) and very exciting.

What caught my eye a few days earlier was this name “Perez-uzzah.” Perez means to break-out or break-through, and of course in context the break-out or break-through meant the death of Uzzah, but when I started thinking about the imagery of the Old Testament, what was the Ark of the Covenant? It was something that contained the presence of the Lord of Hosts.

So what contains the presence of the Lord of Hosts today? Believers! Every blood bought child of God is an Ark of the New Covenant.

As we pressed into this image we saw a few things.

What did the Ark contain, in addition to the presence of the Lord?

There were the Stones written by the very hand of God with His law. Check this out in Ezekiel 36:26

Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (NASB)

And in Jeremiah 31:33 He says:

But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. (NASB)

We are the Ark of the New Covenant.

Next it contained some of the Manna – the daily bread – the provision from above.

Next it contained Aaron’s rod that budded. This is the staff of deliverance from our Egyptian captors.

There is way too much to dig into in a short post, but I wanted to share this insight with you, and you can mull over the other parallels.

But here is the big thing. Break-through came when Uzzah reached his hand out and touched the Lord’s Ark. God broke through – broke out of the ark to protect His dwelling place.

As we were praying that day, I saw how our enemy the devil had reached his hand out against my sister, the ark of the Lord, and how my Father would break-through to save, heal, deliver, just as He has done so many times before. [Tweet This]

Today – I want you to hear that if you are a daughter or son of the King of Kings, you are the Ark of the New Covenant, and God is jealous for your safety and protection. Today He will come to your defense. You are the apple of His eye.

Breakthrough is coming!

Thanks for reading today.

Ben