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The Presence of God Is a Dangerous Place

October 1, 2018

David arose and went with all the people… to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. 2 Samuel 6:2

The ark of God was a wooden chest about four feet long, two feet wide, and two feet high. The box was overlaid with gold, and it had a lid with two angelic figures, cherubim engraved in gold on the top. The significance of the ark was that God had promised to meet with his people there (Ex. 25:22).

The ark was never to be seen. In fact, God had said that anyone who touched the ark or even looked at it directly would die (Num. 4:15, 20). The ark was kept hidden behind a curtain, and only the High Priest was allowed to go behind this curtain.

God had given very precise instructions about how the ark was to be moved. That work was given to the Kohathites. They had to move the ark without seeing it and without touching it. They approached the ark with the curtain held up in front of them so that they did not look at the ark directly (Num. 4:5). On each side of the ark were two golden rings with long wooden poles through the rings. When the ark was wrapped in the curtain, the Kohathites would put their shoulders under the poles and so lift the ark without touching it. The work of the Kohathites must have felt like the work of bomb disposal experts today. This was dangerous work!

All of this communicated very powerfully that the presence of God is a dangerous place for sinners like us to be.

What is your initial reaction when you consider the holiness and danger of the presence of God for sinners like us?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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