We might call ourselves creatives, but God is the ultimate Creator. We may call ourselves artists, but God is the greatest artist, and just as we work in art, so does our Lord. This was made apparent to me today as I was reading Joseph Prince’s The Prayer of Protection. I received an advance copy of the book for the purposes of review and I am getting to that, but I am also reading it as research for a message on prayer. Knowing almost nothing about Prince, I was not sure what I would think of his book, but I have to admit he called out an image in Scripture that I had not considered before.
He is writing about the Ark of the Covenant, while talking about how God wants to gather us under his wings seeing God as our refuge. He references the mercy seat on the ark, covered by the wings of golden cherubim, and he reminds us of what is inside the ark.
“Three items were placed inside the ark of the covenant: the stone tablets on which God inscribed the Ten Commandments, a golden pot of manna, and Aaron’s rod that had budded. The three items typify man’s rebellion—man’s rejection of God’s holy standards, man’s rejection of God’s provision and man’s rejection of God’s appointed leadership. God took these symbols of man’s rebellion and failure and placed them in the ark of the covenant, and covered them with his mercy seat. It’s a beautiful picture of his unmerited favor over our lives, how mercy triumphs over judgment. This is the secret place where God wants you and me to live each day—not under the claws of judgment, punishment and condemnation, but under his wings of mercy, grace and favor. This is the place of divine protection.”
Is he right? I don’t know but it is certainly worthy of consideration. I had not seen this imagery before and yet now I am having a having a hard time seeing anything else. I always just kind of assumed that the items in the ark were symbolic of God’s law, how provision, and his leadership. I had not considered the fact that all of them also reflect rebellion and rejection. This much I do know. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and to reject Him is the only unforgivable sin. God works in images fairly often in Scripture and sometimes those images have multiple layers that deserve closer examination. Our work should be the same. We should continually go deeper in our love for the Lord, in our learning about and from the Lord and in developing those things we to to His glory.