The Ark: the Center of the Tabernacle

The Testimony of God, pp. 35-56 (white covers only!), Watchman Nee

Scripture Reading: Exodus 25.10-22.

The ark occupies a most significant place in the Bible. It was the first item mentioned by God when He ordered Moses to build the tabernacle. On the day the tabernacle was set up it was the only thing in the holiest of all, although in the court were found the altar of the burnt-offering and the laver while in the holy place were found the candlestick, the table with the shewbread, and the golden altar of incense (see Ex. 40.17-33). There in the holiest place God met with men, and from the mercy-seat of the ark between the two cherubim He spoke to them. The ark was therefore the center of the tabernacle.

One

Let us first look at its names. In the book of Exodus its name is "ark" or "ark of the testimony." It had yet to take on the name of the "ark of the covenant." Its very name and its location in the tabernacle shows that Godís testimony is in the midst of the people of Israel. Where the ark is, there is Godís presence. Where it is, there also is the law of God. In the book of Numbers the ark is given another nameóthe ark of the covenant (see 10.33, 14.44). This indicates the relationship between the ark and the covenant. Wherever the ark is, there is the covenant of the Lord. Further on, in the book of Samuel, it receives still another new designation. It is called the "ark of God" (see 1 Sam. 4.11,13,17,19,21,22). This symbolizes the fact that where the ark is, there also is the presence of God. The ark represents God. Its presence with the people attests to the presence of God with them.

Two

Let us further inquire as to what the ark typifies. Quite simply, it typifies the Lord Jesus: (1) The ark in the tabernacle signified the presence of God with His people. Similarly, the Lord Jesus comes forth to mark Godís presence with us today, and hence He is called Immanuel (Matt. 1.23). Wherever He is, there also is God. (2) The ark of the Old Testament was in the holiest of all; and Christ is today in the heavenly sanctuary (Heb. 8.2, cf. 9.24). (3) When God commanded the Israelites to build the tabernacle, the first thing He mentioned was the ark. And this intimates that the Lord Jesus is the center of all things. (4) The ark was made of acacia wood, overlaid with pure gold within and without. Acacia wood is very sturdy, so it can suggest the humanity of our Lord. And pure gold in the Scriptures always stands for Godís righteousness, Godís glory and everything pertaining to God; it thus indicates the divinity of our Lord. Christ is both man and God; He has human nature as well as divine nature.

Much else about the ark also speaks of Christ, as can be seen in the following paragraphs.

The ark was two cubits and a half long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. Upon it was located the mercy-seat which served as a cover to the ark. It was made of pure gold and was of the same length and width as the ark. In addition, two cherubim of gold of beaten work were set at the two ends of the mercy-seat, with their wings spread out on high and covering the mercy-seat. These two cherubim faced the mercy-seat as well as each other (and we know that the cherubim manifested the glory of Godósee Ez. 9.3, Heb. 9.5). God had said to Moses, "There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel" (Ex. 25.22). From there He would guide them henceforth.

During the Old Testament period all the grace of God flowed from the ark; and likewise, during the New Covenant period, it is all given to us through Christ. We are told in Leviticus 16 that once a year in the seventh month on the great day of atonement the high priest would take the blood of the bullock and of the goat into the holiest of all and sprinkle it upon the mercy-seat. In like manner the Lord has accomplished the work of redemption by the shedding of His blood, and His blood speaks continually to God for our forgiveness since the work of redemption is already done. To put it simply; the ark typified how grace is given to us through Christ. Having Christ we have the presence of God with us: because of Him we may receive Godís guidance.

At the four feet of the ark were four rings of gold, and the staves of acacia wood overlaid with gold were put into these rings to bear the ark. The staves remained in the rings of the ark: they were not to be taken from it. This meant that the ark might be carried out at any time. Hence the ark had a double use: On the one hand, it was the center of worship, having been placed in the holiest of all where God and men met. If anyone desired to worship God he had to go before the ark to worship, for without it no worship was possible. On the other hand, it served as the guide to Godís peopleóit went ahead, with the people of Israel following suit (see Num. 10.33, Joshua 3.3). They could not go just anywhere they wished; they were required to follow the lead of the ark. Here we see symbolically how Christ leads us in the way that lies before us.

How did the ark travel? Here is what the Scriptures say:

When the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall go in, and his sons, and they shall take down the veil of the screen, and cover the ark of the testimony with it, and shall put thereon a covering of sealskin, and shall spread over it a cloth all of blue, and shall put in the staves thereof. (Num. 4.5-6)

We are plainly told here that wherever the ark was to travel, there would be three layers of covering over it: first, the veil which separated the holiest of all from the holy place was taken down and used to cover the ark; second, a covering of sealskin was put on; and third, a cloth all of blue was spread over it. As the ark was taken out, it became as it were the time to proclaim Christ: for we learn from the New Testament that the veil pointed to Christís flesh (see Heb. 10.20). And now that it is already rent (see Mark 15.38), the Christ whom we today proclaim is thus One who is most approachable. Sealskin presents a rugged appearance, thereby expressing in type the holiness of our Lordóhow He was rejected of men. The cloth all of blue finds its spiritual significance in the fact of its color. Blue in the Bible represents that which is heavenly (for the sky is blue) just as white stands for righteousness, golden stands for the glory of God, and purple signifies authority. The Christ whom we follow seems to be lacking in outward beauty just as does sealskin, yet He is heavenly as pictured for us by the cloth all of blue. Though He is rejected of men, He nonetheless is well-pleasing to God. To sum up, then, the Christ whom we proclaim is the Lord who is approachable, rejected of men, but well-pleasing to God.

Three

Now let us look into a little of the history of the ark, by means of which we may perceive not only the relationship between the ark and the people of Israel but also that between Christ and us.

The Ark Crossing the River Jordan

How did the people of Israel cross the Jordan River when they entered Canaan?

And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you.... Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into the Jordan.... And it shall come to pass when the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of Jehovah, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, even the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand in one heap.... When the people removed from their tents, to pass over the Jordan, the priests that bare the ark of the covenant being before the people; and when they that bare the ark were come unto the Jordan, and the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brink of the water (for the Jordan overfloweth all its banks all the time of harvest), that the waters which came down from above stood, and rose up in one heap, a great way off, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those that went down toward the sea of the Arabah, even the Salt Sea, were wholly cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of Jehovah stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel passed over on dry ground, until all the nation were passed clean over the Jordan. (Joshua 3.10-17)

This passage in the Bible tells us how the ark led the people of Israel into Canaan. The ark was the last out of water as well as the first into the water. From this we realize that a power stronger than death led the Israelites safely over the river Jordan. In like manner, we who have died have also been raised up with Christ, just as Israel passed through the "death" of Jordan under the leadership of the ark.

The Ark in the Tent at Shiloh

After the children of Israel entered Canaan and the war was over, the whole congregation assembled at Shiloh to set up the tent of meeting there (see Joshua 18.1). When Eli the priest was old, his two sons had become base men. They did not know Jehovah, yet they served as priests. Eli could do nothing about it, for he honored his sons above God. And hence a man of God afterwards prophesied this: "And thou shalt behold the affliction of my habitation" (1 Sam. 2.32). This meant that God would depart from the tent.

And the word of Jehovah was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision. And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place (now his eyes had begun to wax dim, so that he could not see), and the lamp of God was not yet gone out, and Samuel was laid down to sleep, in the temple of Jehovah, where the ark of God was; that Jehovah called Samuel. (1 Sam. 3.1-4)

Though the lamp had not yet gone out before the ark in Godís sanctuary, and the outward form of the tent continued as before, the presence of God would nonetheless soon depart. Then too, at that moment, God did not call Eli but instead called Samuel; He did not give His word to Eli but gave it to Samuel instead. Thereafter He laid Eli aside and chose the child Samuel. He established the latter as a prophet in Israel (1 Sam. 3.20).

Not long afterwards the ark was to depart from the tent at Shiloh. It is recorded in 1 Samuel 4 that "when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath Jehovah smitten us today before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of Jehovah out of Shiloh unto us, that it may come among us, and save us out of the hand of our enemies" (v.3). As the people of Israel were engaged in battle with the Philistines, they thought that if only they brought in the ark they could be victorious. And so they removed the ark from the tent of God in Shiloh to their battle camp. When the ark came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout (1 Sam. 4.5). We thus see that in time of trouble the people thought of taking advantage of the ark; but as a consequence, even the ark was taken captive. They supposed that with the ark among them God was bound to help them, for how could He ever forsake it? Yet God did not do what they had expected. He let them be defeated and even allowed the ark to be captured by the enemies (see 1 Sam. 4.10-11).

Oh how very serious is this matter. If anyone should imagine that he will be victorious by vainly repeating such words as "I have God"ó"In the name of the Lord"ó"God surely is with us"óhe commits the same error as the Israelites of old. The nation of Israel was beaten before the Philistines because they forgot to deal with their sins. They did not keep in mind that as long as their sins were left undealt with they would never be victorious. They ignored the fact of their rebellion against God while they dreamed of victory by holding on to the ark. How tragically they were mistaken! Nobody can use the ark in this way.

Let us always remember that spiritual things are not subject to the use of the flesh, neither is the name of Christ ever to be used by the flesh. Should any con template taking advantage of spiritual things or making use of the Lordís name, he will be totally defeated. Not knowing that the glory of the Lord had already departed, the people of Israel thought of using Godís ark. God, however, permitted His ark to be taken captive. Let us understand that the Lord did not forsake the tent of Shiloh because the ark had been taken captive; rather, the ark was captured because the Lord had first abandoned the tent at Shiloh (cf. Ps. 78.60-61). Once Godís ark left the tent of Shiloh, it never again returned to it.

The Ark among the Philistines

What happened to the ark after it was carried away to the land of the Philistines? Let us once again be reminded by this event what we earlier learned, that the ark was well able to protect itself.

Now the Philistines had taken the ark of God, and they brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of Jehovah. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of Jehovah; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands lay cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.... But the hand of Jehovah was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with tumors, even Ashdod and the borders thereof. (1 Sam. 5.1-6)

The men of Ashdod were terrified and so they sent and gathered all the lords of the Philistines to themselves to counsel them as to what they should do. The decision was to remove the ark of God to Gath. And so it was that after the ark arrived there, the men of the city both small and great were struck down with tumors. They therefore sent the ark of God to Ekron, but the Ekronites cried out: "They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people" (v.10). They too sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, asking to have the ark sent back to its original place. Meanwhile the ark of Jehovah had been in the country of the Philistines seven months.

How did they finally send back the ark of the God of Israel? The priests and the diviners among them invented a new and singular way: (1) Build a new cart, put the ark of Jehovah in it, and have it drawn by two milch cows which would have their calves sent home from them. (2) Prepare also a trespass-offering in the form of five golden tumors and five golden mice and place them in a coffer by the side of the ark which would be on the cart. They then suggested to the Philistines to watch, and "if it goeth up by the way of its own border to Beth-shemesh, then he [Jehovah] hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us; it was a chance that happened to us" (6.9). Now we know that a miracle happened, for the cart drawn by these two milch cows went straight along the highway till it stopped in the border of Beth-shemesh. By this the lords of the Philistines were fully convinced. And it is for this reason that we said earlier that the ark of God was well able to protect itself.

The Ark in Beth-shemesh

What occurred after the ark arrived in Beth-shemesh? "And they of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it" (1 Sam. 6.13). But a tragedy followed, for the Lord

smote of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah, he smote of the people seventy men, and fifty thousand men: and the people mourned, because Jehovah had smitten the people with a great slaughter. And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Jehovah, this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us? And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-jearim, saying, The Philistines have brought back the ark of Jehovah; come ye down, and fetch it up to you. (6.19-21)

The presence of Christ is indeed most blessed; nevertheless, people must also be holy. Because they looked at the ark of God casually without any fear of Him in their hearts, God killed many of the men of Beth-shemesh. And for that reason they, did not want to have the ark among them. How very sad that instead of dealing with the cause of chastening, the people of Beth-shemesh refused the presence of the Lord.

The Ark in Kiriath-jearim

What was the attitude of the men of Kiriath-jearim towards the ark?

And the men of Kiriath-jearim came, and fetched the ark of Jehovah and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of Jehovah. And it came to pass, from the day that the ark abode in Kiriathjearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after Jehovah. (1 Sam. 7.1-2)

The ark went out of Shiloh never to return again. Instead, it stayed at Kiriath-jearim in the house of Abinadab for twenty years. The tent was in Shiloh, but no ark was there. How empty Shiloh was. Now, though, the house of Abinadab was privileged with the Lordís presence. We need to underscore the fact that the ark no longer returned to Shiloh and to ask this sobering question of ourselves: Are we like the men of Beth-shemesh who were afraid of the Lordís presence, or are we like the men of Kiriath-jearim who welcomed the presence of the Lord?

The Ark in the House of Obed-edom

Twenty years later David became king. He immediately desired to have the ark removed to Jerusalem. "And David consulted with the captains of thousands and of hundreds, even with every leader. And David said ... Let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we sought not unto it in the days of Saul" (1 Chron. 13.1-3). It was right and good for David to think of bringing the ark of God to Jerusalem. But how did he and the people make this transfer?

And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in the hill: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drove the new cart. . . And David and all the house of Israel played before Jehovah with all manner of instruments made of fir-wood, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with castanets, and with cymbals. (2 Sam. 6.3-5)

Quite unexpectedly, however, a terrible thing happened at this time of great rejoicing.

And when they came to the threshing-floor of Nacon, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. . . And David was afraid of Jehovah that day; and he said, How shall the ark of Jehovah come unto me? So David would not remove the ark of Jehovah unto him into the city of David; but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of Jehovah remained in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and Jehovah blessed Obed-edom, and all his house. (2 Sam. 6.6-11)

David did not inquire into the cause for the stumbling of the oxen; instead, he refused to bring the ark into the city of David simply because Uzzah was slain. But note that the house of Obed-edom welcomed the ark, with the result that his house was blessed of God abundantly. Again we need to inquire: Will we decline the presence of the Lord should we ever find ourselves being dealt with by God? Or will we, like the house of Obed-edom, welcome His presence?

Wherein lay Davidís fault? When he wished to bring the ark of God to Jerusalem, he failed to search through the book of the Law to find out how the ark should be carried but instead consulted with the captains of the thousands and of the hundreds. According to the record of Numbers 4.4-15, the ark was to be borne by the Levites. God had never instructed Israel to draw the ark on an ox-cart; this David and his counselors learned from the uncircumcised Philistines. Since the Philistines knew nothing, they were excused by God. But for David to follow the way of the Philistines rather than the command of the Lord was unpardonable. This ought to teach us that if we invent a new way to express our zeal for God other than that which is defined in the Bible and conforms to His will, we shall not be able to maintain it for any length of time, for before long something is bound to happen. At first there may be music and dancing, great enthusiasm and big crowds, but soon all will cease. Whatever is motivated simply by temporary passion is not pleasing to the Lord.

In all matters concerning the believerís personal and church life, God does not permit any touch of the flesh of man nor will He allow anyone to alter what He has appointed. It is undeniable that Uzzah put forth his hand in order to steady the ark (doubtless out of his love and zeal for it). Yet we know that God was not pleased, because He would not permit Uzzah to touch the ark with the hand of flesh. In other words, the Lord will not tolerate any flesh to maintain our error. You may consider your thought to be better than Godís appointed way; nevertheless, you are prohibited from going your way. You can only follow what God has ordained; otherwise, you will receive the consequence of the Lordís judgment.

Some will perhaps therefore ask why we do not see Godís judgment in the church where many are substituting Godís will with fleshly means? Let us answer this by saying, with fear and trembling, that if it is not due to the fact that the time has not yet come for God to judge the situation, then it must be for the reason that the ark (that is, Godís presence) has already departed from the midst. May we never be tempted to mock the Lord because of His forbearance and patience.

The Ark in the Tent of David

Being ignorant of the cause for why God struck Uzzah to death, David dared not bring the ark to Jerusalem. But when he was told that Jehovah had blessed the house of Obed-edom because of the ark, he went down and brought up the ark from that house into the city of David with joy (see 2 Sam. 6.12 and 1 Chron. 15.25). This time, however, was different from the previous episode. For on this occasion David carefully prepared for the bringing up of the ark, saying that "none ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath Jehovah chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto him for ever" (1 Chron. 15.2). By now he had learned the lesson. Formerly he thought he could do what the Philistines had done; this time he knew that he must serve God in Godís way, not in manís. So that now he had the Levites carry the ark. And the result was that

they brought in the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before God. And when David had made an end of offering the burnt-offering and the peace-offerings, he blessed the people in the name of Jehovah. (1 Chron. 16.1-2)

Solomon and the Ark

The ark had yet another episode. "And the king [Solomon] went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt-offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar" (1 Kings 3.4). By night Jehovah appeared to him in a dream. He asked the Lord for wisdom, and wisdom was given to him together with other things which had not been asked for. What did Solomon then do after he awoke? "And he came to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of Jehovah, and offered up burnt-offerings, and offered peace-offerings, and made a feast to all his servants" (see 1 Kings 3.5-15).

At this point we need to read 2 Chronicles 1.3-4:

So Solomon, and all the assembly with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tent of meeting of God, which Moses the servant of Jehovah had made in the wilderness. But the ark of God had David brought up from Kiriath-jearim to the place that David had prepared for it; for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem.

At that time the tent was already in Gibeon, but the ark was not there. The problem now was: in Gibeon was the tent whereas in Jerusalem was the ark. The first thing Solomon did after he received wisdom was to return to Jerusalem and offer sacrifices before the ark. Never again did he continue to offer them in Gibeon. This marked a great turning point in Solomonís life. By all outward appearance it would seem that the tent at Shiloh had everything. Did it not contain the brazen altar, the laver, the candlestick, the table with the shewbread, and the golden altar of incense? (For we must understand that the tent at Gibeon was the one originally located in Shiloh, since 2 Chronicles 1 states distinctly that the tent in Gibeon was that "which Moses the servant of Jehovah had made in the wilderness"óv.3.) But, one thing was missing, which was the ark. People consider its absence as of no importance, not recognizing that the ark represents the presence of God. However good the rest may be, neither Godís heart nor our hearts will be satisfied if His presence is missing.

Before the Lord had appeared to him, Solomon did not realize or sense the significance of the ark; but once he experienced the Lordís appearance, he be came aware of the preciousness of the presence of the Lord over and above all other things. With the result that he immediately returned to Jerusalem and offered sacrifices before the ark of Jehovah. In Gibeon Solomon had only offered burnt-offerings; but now he offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings and made a feast for all his servants. Oh, to worship before God is true worship, to commune with God is true communion, and to rejoice in Godís presence is true joy. This is what Solomon had experienced, which experience is shared by many who know the Lord. And after Solomon had built the holy temple, he placed the ark in it. And the ark became the center of the holy temple (see 2 Chron. 5.1-9). O Ark of God, Thou Precious Ark, all who know You will seek after You and worship before You.

Four

Having reviewed so much concerning the history of the ark, we would now like to understand more fully the relationship between Christ and the church. We have already seen that the ark typifies Christ. And the crossing of Jordan by the ark signifies the death and resurrection of our Lord. So that after knowing the Lordís death and resurrection ourselves, we can begin to proclaim Him, telling people that the veil has been rent and that Christ has opened for us a new and living way which leads directly to God. We also inform people that the Christ we proclaim is despised by men but exalted by God; He is despised like the sealskin but He is well-pleasing to God as the cloth of blue; He is the glorious Christ.

At the beginning the church announced a heavenly Christ. This, however, suffered some change even during the days of the Apostles. For at Paulís time, there were already some who preached "a different gospel" (Gal. 1.6-7). Peter, too, saw this, and warned against "destructive heresies" (2 Peter 2.1-3). Moreover, John exhorted the believers to watch for "the deceiver and the anti-christ" (2 John 7). All these admonitions give us some indication as to the beginning of the confusing of the word of the Lord. Constantine was raised up as the Roman Caesar and shortly thereafter he made Christianity the state religion. The bishop in Rome later became the titular head of the whole Catholic system. The name of Christ, which ought to be exclusively in the church, fellóat that junctureóoutside the pale of the church. Such an event was not unlike what had occurred with respect to the ark of old. The ark which was originally in Shiloh had thence been removed to the Philistines. And once the ark had left Shiloh, it never again returned there. Recall the words of God in the mouth of Jeremiah: "Then will I make this house [Solomonís temple] like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth" (Jer. 26.6). What was later to happen to the temple had happened to the tabernacle at Shiloh; namely, that though the tent had still remained standing in Shiloh, it had been forsaken by God since His presence (the ark) was no longer there.

Oh how the children of God need revelation, the kind of revelation which Solomon had received. The Lord had appeared to him and had opened his eyes to see the preciousness of the ark and the vanity of the tent without the ark. And as a consequence, what a great change had come to his life.

Let me ask, What is it that you desireóthe ark of God or the tent without the ark? Do you choose Christ in a religious form but without Christ himself? We must consider whether we honor the Lord and make Him the center or that we merely want to maintain the tent of Shiloh void of the ark. People always treasure the tent in Shiloh and hold tenaciously on to it. They assume that once it becomes the holy temple, it forever will be. Such an assumption is not true, however, for Jeremiah prophesied, "Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, the temple of Jehovah, are these" (Jer. 7.4). God reproved the people of Israel because they cared for nothing but trusting in lying words. Three times was the phrase "the temple of Jehovah" emphatically repeated by the prophet. Who among Israel really knew that the temple became the temple of Jehovah only because God was its center? If God were to depart from the temple, that temple would be nothing but an ordinary building.

Oh do let us recognize that what is precious is the ark and not the tent, because the ark is the center of the tent. Our question must come down to this, then: Is Christ truly the center or is there merely an empty tent? If we truly appreciate Christ, we need to look for the place where He is actually the center. Wherever the name of Christ is, there we should be too. Does the place where you are now take Him as the center? If so, let us praise and thank God. But if not, may God open our eyes that we may immediately return to "the Jerusalem that is above" (Gal. 4.26) and worship before the ark of Godís presence as did Solomon after he received the revelation. And if we do that, we shall realize how vain was our former zealous service; we shall come to enjoy the joy and rest before the ark; and we shall begin to have true service and worship. May we all have that revelation of seeing the preciousness of the Lord, of making Him the treasure and the center, of offering up the burnt-offering of consecration, and of living for Him and for His satisfaction!