Wednesday after the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Hebrews 9:1-10 (NKJV)
9:1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tabernacle was prepared: the first part, in which was the lampstand, the table, and the showbread, which is called the sanctuary; 3 and behind the second veil, the part of the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of All, 4 which had the golden censer and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
6 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. 7 But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; 8 the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. 9 It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience—10 concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.
“The ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which were the golden pot that had the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.”
The ark of the covenant, which had its place within the tabernacle, is one of those “copies and shadows” spoken of in the previous chapter—that is, it was a symbol of the greater, heavenly reality. The ark contained three things: some of the manna, with which the Lord had fed the Israelites in the desert; Aaron’s budded staff, by which sign the Lord chose Aaron, of the tribe of Levi, to be the father of the priestly line; and the tablets of the Ten Commandments, which were written by the finger of God. These three things represented the good which the Lord provides for His people: daily bread and sufficiency, forgiveness for sins (declared through the priest), and the divine Law.
These three things correspond also to what we confess in the Apostles’ Creed. In the first article we confess that God the Father gives us all that we need to support this body and life. In the second article we confess that the Christ has won for us forgiveness of sins by His own blood. And according to the third article we confess that the Holy Spirit works faith in sinners and causes them to love the Law of God and to desire to follow its commands. Our daily bread, forgiveness, and the divine Law are all merciful gifts from God.
We pray: Lord, we pray Thee that Thy grace may always go before and follow after us and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.