No one in their right mind would abuse God’s Ark of the Covenant. This Seat of Mercy was to be handled with utmost respect and reverent care. Even the world knows this. Watch the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark and see what happened to the Nazis who even dared to look inside. Grilled cheese anyone? Or back in reality, check out what happened to Uzzah in the Bible. He dropped dead for merely attempting to steady the Ark from falling off of the cart. Wasn’t this a good deed, done with the best intentions? Maybe so, but he died for daring to touch the dwelling of the Lord even with his good intentions. Why was utter reverence so important to God? Because it was His chosen dwelling place. The Ark was absolutely HOLY! It contained the Testimony of God for His people, Israel.
I am the Living Tabernacle Dwelling of God
Let’s look at another tabernacle of His dwelling of God — US. How many of us trash this dwelling, sometimes daily? Yes, we are His chosen dwellings. Each of us is a living tabernacle, holy like the ancient Tabernacle that held the Ark of the Covenant. But most of us have no qualms about punching, kicking, or trashing ourselves. We judge ourselves, criticize ourselves, and abuse ourselves with not even the remotest hesitation. The question is are we or are we not the dwelling place of the Lord? Does He not now live in our hearts, by His own choice? If we’re born from above, He now resides in our bodies – a living tabernacle. He has made Himself at home in our hearts, and our lives are a testimony of His grace and love.
You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 NKJV
If I am His chosen dwelling place, how dare I scorn or revile ME, His choice. Some could say, “But it’s me?!“ Yes, and I am God’s own choice, regardless of my opinions of worthiness or worthlessness. I have no right to abuse His dwelling in any way, on any day.
Dwelling of God
The Old Testament Hebrew priests handled the Ark with honor, respect, and reverence. They followed God’s prescribed handling of His dwelling. The Tabernacle was set up exactly by His order. And His glory dwelt in His Tabernacle and then in the Temple. The severest consequences were issued for not reverencing His dwelling, and the Israelis did.
Now in the New Testament, I am His dwelling. The Lord indwells me and my life carries His testimony. My new heart and new life is a creative miracle. Christ came to rend the veil standing between man and God. His presence left the Tabernacle/Temple and now He resides in me. And as the chosen dwelling of the Lord, I must value, reverence, and honor myself. I have no right to indulge self-hatred, self-bitterness, harboring unforgiveness for self, criticism of myself, calling myself stupid, raging or fostering anger against myself. I am the living tabernacle of God. My life is a tent of meeting where He chooses to commune with me. I must treat myself with as much respect as I would’ve the ancient Tabernacle and Ark of the Covenant. This isn’t an option; this is His requirement.
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV