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July 15 – Keep your eye on the ark

“As soon as you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God being carried by the Levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place and follow it. Yet there shall be a distance between you and it, about 2,000 cubits in length. Do not come near it, in order that you may know the way you shall go, for you have not passed this way before.” – Joshua 3:3, 4

Scripture reading: Joshua 3:1-13

After camping beside the river for three days, even the strongest believers would have been wondering how they were ever going get across it. The answer was, The ark of the covenant would lead them. The ark of the covenant was that golden chest that was in the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle, and it was a symbol that promised Israel that God was with them.

The people were going to see the ark of the covenant. That never happened. The only person who was ever allowed to see the ark was the high priest, once a year on the Day of Atonement. Whenever Israel moved from one place to the other in the wilderness, the ark was covered up, because it was holy, and the people weren’t allowed to see it.

The ark was going ahead of Israel, the way it did when it led them away from Mt. Sinai, in the direction of the Promised Land. And the LORD wanted them to be able to see it. They had to stay a kilometer away from the ark, so that they could see it, so that they would know the way they had to go, because they had never passed that way before. The Bible says, The ark did this, and the ark did that. But what it really means is, God did this, and God did that. That’s the gospel here: God Himself went ahead of them and led them into the Promised Land.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that you would be convinced and that you would remember that God is with you, so that you can be sure that God will guide you and all of His people until the day of final victory.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Dick Wynia is the pastor of the Vineyard Canadian Reformed Church in Beamsville, Ontario.

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