WHEN THE WOLF HOWLS
© by Ross Cochrane
Jonathan and Ahimaaz could not believe that their fathers would not allow them to attend the celebration and watch as the Ark came into Jerusalem.
“Can’t you see?” said Abiathar, “All Ahithophel can see is two milch cows, pulling a cart with the Ark of the Covenant. But the holy manuscripts command that it is the Kohathites’ job to carry, on their shoulders, the holy things of the Tabernacle.”
Kohathites were Priests in Israel from the tribe of Levi. Kohath was the second son of Levi. This Priestly tribe had the special responsibility to look after the sacred objects to use in the Tabernacle.
“I might add that there were no carts assigned to the Kohathites.” His sarcasm made it clear where he stood on this issue. He was now red in the face and beginning to get out of breath. He sighed.
“It seems so strange,” he said, “that the king isn’t doing things according to what God has instructed. It doesn’t make any sense. His motivation is right, but his method is flawed. All he seems to want is to get the Ark from the house of Abinadab as quickly as possible and bring it to Jerusalem. But to use a cart! It was never carried like that in Moses time.”
“Was Moses allowed to carry it?” asked Absalom who had appeared around the corner at an awkward time having heard the raised voices.
“No,” said Abiathar, and began to wonder how much of the conversation Absalom had heard, “It required a number of strong Priests to carry it. They didn’t put it all on one man’s shoulders. God didn’t require that Moses bear the Ark alone. And He didn’t require Aaron as the high priest to carry it alone. A number of priests were involved.”
He used the opportunity to soften his anger a little. At least, I may be able to teach you to respect the things of God, he thought. “In the same way, carrying the things of God in our lives is not just dependent upon important people. Each of us is involved in some way. God chose the Levites to bear the Ark of God’s presence, but the whole of Israel will be lifting God high as we sing His praises.
You see, Absalom, God doesn’t have a temple like the false gods of the Philistines. He dwells with His people and together we carry the things of God in our hearts and we exalt Him with our lips. We are His temple. And together we will have an impact upon the nations who don’t know our God. They will know that we are worshipers of the One true God because of the way we honour His Ark.”
What is he talking about? thought Absalom, “Where will the Ark be taken?”
“It has a special place in the Tent of Meeting.” said Abiathar, “The Ark is holy, something that is separated for use by the Lord. That’s why it has been anointed with a sacred oil just like your father was anointed when he was set apart to be king. It will be placed in the holiest place of all in the Tent of Meeting, called the Holy of Holies.” said Abiathar.” Abiathar turned to his son. “Jonathan, tell me the other name for the Tent of Meeting?” he asked.
“The Tabernacle.” said Jonathan without hesitation.
“Yes, very good.” Jonathan was expected to learn everything to do with the Tabernacle and it’s objects. Ahimaaz was priest Zadok’s son, and Ahimaaz and Jonathan were best friends. This was revision for them, but they still took great interest in what Abiathar was saying.
“The Ark has different names also. Mostly it is called the Ark of the Covenant but it is also known as the Ark of Witness, or the Ark of the Lord, or the Ark of God’s strength. Each name teaches us something. For example – It was called the Ark of Witness because it is where God witnesses our response to Him. Do you understand?”
No, I don’t. “I think so.” I don’t think I like the idea of God watching me. Did God see me in the darkness when we looked at the Ark in Abinadab’s house? Absalom shuddered at the thought, never-the-less he was fascinated by the Ark. Everyone had been talking about it being brought to Jerusalem. The air was filled with expectation and excitement.