Ark Above Alter - Grace Before Response

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The Chronicler writes in 1 Chronicles 15-16 of the Ark's journey to Jerusalem. At the time of writing this (post exile) the Ark was no longer in the temple, and anyway only the high priest saw it once a year. So why the big deal. Why is more made of the Ark's coming to Jerusalem than of an alter or of sacrifices?

Chapter 16:8-36 may hold the answer. It is the song that was sung as the Ark was set in place. It is a song entirely focussed on the mighty acts and the splendid glory of God. And while the covenant is mentioned throughout the song, the alter, nor the sacrifices are given any inkling.

The offerings are mentioned only after this song is finished and the ark is in place, even then the alter has not been brought to Jerusalem with the ark, but reside at Gibeon. Writing of this Michael Wilcock, in his commentary tells us a possible reason why the chronicler tells us of this; "He is showing us that the ark takes precedence over the alter: that is, that in the nature of things the gift of grace must precede the response of faith . . ."

We too have an offering to give, it is our lives. But we may only, can only offer it if we know of our God, who He is & all He has done, and if the true and better mercy seat and seal of the New Covenant is in our lives. Worship is only possible after Jesus Christ, by grace, has taken residence in us.

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