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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

What Happened To The Ark Of The Covenant?

Let's look at the scripture that surrounds the disappearance of the Ark of the Covenant.

2 Kings 22:1-3 (Easy To Read Version - ERV) Josiah was eight years old when he began to rule. He ruled 31 years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. (2) Josiah did what the LORD said was right. He followed God like his ancestor David. Josiah obeyed God's teachings—he did exactly what God wanted...2 Kings 23:25-26 There had never been a king like Josiah before. Josiah turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his strength. No king had followed all the Law of Moses like Josiah. And there has never been another king like Josiah since that time. (26) But the LORD did not stop being angry with the people of Judah. He was still angry with them for everything that King Manasseh had done.

King Manasseh had been King of Judah for 55 years.

2 Kings 21:16-18 (ERV) And Manasseh killed many innocent people. He filled Jerusalem from one end to another with blood. And all these sins are in addition to the sins that caused Judah to sin. Manasseh caused Judah to do what the LORD said was wrong.'" (17) All the things that Manasseh did, including the sins that he committed, are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah. (18) Manasseh died and was buried with his ancestors. He was buried in the garden at his house. It was called the "Garden of Uzza." His son Amon became the new king after him.

Amon only reigned for 2 years and then Josiah became King of Judah and tried to make massive reforms. He did the most extensive of Judah's reforms but then didn't last. After his death, the people went back to what they were doing during Manasseh's evil reign which is why God was still angry with them. Although Josiah was a good king and followed after God, the people's change of heart was only skin deep.

2 Kings 23:28-37 (ERV) All the other things that Josiah did are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah. (29) While Josiah was king, Pharaoh Neco, the king of Egypt, went to fight against the king of Assyria at the Euphrates River. Josiah went out to meet Neco at Megiddo. Pharaoh saw Josiah and killed him. (30) Josiah's officers put his body in a chariot and carried him from Megiddo to Jerusalem. They buried Josiah in his own grave. Then the common people took Josiah's son Jehoahaz and anointed him. They made Jehoahaz the new king. (31) Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he became king. He ruled three months in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah from Libnah. (32) Jehoahaz did what the LORD said was wrong. He did all the same things that his ancestors had done. (33) Pharaoh Neco put Jehoahaz in prison at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Jehoahaz could not rule in Jerusalem. Pharaoh Neco forced Judah to pay 7500 pounds of silver and 75 pounds of gold. (34) Pharaoh Neco made Josiah's son Eliakim the new king. Eliakim took the place of Josiah his father. Pharaoh Neco changed Eliakim's name to Jehoiakim. And Pharaoh Neco took Jehoahaz away to Egypt where he died. (35) Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh. But Jehoiakim made the common people pay taxes and used that money to give to Pharaoh Neco. So everyone paid their share of silver and gold, and King Jehoiakim gave the money to Pharaoh Neco. (36) Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became king. He ruled eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah from Rumah. (37) Jehoiakim did what the LORD said was wrong. He did all the same things his ancestors had done.

2 Kings 24:1-7 In the time of Jehoiakim, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to the country of Judah. Jehoiakim served Nebuchadnezzar for three years. Then Jehoiakim turned against Nebuchadnezzar and broke away from his rule. (2) The LORD sent groups of Babylonians, Arameans, Moabites, and Ammonites to fight against Jehoiakim. He sent them to destroy Judah. This happened just as the LORD had said. He used his servants the prophets to say those things.  (3)  The LORD commanded this to happen to Judah. In this way he would remove them from his sight. He did this because of all the sins that Manasseh committed. (4) He did this because Manasseh killed many innocent people and filled Jerusalem with their blood. The LORD would not forgive these sins. (5) The other things that Jehoiakim did are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Judah. (6) Jehoiakim died and was buried with his ancestors. His son Jehoiachin became the new king after him.(7) The king of Babylon captured all the land between the Brook of Egypt and the Euphrates River. This land was previously controlled by Egypt. So the king of Egypt did not leave Egypt anymore.

In 2 Chronicles we get another summation of this story that adds a little bit of new information.

2 Chronicles 36:1-9 (ERV) The people of Judah chose Jehoahaz to be the new king in Jerusalem. Jehoahaz was Josiah's son. (2) He was 23 years old when he became king of Judah. He was king in Jerusalem for three months. (3) Then King Neco from Egypt made Jehoahaz a prisoner. Neco made the people of Judah pay 3 3/4 tons of silver and 75 pounds of gold for a fine. (4) Neco chose Jehoahaz's brother Eliakim to be the new king of Judah and Jerusalem. Neco gave Eliakim a new name. He named him Jehoiakim. But Neco took Jehoahaz to Egypt. (5) Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he became the new king of Judah. He was king in Jerusalem for eleven years. Jehoiakim did not obey God. He did what the LORD his God considered evil. (6) King Nebuchadnezzar from Babylon attacked Judah. He made Jehoiakim a prisoner and put bronze chains on him. Then Nebuchadnezzar took King Jehoiakim to Babylon. (7) Nebuchadnezzar took some of the things from the LORD'S Temple. He carried them to Babylon and put them in his own house. (8) Everything else Jehoiakim did, the terrible sins he did, and everything he was guilty of doing, are written in the book, The History of the Kings of Israel and Judah. Jehoiakim's son Jehoiachin became the new king in his place. (9) Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he became king of Judah. He was king in Jerusalem for three months and ten days. He did not obey God. He did what the LORD considered evil.

During King Jehoiakim's reign, the Prophet Jeremiah was given some words to give to the King and the people. Let's look at that.

Jeremiah 35:1-19 During the time when Jehoiakim, son of King Josiah, was king of Judah, the LORD spoke this message to Jeremiah: (2) "Go to the Recabite family and invite them to come to one of the side rooms of the LORD'S Temple. Offer them wine to drink." (3) So I went to get Jaazaniah son of Jeremiah, who was the son of Habazziniah. And I got all of Jaazaniah's brothers and sons and the whole family of the Recabites together.  (4)  Then I brought them into the Temple of the LORD. We went into the room of the sons of Hanan, the son of Igdaliah. Hanan was a man of God. The room was next to the room where the princes of Judah stay. It was over the room of Maaseiah son of Shallum. Maaseiah was the doorkeeper in the Temple. (5) Then I put some bowls full of wine and some cups in front of the Recabite family. And I said to them, "Drink some wine." (6) But the Recabite family answered, "We never drink wine. We never drink it because our ancestor Jonadab son of Recab gave us this command: 'You and your descendants must never drink wine. (7) Also you must never build houses, plant seeds, or plant vineyards. You must never do any of those things. You must live only in tents. If you do that, you will live a long time in the land where you move from place to place.' (8) So we have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. None of us ever drinks wine, and neither do our wives, sons, or daughters. (9) We never build houses to live in, we never own vineyards or fields, and we never plant crops. (10) We have lived in tents and have obeyed everything our ancestor Jonadab commanded us. (11) But when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon attacked the country of Judah, we did go into Jerusalem. We said to each other, 'Come, we must enter the city of Jerusalem so that we can escape the Babylonian army and the Aramean army.' So we have stayed in Jerusalem." (12) Then this message from the LORD came to Jeremiah: (13) "The LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says to go to the people of Judah and Jerusalem and tell them this message: 'You should learn a lesson and obey my message.' This message is from the LORD. (14) 'Jonadab son of Recab ordered his sons not to drink wine, and that command has been obeyed. To this day the descendants of Jonadab have obeyed their ancestor's command. They do not drink wine. But I have given commands to you people of Judah again and again, and you have not obeyed me. (15) Time after time I have sent my servants the prophets to you. They said, "You must each stop doing evil things and do what is right. Don't follow other gods. Don't worship or serve them. If you obey me, you will live in the land I have given to you and your ancestors." But you have not paid attention to my message. (16) The descendants of Jonadab obeyed the commands that their ancestor gave them, but the people of Judah have not obeyed me.' (17) "So this is what the LORD God All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: 'I said that many bad things would happen to Judah and Jerusalem. I will soon make all those bad things happen. I spoke to the people, but they refused to listen. I called out to them, but they didn't answer me.'" (18) Then Jeremiah said to the Recabite family, "This is what the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: 'You have obeyed the commands of your ancestor Jonadab. You have followed all of his teachings. You have done everything he commanded.' (19) So the LORD All-Powerful, the God of Israel, says: 'There will always be a descendant of Jonadab son of Recab to serve me.'"

Jeremiah 36:1-32 (ERV) The message from the LORD came to Jeremiah. This was during the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was king of Judah. This was the message from the Lord: (2) "Jeremiah, get a scroll and write on it all the messages I have spoken to you. I have spoken to you about the nations of Israel and Judah and all the other nations. Write all the words that I have spoken to you from the time that Josiah was king, until now. (3) Maybe the people of Judah will hear what I am planning to do to them and will stop doing bad things. If they will do that, I will forgive them for the terrible sins they have committed." (4) So Jeremiah called a man named Baruch son of Neriah. Jeremiah spoke the messages the LORD had given him. While he spoke, Baruch wrote the messages on the scroll. (5) Then Jeremiah said to Baruch, "I cannot go to the LORD'S Temple. I am not allowed to go there. (6) So I want you to go to the Temple of the LORD. Go there on a day of fasting and read to the people from the scroll. Read to the people the messages from the LORD that you wrote on the scroll as I spoke them to you. Read them to all the people of Judah who come into Jerusalem from the towns where they live. (7) Perhaps they will ask the LORD to help them. Perhaps each person will stop doing bad things. The LORD has announced that he is very angry with them." (8) So Baruch son of Neriah did everything Jeremiah the prophet told him to do. Baruch read aloud the scroll that had the LORD'S messages written on it. He read it in the LORD'S Temple. (9) In the ninth month of the fifth year that Jehoiakim was king, a fast was announced. All those who lived in the city of Jerusalem and everyone who had come into Jerusalem from the towns of Judah were supposed to fast before the LORD. (10) At that time Baruch read the scroll that contained Jeremiah's words. He read the scroll in the Temple of the LORD to all the people who were there. Baruch was in the room of Gemariah in the upper courtyard when he read from the scroll. That room was located at the entrance of the New Gate of the Temple. Gemariah was the son of Shaphan. Gemariah was a scribe in the Temple. (11) A man named Micaiah heard all the messages from the LORD that Baruch read from the scroll. Micaiah was the son of Gemariah, the son of Shaphan. (12) When Micaiah heard the messages from the scroll, he went down to the secretary's room in the king's palace. All the royal officials were sitting there in the king's palace. These are the names of the officials: Elishama the secretary, Delaiah son of Shemaiah, Elnathan son of Acbor, Gemariah son of Shaphan, Zedekiah son of Hananiah; all the other royal officials were there too. (13) Micaiah told them everything he had heard Baruch read from the scroll. (14) Then all the officials sent a man named Jehudi to Baruch. (Jehudi was the son of Nethaniah, son of Shelemiah. Shelemiah was the son of Cushi.) Jehudi said to Baruch, "Bring the scroll that you read from and come with me." Baruch son of Neriah took the scroll and went with Jehudi to the officials. (15) Then the officials said to Baruch, "Sit down and read the scroll to us." So Baruch read the scroll to them. (16) When the royal officials heard all the messages from the scroll, they were afraid and looked at one another. They said to Baruch, "We must tell King Jehoiakim about these messages on the scroll." (17) Then the officials asked Baruch, "Tell us, Baruch, where did you get these messages that you wrote on the scroll? Did you write down what Jeremiah said to you?" (18) "Yes," Baruch answered. "Jeremiah spoke, and I wrote down all the messages with ink on this scroll." (19) Then the royal officials said to Baruch, "You and Jeremiah must go and hide. Don't tell anyone where you are hiding." (20) Then the royal officials put the scroll in the room of Elishama the scribe. They went to King Jehoiakim and told him all about the scroll. (21) So King Jehoiakim sent Jehudi to get the scroll. Jehudi brought the scroll from the room of Elishama the scribe. Then Jehudi read the scroll to the king and all the servants who stood around the king. (22) The time this happened was in the ninth month, so King Jehoiakim was sitting in the part of the palace used for winter. There was a fire burning in a small fireplace in front of the king. (23) Jehudi began to read from the scroll. But after he would read two or three columns, King Jehoiakim would grab the scroll. Then he would cut those columns off the scroll with a small knife and throw them into the fireplace. Finally, the whole scroll was burned in the fire. (24) And, when King Jehoiakim and his servants heard the message from the scroll, they were not afraid. They did not tear their clothes to show sorrow for doing wrong. (25) Elnathan, Delaiah, and Gemariah tried to talk King Jehoiakim out of burning the scroll, but he would not listen to them. (26) Instead King Jehoiakim commanded some men to arrest Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet. These men were Jerahmeel, a son of the king, Seraiah son of Azriel, and Shelemiah son of Abdeel. But they could not find Baruch and Jeremiah, because the LORD had hidden them. (27) King Jehoiakim burned the scroll on which Baruch had written all the words that Jeremiah had spoken to him. Then this message from the LORD came to Jeremiah: (28) "Get another scroll. Write all the messages on it that were on the first scroll that King Jehoiakim of Judah burned. (29) Also tell King Jehoiakim of Judah that this is what the LORD says: 'Jehoiakim, you burned that scroll. You said, "Why did Jeremiah write that the king of Babylon will surely come and destroy this land and kill all the people and animals in it?" (30) So this is what the LORD says about King Jehoiakim of Judah: Jehoiakim's descendants will not sit on David's throne. When Jehoiakim dies, he will not get a king's funeral, but his body will be thrown out on the ground. His body will be left out in the heat of the day and the cold frost of the night. (31) I will punish Jehoiakim and his children, and I will punish his officials. I will do this because they are wicked. I will bring terrible disasters on them and on all those who live in Jerusalem and on the people from Judah. I will bring all these bad things on them, just as I warned them, because they have not listened to me.'" (32) Then Jeremiah took another scroll and gave it to Baruch son of Neriah, the scribe. As Jeremiah spoke, Baruch wrote on the scroll the same messages that were on the scroll that King Jehoiakim had burned in the fire. And many other words like those messages were added to the second scroll.

If you have read these scriptures, then you will see that Jehoiakim was named Eliakim when he was born. He was the son of King Josiah but, unlike his father, he was an evil king. The Pharoah of Egypt was Neco, Necco or Necho. He went to help the King of Assyria and King Josiah tried to attack the Egyptian army at Megiddo. Egypt won the battle and King Josiah was killed. After his death, the people elected his son Jehoahaz as King of Judah. But King Jehoahaz was only king for 3 months. Pharoah Necho removed him as king and installed his brother, Eliakim, as King of Judah and changed his name from Eliakim to Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim was only 8 years old when he became King of Judah. Why did Necco do this? It showed his power over the Land of Judah. He removed the people's choice of king and replaced him with his choice as king. He then changed the boy's name. It was all a show of power. He did choose a king from Josiah's children so as not to run the risk of a popular uprising.

Jehoiakim was made a vassal king under Pharoah Neco and he was forced to pay tribute to Egypt. He did this by taxing the land and the people according to their assessments.

2 Kings 23:34-35 (Modern King James Version - MKJV) And Pharaoh-necho made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in place of Josiah his father. And he changed his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away. And he came to Egypt and died there. (35) And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh. But he taxed the land to give the silver according to Pharaoh's command. He exacted the silver and the gold from the people of the land, from each one according to his worth, to give it to Pharaoh-necho.

Doesn't this sound familiar to us? Aren't we taxed according to our worth, especially property owners?

According to Rabinnical literature (it's not in the Bible), Jehoiakim was a godless tyrant who committed atrocities. It says he had incestuous relationships with his own mother, his stepmother and his daughter-in-law. That he murdered men, seized their possessions and raped their wives. He also tattooed his entire body. The Bible says, "he did evil in the sight of Jehovah, according to all that his fathers had done".

During King Jehoiakim's 11 year reign, he faced some tricky political moves. Pharoah Necco had established him as King of Judah so he owed allegiance to Necco. Egypt was a near neighbor so it would have been politically advantageous to keep Egypt happy. Egypt then could be trusted to come to Judah's aid if they needed help or protection. But, things don't always go according to plan. Babylon was quickly becoming a world player and King Nebucchadnezzar of the Babylonian Empire attacked Judah and beseiged the capital city of Jerusalem.

So King Jehoiakim switched his allegiance to King Nebuchadnezzar in order to save his hide and the capital city of Jerusalem. He served as a vassal king under Nebuchadnezzar and had to pay tribute to Babylon. Jehoiakim did this for 3 years but Egypt made another stab at Babylon. Jehoiakim again changed his allegiance back to Pharoah Necco. But the Eqyptians were defeated at the Battle of Carchemish. Then Nebuchadnezzar went after Jehoiakim. This time when he beseiged Jerusalem, Jehoiakim didn't have a chance. He was seized and brought in chains to Nebuchadnezzar who had him and his high officials killed and their bodies thrown out of the city, beyond the city walls. There was no burial and no mourning.

The people elected Jehoiakim's son, Jeconiah, as King of Judah but he only reigned 3 months. King Nebuchadnezzar installed Jehoiakim's younger brother, Zedekiah, as King of Judah. He took Jeconiah, his household, and a good portion of the population to Babylon to serve as slaves. Jeconiah died there. Meanwhile Nebuchadnezzar had Jerusalem destroyed, the Temple completely razed, and then burned. Everything that had any value was taken as spoils back to Babylon.

This great exile was called the Diaspora. During this time period, the original Tabernacle, Temple accoutrements, and the Ark of the Covenant disappeared.

The last mention of the Ark of the Covenant was during King Josiah's reign.

2 Chronicles 35:1-3 (MKJV) And Josiah kept a Passover to Jehovah in Jerusalem. And they killed the passover lamb on the fourteenth of the first month. (2) And he set the priests in their charges, and encouraged them to the service of the house of Jehovah. (3) And he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to Jehovah, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David, king of Israel, built. It shall not be a burden on your shoulders. And serve Jehovah your God and His people Israel,...

Forty years after King Josiah did this special Passover and directed the priests to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem, King Nebuchadnezzer completely destroys the city and the Temple.

What happened to it? According to 2 Maccabees, a non-canonical book (in the Apocrypha but not in the accepted "canonical" Holy Bible, one of the books in the Holy Bible called the Holy Canon), the Prophet Jeremiah got a divine revelation directing him to take the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant and hide them. It is said that he went to the mountain where Moses had looked over the Promised Land, and the Tabernacle and Ark accompanied him. He found a cave, had it deposited there and the cave entrance blocked.

So is the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant hidden in some cave on an unknown mountain? Was it hidden somewhere else? Some even think that the mountain was where the original Temple, built by Solomon, stood therefore the articles are hidden in a cave beneath the site of the Temple (now called the Dome of the Rock). Or was it given by King Jehoiakim, as part of the tribute paid to Babylon? Or was it seized by King Nebuchadnezzar when he destroyed the city and the Temple when he killed Jehoiakim? If Nebuchadnezzar got it, was it kept together or just melted down for the value of the gold, silver and precious stones? And what about the contents of the Ark of the Covenant: Aaron's rod, the golden jar of Manna and the pair of stone tablets that God had engraved with the Ten Commandments by His very own finger?

Nobody knows what really happened. Another non-canonical book (Apocrypha) says this:

2 Esdras 10:22 Our psaltery is laid on the ground, our song is put to silence, our rejoicing is at an end, the light of our candlestick is put out, the ark of our covenant is spoiled, our holy things are defiled, and the name that is called upon us is almost profaned: our children are put to shame, our priests are burnt, our Levites are gone into captivity, our virgins are defiled, and our wives ravished; our righteous men carried away, our little ones destroyed, our young men are brought in bondage, and our strong men are become weak;

The Ark of the Covenant contained 3 items: Aaron's rod, a golden jar of manna and the tablets of the Ten Commandments.

Hebrews 9:1-7 (Contemporary English Version - CEV) The first promise that was made included rules for worship and a tent for worship here on earth. (2) The first part of the tent was called the holy place, and a lampstand, a table, and the sacred loaves of bread were kept there. (3) Behind the curtain was the most holy place. (4) The gold altar that was used for burning incense was in this holy place. The gold-covered sacred chest was also there, and inside it were three things. First, there was a gold jar filled with manna. Then there was Aaron's walking stick that sprouted. Finally, there were the flat stones with the Ten Commandments written on them. (5) On top of the chest were the glorious creatures with wings opened out above the place of mercy. Now isn't the time to go into detail about these things. (6) But this is how everything was when the priests went each day into the first part of the tent to do their duties. (7) However, only the high priest could go into the second part of the tent, and he went in only once a year. Each time he carried blood to offer for his sins and for any sins that the people had committed without meaning to.

God directed Moses to have a chest built called the Ark of the Covenant. The chest had a lid on it called the Mercy Seat. There were two golden angels on this lid. This was the Throne of God. The Ark and Mercy Seat indicated God's willingness to live among His people. When God came down, His glory rested above the mercy seat — between the cherubim. The Ark was a picture of the person and saving work of Christ.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God who came down as a man to provide salvation for mankind. He is the only way to God and eternal life. All of the Jewish Law resides in Him. He is the perfect fulfillment of the Law. He was without sin and never transgressed the Law. In Him the Law has been kept. We could not keep it but He could. If we trust in Him, we are safe in Him. Jesus was God's provision of safety just as Noah's Ark was God's provision for safety for Noah and his family when He sent the Flood of Judgement. When the High Priest went into the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, he sprinkled the blood of the sacrifice on the mercy seat. This foreshadowed the atoning blood of Jesus. Jesus is our Ark, where we obtain GOD’s mercy over our judgment. The Ark was a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ as the sole place of atonement for sins. As the Ark was the only place Old Testament believers could go (through the high priest) to have their sins forgiven, so Christ is now the only way to salvation and the kingdom of heaven.

Just as the angels were on top of the Mercy Seat, so the angels were at the tomb after Christ arose.

John 20:11-14 (CEV) Mary Magdalene stood crying outside the tomb. She was still weeping, when she stooped down (12) and saw two angels inside. They were dressed in white and were sitting where Jesus' body had been. One was at the head and the other was at the foot. (13) The angels asked Mary, "Why are you crying?" She answered, "They have taken away my Lord's body! I don't know where they have put him." (14) As soon as Mary said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. But she did not know who he was.

I'm sure that God made some type of provision for the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. It will be seen again even if it's in Heaven now. But it's no longer needed here on Earth, as Jesus is the fulfillment of the Ark. The Ark was a foreshadowing of Jesus, but Jesus was born. We don't need a foreshadowing of the Christ as Jesus is the Christ, He is Emmanuel (God With Us)!

When the Ark of the Covenant was here, people did one of two things. They worshiped the Ark or they rejected God. They didn't want to worship God, Himself! It's like worshiping the stars instead of worshiping the God who created the stars!

Isaiah 44:6, 12-20 (CEV) I am the LORD All-Powerful, the first and the last, the one and only God. Israel, I have rescued you! I am your King...(12) A metalworker shapes an idol by using a hammer and heat from the fire. In his powerful hand he holds a hammer, as he pounds the metal into the proper shape. But he gets hungry and thirsty and loses his strength. (13) Some woodcarver measures a piece of wood, then draws an outline. The idol is carefully carved with each detail exact. At last it looks like a person and is placed in a temple. (14) Either cedar, cypress, oak, or any tree from the forest may be chosen. Or even a pine tree planted by the woodcarver and watered by the rain. (15) Some of the wood is used to make a fire for heating or for cooking. One piece is made into an idol, then the woodcarver bows down and worships it. (16) He enjoys the warm fire and the meat that was roasted over the burning coals. (17) Afterwards, he bows down to worship the wooden idol. "Protect me!" he says. "You are my god." (18) Those who worship idols are stupid and blind! (19) They don't have enough sense to say to themselves, "I made a fire with half of the wood and cooked my bread and meat on it. Then I made something worthless with the other half. Why worship a block of wood?" (20) How can anyone be stupid enough to trust something that can be burned to ashes? No one can save themselves like that. Don't they realize that the idols they hold in their hands are not really gods?

If we found the Ark of the Covenant, people would want to idolize it and worship the box instead of God. God does not suffer idolatry. Those who aren't interested in religion would continue to reject God. God has revealed His own Son and people still reject Him.

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