Following the Ark

In studying the history of the children of Israel, one is impressed by the extreme sanctity which attached to the ark of the covenant as a symbol of the divine presence.

When advancing toward Jericho under the leadership of Joshua, the people were commanded to follow the ark of the covenant in order that they might be guided in the way, because the path was new to them. When they reached the river Jordan, a spectacle similar to the crossing of the Red Sea was enacted. We read: "The priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan."

Subsequently, at the siege of Jericho, the ark accompanied the procession which compassed the walls. As long as they kept their eyes on the ark of the covenant, and obediently and rejoicingly followed it, the children of Israel journeyed in safety and were victorious over obstacles and eventually subjugated hostile nations. Small wonder that it became very sacred to them!

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June 22, 1929

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