The Ark and Christ
Psalm 68:1-35
Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.…

It is said that "the testimony of [or, 'concerning'] Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10). This is specially true of this psalm, it might be called a song of the ark. As Moses spake of the setting forward and resting of the ark (Numbers 10:35, 36), so the psalmist sings of the glorious march of Messiah at the head of his Church - onward from victory to victory - to the final rest. We may bring out much of its spiritual significance by marking some points of resemblance between the ark and Christ.

I. THE LAW OF GOD WAS PLACED WITHIN THE ARK. The Law was the "testimony" to God's character and will, and the foundation of his "covenant" with Israel. That this might be kept in perpetual remembrance, the Law was put in the ark as the most sacred place (Deuteronomy 10:1-5). Therefore the ark was called "the ark of the testimony" and "the ark of the covenant" (Exodus 16:34; Deuteronomy 31:26; Hebrews 9:4). The ark was thus a figure of him that was to come, of whom it was written, "Thy Law is within my heart" (Psalm 40:8; cf. Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 5:17; John 4:34; John 17:4; Romans 10:4; Revelation 11:19).

II. THE ARK WAS SET IN THE FOREFRONT OF ISRAEL IN ALL THEIR GOINGS. It was always at the head. When it moved, Israel moved. When it rested, Israel rested. In the wilderness, at the passage of the Jordan, and on during the conquest of Canaan, the ark always went before, as showing that they were under the guidance of God, and that in all their doings they must have regard to the will of God. The Law within the ark was to be the Law of Israel (ver. 7; Numbers 10:33; Joshua 3:3). So it is with Christ, as saith Isaiah, "Behold, I have given him for a Leader and Commander to the people" Isaiah 55:4). We see this beautifully illustrated in our Lord's earthly life. He was the good Shepherd, of whom it is said, "He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out;" "He goeth before them, and they follow him" (John 10:3, 4). The word of the Lord to his disciples is always, "Follow me." What was said of the twelve is true of all others. "They were in the way going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went before them" (Mark 10:32).

III. THE ARK WAS THE MEETING PLACE BETWEEN GOD AND HIS PEOPLE. (Cf. Exodus 25:22, "There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony.") What was here in shadow we have now in substance. Christ is the meeting place between God and man (2 Corinthians 5:19). "Through him we have access unto God the Father" (Ephesians 2:18). He is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23; 1 John 1:3; Hebrews 4:16).

IV. THE ARK WAS ASSOCIATED WITH THE GREAT EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL. Some of these are recorded in this psalm. So Christ has been with his people from the beginning. Their life, their conquests, their achievements, have all been through him. And he promises to be with them to the end (Matthew 28:20).

V. THE ARK WAS ENTHRONED WITH THE HIGHEST HONOURS IN THE HOUSE OF GOD. There had been many trials and conflicts, but at last there was victory. The ark was carried in triumph to Jerusalem, and set in glory on Mount Zion. Afterwards it was removed, and placed in the most holy place in the temple on Mount Moriah (vers. 18-31). All this may be said to have been typical of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow, when he was received into heaven, and seated in glory on the right hand of God (Psalm 24; Ephesians 4:11; Hebrews 2:9, 10; Hebrews 10:12, 13). But there are certain differences. The ark was carried by human hands, but Christ conquered and ascended in his own strength (Hebrews 9:11). The ark was set in an earthly tabernacle, but Christ "is set on the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens" (Hebrews 8:1, 9, 24). The ark was but a temporary thing, a symbol that served its purpose and has long since passed away. Christ is "the same yesterday, today, and forever." The Gospels set forth his glory; we see his royal progress in the Acts of the Apostles; and the Revelation of St. John bears witness to his continued triumphs, till the end come, when he shall be hailed by Jew and Gentile as "the King of kings and Lord of lords." - W.F.

Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician, A Psalm or Song of David.} Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.

WEB: Let God arise! Let his enemies be scattered! Let them who hate him also flee before him.

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