ark of the covenant

The Ark of the Covenant had significant meaning to God’s people in the Bible. What meaning does it hold for us today?

The Ark of the Covenant means different things to different people. For some, the ark is a mystical object that contains supernatural powers too terrifying to comprehend. For the pop-culture minded, it is the priceless treasure sought after by theark of the covenant fearless Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. To others, it is an ancient artifact that is highly coveted because of its religious significance, similar to the Holy Grail. With all the societal myths surrounding the ark, it’s worthwhile to investigate its true origin and purpose. Is the Ark of the Covenant as powerful and terrifying as some have portrayed it to be? Is it merely something dreamed up by Hollywood to lure our movie-going dollars? Or could there be more to this ancient object that has relevance for us today?

The Ark of the Covenant contained three items of extreme significance to the Israelites. The first was two stone tablets bearing the divine inscription of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments formed the foundation of God’s covenant with Israel, commonly referred to as “The Law” (Exodus 31). The second item in the ark was the rod of Aaron. God miraculously caused Aaron’s rod to bud with blossoms to show the rest of the tribes of Israel that it was God’s will for Aaron to be in charge of the priesthood (Numbers 17). The last item was a golden pot of manna. Manna was the sweet-tasting wafer-like “bread” God had miraculously provided for the Israelites during their 40 years of desert wanderings (Exodus 16).