What’s in Your Box?

By Samuel Shinde, Chiplun

Ron lived in slums, grew up playing in the streets and living a substandard life. At the same time, his father was passionate about providing Ron the best of education, which he did. And Ron did well, enough for him to get into Merchant Navy. That’s when Ron’s story took a drastic turn.

He had money, with which he didn’t have to continue living in slums. Rather, he bought two lavish houses, one for his parents and one for himself. He owned a couple of cars too. And now, no more substandard clothing, Ron was always seen in branded clothes. In fact, he wore branded stuff from head to toe.

However, all throughout this, the change was only external. From within, Ron hadn’t changed. He was still a base-minded person, aggressive and a man of coarse speech. His marriage couldn’t do any better, as he did not have a great relationship with his wife.

One fine day, as he was reading the Bible, he read about the Ark of Testimony in Exodus 40:3. Like the king from Esther 6:1, Ron couldn’t sleep that night. His spirit was stirred to study the Ark of Testimony, like how Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia in Ezra 1:1. So he picked up the Bible and started studying about the Ark of Testimony.

In Exodus 37: 1-9, we have the description of how the Ark of Testimony was made. Upon reading this scripture portion, Ron concluded that it was a box made out of acacia wood, with four rings attached and two poles going through the rings to carry the ark. And all overlaid with gold, within and without.
He looked up the Hebrew words for Ark and Testimony and found out that Ark was Aron (אָרוֹן ) and Testimony was Edut (עֵדֻת ). Interestingly, he also noticed that this Ark of Testimony was also known as Aron Ha-qodesh (אָרוֹן קׄדֶש ), which means Holy Ark. He understood that the ark was nothing but a big box made of acacia wood, overlaid with gold. However, the only reason it became Aron Ha-qodesh (אָרוֹן קׄדֶש ), i.e. Holy Ark, was because it had Edut (עֵדֻת ), meaning the Testimony, in it.

Testimony means the very word of God, i.e. the Ten Words on the Tables as a solemn divine charge, as per Abridge BDB (Abridge Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon of Old Testament). And as per Easton’s Bible Dictionary, the Testimony in the ark is translated as the Scriptures (Ps. 19:7; 119:88; Isa. 8:16, 20).

This fact opened Ron’s eyes. The ark, though overlaid with gold from within and without, is just a box made of wood. It had value because of the Word of God. A quick thought ran through Ron’s mind - It’s so true that the box is valued only when something valuable is kept in it. Otherwise, regardless of how much we decorate it or if we keep junk in it, the value of the box is worthless.

Similarly, no matter how much we wear fine branded clothes, have high-end cars or own big houses, this is external and worthless, unless, we have the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives, who’s the Word of God (John 1:1).

The external beauty depends so heavily on what we have within ourselves. Ron wept, repented and acknowledging his fault, pleaded to the Lord to forgive him. He then determined to himself, that from now on he would be the holy ark, i.e. ‘Aron Ha-qodesh’ and not just ‘Aron’. He received the Word in his life and his life truly changed from within.

We are the ark of Testimony. We’re overlaid with gold for His glory. This gold would be of no value, if there’s no Christ in it.



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