“And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.... that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.” Joshua 3:3—4
The Ark of the Covenant is of course symbolic of the Word of God. The Ark contained the 2 Tablets of Stone containing the Ten Commandments and the Rod that Aaron used. These 2 symbols showing God’s promises and provisions to us if we will obey His Word.
As I read the verses above this morning, I pondered the phrase in Joshua 3:4 that says, “...that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.” You know every day is new and we are presented with new circumstances that we have not faced before. When we are very young almost every experience is new, as we get older we become new at being a wife, new at being a mother, new at having school aged children, and on and on it goes. Every phase of life is new. I am now a grandmother of 11 grandchildren! Wow, am I really old enough for that? I don’t feel like it, but here I am and I have never been here before. In the verses quoted above we are taught the importance of following the Word of God, so that we’ll know the way to go because we have not passed this way before.
At the time of the writing, the children of Israel had to watch for the Levites that were bearing the Ark, and they could not follow too closely because only the Levites could carry the Ark, and they had to use staves through rings in the side of the Ark—they could not touch it because it held the Glory of God! Now we are able to go boldly before the Throne of Grace and we can carry the Word of God in our hands. What a tremendous privilege we have and yet we take these treasures for granted all too often. We dont have to go through life blindly, we can follow the teachings found in the Word of God. We must follow It so that we may know the way to go...we have not passed this way before!