This past Chanukah was and is so precious to Debora and I. We have been showered with the adulation and camaraderie of friendship, love and support and from friends and strangers alike, but during this particular Chanukah season we dedicated ourselves to spending time with YHVH’s people in South Florida in an effort to emulate as Avraham was instructed to be a blessing and to be blessed. When in the moment of celebration with B’nai Yisra’el time stood still, things that would seek to stifle the flow of The Ruach HaKodesh possess no spiritual gravitational pull upon the heart of one drawn to Messiah during this festival of lights. We were constantly surrounded by the love of family. The focus was upon how much we could spend time with one another. I cannot define how timeless it was to observe and to partake in the conversation between like-minded spirits burning with the same eternal flame, brimming with the wonder, the love, and the light of Messiah. It literally lit up the room! Love rules and the Holy Spirit fell powerfully and abundantly! Everywhere we went His glory lead us and embraced us in the company of His children.
One powerful moment we shared came at a grassroots congregation we were blessed to worship with Shabbat day down in Sarasota, Florida called The River’s Edge. God’s order is not without a measure of amusing irony betimes as I draw the connection between the truth declared here and this intimate group of souls fiercely committed to walking in the light of YHVH’s empowering truth. I had been sharing a bit on “The Beauty of Holiness” and what it means to worship The Father. My new brother Pastor David McCoy approached the group and called afresh to our minds the extremely relevant spiritual significance of what valuable take-away we receive from what happened when King David attempted in 1 Chronicles 13-16 to transport the Ark of The Testimony back to The City of David. We recalled brother Uzziah who in all sincerity attempted to steady the Ark when the ox cart stumbled and was tragically struck dead. It was a grave reminder of how God’s power and presence is a consuming fire. He is Holy, and not something to be handled in a cavalier way or carried roughshod like sheaves out from the fields.
You see, an ox cart was used for many things. It was even used betimes to transport livestock to be used as sacrifices enroute to the Tabernacle. In one scenario reading from the book of Amos an ox cart was used to tote the sheaves brought in from the field. The word there for sheaves is omer which more specifically refers to a measure, or weight. We count the omer from Passover to Shavuot. It is a specific measure of time.
The Ark of the Testimony however is eternal. It contains tangible references to YHVH’s provision, His miracles, His leadership, and most importantly to things that are eternal. Most importantly, His covenant which is with us as outlined upon the two stone tablets given Moshe upon Mount Sinai. It’s called the Ark of The Testimony because it testifies of YHVH’s covenant with us, His chosen people. He has called us His treasure, and a royal priesthood to be holy because He is holy. And most revealing in this record of Uzziah is the reason they attempted to transport The Ark on an ox cart in the first place was because they forgot God’s Word! They forgot His word, and when they attempted to handle it outside of the way Elohim had outlined, there was an outbreak. Speaking of forgetting, reflecting on this past Chanukah season often it is taught upon the meaning of the word itself. Defined as “to dedicate”, when we examine the paleo meaning we discover it means “to be trained”. The priests had not been training in Torah.
In the book of Deuteronomy we read (chapters 27 and 28) that God is very specifically speaking through Moshe of the time Israel will cross the Jordan by way of Shechem, between Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal. In Joshua chapter 3 we read of the miracle of the parting of the Jordan River as the Levite priests in faith walked down its banks and into it. They took up the Ark. According to the way YHVH prescribed in His Torah they hoisted The Ark upon their shoulders and the waters of The Jordan parted and they walked upon dry ground. The Testimony of God’s Covenant is a shared commitment between God and us beloved.
As we walk through each day, we will be faced with challenges. Our faith and our choices will be tested. But will we as at previous times, and much like our Israelite forefathers begin to murmur, putting The Ark upon a common ox cart, dragging it like some beast of burden? Or will we commit ourselves to trusting in YHVH as we approach life’s challenges today with His Covenantal word raised high upon our shoulders, intimately engaged and acutely aware of the light of His Word as it lights our path and instructs us with “It is written”?
 Benner, Jeff. Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of The Bible, p. 337, reference lexicon number 2178 (dfl)