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Dr. Jay P. Cook, Pastor

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What We Should Never Forget (As a Nation)
Hebrews 9:1-4

Intro    
Almost anywhere you go in the world when someone sees the stars and stripes they will say – “That’s America.”  Or if you show someone a picture of the Statue of Liberty they more and likely will say, “That’s America.” (pictures of the flag and Statue of Liberty)

            These are national symbols recognized almost anywhere in the world.  They speak of our freedom and independence. 

            The nation of Israel didn’t have a flag that we know about but they did have the Ark of the Covenant which was the rallying point for the people who escaped the horrors of slavery in Egypt.  (picture of the Ark of the Covenant)

We can learn a great deal from the Israelites in that God was to be at the center of their nations.  Of course they didn’t necessarily do a good job at keeping God at the center of their lives; they got lazy and disobedient in their worship of God – sounds familiar.

The Ark of the Covenant had 3 things inside that became symbols of God presence in their lives.  We can learn from these symbols. They were symbols that told the story of Israel.  They became object lessons or visual aids as primary things that mattered in the life of the nations.   

Listen to the scripture reading about the Ark.
 Hebrews 9:1-4
Now in that first covenant between God and Israel, there were regulations for worship and a sacred tent here on earth. There were two rooms in this tent. In the first room were a lamp stand, a table, and loaves of holy bread on the table. This was called the Holy Place. Then there was a curtain, and behind the curtain was the second room called the Most Holy Place. In that room were a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the Ark of the Covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. Inside the Ark were a gold jar containing some manna, Aaron's staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant with the Ten Commandments written on them.
 

Each of the 12 tribes brought a staff and the leader wrote their name on their staff.  Aaron was chosen to be the lead priest on the tribe of Levi.  The 12 staffs were placed at the Testimony in the Tabernacle.  The Testimony was where the stone tablets were – where the 10 Commandments were.
Numbers 17:8-10 (NIV)
8 The next day Moses entered the Tent of the Testimony and saw that Aaron's staff, which represented the house of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds. 9 Then Moses brought out all the staffs from the Lord's presence to all the Israelites. They looked at them, and each man took his own staff. 10 The Lord said to Moses, "Put back Aaron's staff in front of the Testimony, to be kept as a sign to the rebellious. This will put an end to their grumbling against me, so that they will not die..."

      court judicial system on the 10 Commandments and the Scripture.  All 
      the controversy about taking the 10 Commandments out of public court
      houses tares at the basic fabric of our country.

Conclusion:

               As nation we to need to never forget that:

Please click here for slides to accompany the sermon.