…journey back to Israel’s exodus in the desert when they came out of Egypt and the ark travelled with them. Each time they set up camp in a new location, the ark was placed in the centre of the community with various priestly family groups gathered around it in close proximity. Why? Because there was a fear that ‘ordinary’ Israelites might get lost and in the camp and inadvertently come too close to God and be consumed by holy fire. Another possible reason why God mentions hiding his face from the community is that many people believed that should they catch sight of God they would die. In short, God’s holiness would be seen as a holy and awesome thing. And yet, here is God declaring that in the future He will engage with people in the same way humans do – face to face. This is the ‘between the lines message’ made possible by the fact that God’s Holy Spirit would be within people.
And lastly, ‘beyond the lines.’ In the future, people will no longer need to carry an ark around or go to a certain place to find God with someone interceding on their behalf – why? Because God will live in each person through His Holy Spirit. No longer with they fear accidentally happening across God and catching a glimpse of his holiness and dying (more likely from a heart attack at the shock of it). God lives in us and can be reached at any time we lack without fear of death visiting us for being unclean before him. This is what God is doing and has done!