Tel Arad

Tel Arad is located about 12 miles west of the Dead Sea near the modern town of Arad. It squats atop the highest of a group of low hills as you enter the Negev Desert. This fortress was a strategic outpost for the nation of Israel. It guarded the road to Edom and Elath. You can see the beginning of the Judean Mountains just north of this site. It has a commanding view to the south as you look towards the Negev.

I was very interested in the Holy of Holies located on the southwestern side of the fortress. This is believed to be a replica of the Holy of Holies in the Temple of Jerusalem. It is certainly built as required in Exodus from uncut stone. My question is why did this worship center exist, possibly as early as the reign of Solomon? Its existence is in direct disobedience to the commands of the Lord.

Are we guilty of living in disobedience to the Lord? Is it possible that we could be like the Pharisees and strain out a gnat while we swallow a camel? I have a lot of questions with answers that cause problems. Quite frankly I want to be useful and useable but I must look at my life and make sure that man’s tradition or personal habit does not disqualify me from a vibrant, growing relationship with the Lord.

Israel very seldom stopped worshipping at high places. Their lives were continuously religious but they consistently refused to kneel at the feet of a holy God. Surrender to the Lord and service to their fellow man were not part of their practice. Tradition, habit and fervor for the activities of man filled their lives. Does this sound like the lives of too many Christians? Any wonder that we are losing our relevance in an age of immaturity.


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