They shall make an ark of acacia wood; it shall be two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and outside you shall overlay it, and you shall make a molding of gold upon it all around. You shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side. You shall make poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. And you shall put the poles into the rings on the sides of the ark, by which to carry the ark. The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it. You shall put into the ark the covenant that I shall give you. Then you shall make a mercy seat of pure gold; two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its width. You shall make two cherubim of gold; you shall make them of hammered work, at the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other; of one piece with the mercy seat you shall make the cherubim at its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings. They shall face one to another; the faces of the cherubim shall be turned toward the mercy seat. You shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark; and in the ark you shall put the covenant that I shall give you.There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the covenant, I will deliver to you all my commands for the Israelites. (Exodus 25:10-22, NRSV)
This is the resting place of the second set of stone tablets that Moses cut after he broke the first pair.
God gave specific instructions on the construction of items. And here is one for the place to keep the covenant that God will give to His people. And God said that this is the place where He would meet His people.
And of course, this is the item that the item that the Nazis are looking for in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. They believe it will give them immense power to have the covenant and the mercy seat of God. And so we wonder whatever happened to the Ark. Where is it?
Maybe and this is just my thoughts now, the ark will never be found because God said He would meet us over the resting place of the covenant. And the covenant is that which helps us live rightly with God and with others. So maybe the Ark is in all of us, and all around us, and can be found in the place where we are right with God and each other.
Live out the covenant, not as rules but as a way of life!