Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 5-6
Key Verse: 1 Samuel 6:20
And the men of Beth Shemesh said, “Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? And to whom shall it go up from us?”
In today’s reading we learn of the different ways of handling the Ark of the Covenant. First, the Philistines of Ashdod offended God, and then the Israelites of Beth Shemesh, who knew better, treated the Ark as an article of curiosity, instead of the symbol of God’s presence as Moses had instructed them. The Philistines may have thought they were honoring the God of Israel by placing the Ark in the Temple of Dagon, but instead they abused Him. They failed to understand that God does not share worship with an idol. We can look up in our Bibles the proper way to handle the Ark. The people to whom the cattle brought the ark may not have had immediate access to the scrolls with the instructions. Ignorance, in this case, was no excuse. We have the assurance that since Jesus, we can stand before God with reverence, worshiping Him. We must not take Him for granted or presume upon His mercy. It’s true that Jesus changed our approach to God. The excruciating suffering and death of Christ is ample proof that our holy God is outraged by sin in all its forms. We throw ourselves on His grace and mercy.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, I come boldly to Your throne of grace. According to Your Word in Hebrews 4:16, I receive mercy and find grace in my time of need. Please help me to always approach You with all reverence and total respect, knowing that Jesus, our great High Priest, has gone before me with His blood sprinkled on the Mercy Seat of the Ark in the heavens. In His Name I pray. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
After my Dad returned home after World War Two, he accepted a call to serve two rural congregations. I learned about cattle working on church member’s farms. It is natural for cows that have just given birth to a calf to remain with that calf. What we read about today is not natural but supernatural. God retains the right to intervene, changing patterns of behavior to bring about His purposes. Animals are not made in God’s image as humans are. They function by pre-programmed instinct. I’m not like that. I must deliberately surrender my will to God, obeying His instructions. When I decide to follow Him, I know that supernatural provision for my journey will be provided as I go.