Background: Once the ark of God was captured by the Philistines, they took it and placed it alongside their god Dagon, in the temple. The idol of Dagon, kept falling every day, until it broke(1 Samuel 5). The Philistines moved the Ark of God to a different location and in that location plague broke out. People had blisters and sores.The hand of the Lord was heavy upon their god and their people.(1 Samuel 5:7) The Philistines could not handle the presence of the Living God and sent it back to the Israelites, with offerings. When the ark of God reached the Israelites, the Levites performed the sacrifice on behalf of the five Philistine kings and the Philistines returned. (1 Samuel 6:15-16)In the meanwhile, as the ark of God remained in Kiriath Jearim, the Israelites, mourned and returned to the Lord. Samuel asked them if they really did want to return to God, they must leave all other gods they were following.(1 Samuel 7:2-3).Now while the Israelites were sacrificing to the Lord, the Philistines heard that all Israelites were gathered in one place and attacked them.(1 Samuel 7:10) God came in between them and the enemies and thundered before the enemy and put them in confusion.
Lessons I learnt
- What a powerful God!!!- The Philistine's God kept falling before our God. No other god is as powerful as Our Living Lord Jesus and Father in Heaven and imagine a God like this One,"23"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"[d]—which means, "God with us." (Mathew 1:23)
- Who can stand in the Presence of such a Powerful God? "20And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before the Lord, this holy God? And to whom shall He go away from us?" (1 Samuel 6:20). You know who can? We can, we who have accepted Jesus to be our Lord and Saviour. Now when we stand before this Living God our Father, He looks at us through the introduction of His Son Jesus. Hebrews 4:14-16 says because of having a wonderful high priest like Jesus, who has entered through the heavens, we can approach the throne of grace with confidence. A'int that amazing and glorious!!!
- Presence of God with power to draw His people nigh to Him-Its so fascinates me that, no one was preaching when the ark of God was kept in Kiriath Jearim, but the people of Israel, were turning to the Lord. Imagine, if all the believers in Jesus Christ, were sooooooo obedient to God that God's presence would remain in them, how many lives could be saved!!! how many lives would turn to Jesus. WOw!! So is this presence only to draw God's people near to Him?? Yes it is. So who are His people? Ps 24:1 says "The earth and everything in it BELONGS TO GOD" So I understand its for everyone. So lets be good carriers of God's presence and be a blessing.
- Whats in it for me?(WIFM)-When the people of God are busy doing God's work, God doesn't like anyone and I mean anyone disturb them. WHen the Israelites were busy preparing and sacrificing to God, the Philistines, chose the wrongest time to attack Israel."10As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the Lord thundered with a great voice that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were defeated before Israel." (1 Samuel 7:10)Thats the kind of protection God has for His people, who are working for His kingdom. Can you imagine that??? SO lets get busy, what are we waiting for??
Conclusion: We've got an Awesome, Wonderful, Powerful, Glorious, Almighty, Loving, Caring God. Who is always there to support His people. However His power and heart , in these days, cannot be manifest, until the carrier is ready. The enemies will not see defeat, until we do what God has planned for us to do. So lets prove ourselves as diligent workers for God.Like the testimony that Bible gives about Samuel. "Throughout Samuel's lifetime, the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines."(1 Samuel 7:13). Who dare stand against God's plan when God's people get seriously busy at God's work for them, like Samuel.