July 19, 2020
Human nature tends to stay the same no matter how much time goes by. It's amazing how much trouble folks found themselves in when the Ark of the Covenant was around. In 1st Samuel 4, Israel took the Ark to the battlefield hoping to manipulate God into giving them victory over the Philistines. Not only did Israel lose the battle, they also lost the Ark, which was captured by the Philistines. In chapter 5 we find that the Philistines didn't do any better trying to corral the power and holiness of God. Jehovah wins in a smack-down over Dagon (one of the gods of the Philistines) and then God gives the people of Ashdod tumors and disease. The people of Ashdod got tired of the Ark and said, "Let's give it to our buddies over in Gath,” (different city, same results). The Gathites said to themselves, "Perhaps we were hasty in taking this Ark, we really shouldn't be this greedy, let’s give it to our brothers in Ekron." When the folks at Ekron saw the Ark coming, they said, "Some brothers these guys are, they are trying to kill us too." So, they hatch a plan to give the Ark back to Israel. When the people of Beth-shemesh (an Israelite city) get the Ark back, a bunch of them take a peek inside of it. Bad idea. Ya'll remember in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" what happens when you peek inside the Ark! Several of the Israelites were struck down by God. Even Israel was afraid of the Ark and it stayed in the little village of Kiriath-jearim for twenty years until King David decided to move it to Jerusalem. His fiasco with the Ark is recorded in II Samuel 6 (just so you know that I am not making this stuff up as I go along...this is so good you can't make it up). Now, I have said all of that to say this…. These Old Testament folks had a hard time separating their sinfulness from God's holiness. Quite often, to them, the Ark was just a box covered with gold. In reality, the Ark symbolized the presence of God and God expected it to be treated as such. Fast forward the tape a couple of thousand years. Man STILL has a hard time separating his sinfulness from God's holiness. We refer to God as "the man upstairs". We still try to manipulate God (God if you answer this prayer or do this and that for me, then I will do this and that for you). We need to remember that God is God and we are not. There is one major difference in our world and the world of David and Samuel. Our world has Jesus Christ. As Christians, with Jesus Christ living in us and through us, we should be showing the world the same respect for the Father that Jesus showed while He was living on Earth. We should also show them how sinful people can stand in the presence of a holy God...by the blood of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we need reminding.
Have a blessed week . . . Bro. Andy