Today’s passage: 1 Samuel 6:1-7:2
- These diviners told the Philistines not to harden their hearts, and then proceeded to give them instructions for the ark that went against God’s instructions in every possible way.
- And, to cover their bases in case this grand plan didn’t work, they threw in a big “perhaps”. (Verse 6)
- God gave them an answer to their question anyway. He used these untrained cows to show the Philistines that it was Him who had brought these plagues on them.
- When the ark returned to Israel, we should have seen a people who knew how to handle it…the opposite of the Philistines. Instead, we find a people who seem to be just as ignorant.
- Beth-shemesh was a city for the Levites. Of all the people in Israel, these people should have known. They didn’t. (Numbers 4:5-6)
- When God showed Himself to be the true God in Philistia, instead of repenting, the people there became distressed by their consequences and tried to get rid of God’s apparent presence.
- When God showed Himself to be the true God in Israel (Beth-shemesh), instead of repenting, the people there became distressed by their consequences and tried to get rid of God’s apparent presence.
Questions to consider:
- How might the excitement of the people of Beth-shemesh to get the ark back cause us to be confused or distressed by the judgment they experienced? Why might it feel unfair? Why was it perfectly just?
- How could reading verses like 2 Timothy 3:16-17 give you a sense of gratitude and eagerness to faithfully continue studying the Word of God?
- Knowing of the righteous justice of God, how should our praise and thanksgiving to Him increase? (Romans 3:21-26)