Tag: 1 Samuel 2:16-22

Respecting God’s Presence!

Scripture reading for March 16: 1st Samuel 4-7

I love the presence of the Lord.  I almost always experience tears or feel all my senses are alive and awake. I am often speechless–not wanting to violate His holiness but wanting to hear His voice. Although God’s presence was present with the Israelites in the Ark of the Covenant, they sought to use the Ark as an object instead of honoring God’s presence.  

1 Samuel 4:3 “And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.”

The Israelites had just lost four thousand men in battle and were asking why the Lord had allowed the defeat. The elders suggested bringing the Ark to lead them in battle. When the Ark was brought into the camp by Hophni and Phinehas, Eli’s two wicked sons, the camp erupted in shouting!  The enemy heard the commotion, and it ignited a desire to fight extra hard!  The Philistines whipped the Israelites and 30,000 more Israelites died in the ensuing battle!  Hophni and Phinehas were killed and the Ark of God was captured!  Eli died at this news and his daughter-in-law died in childbirth! 

God had warned Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas about their wickedness and about His coming judgment! (1st Samuel 2:16-22) Treating God’s Presence as something to be used or manipulated for advantage is not allowed.  Disregarding prophetic warning leads to disaster. Hophni and Phinehas had been dishonoring God, their father, and the nation by eating the fat portion belonging to God!  They had been having sex with the women who served at the temple.  But God will not be mocked!  (Galatians 6:7) Living in rebellion to God as a leader is never wise.  

What caused these Israelites to drift into a form of religion instead of a true relationship? Have you ever tried to use God or symbols of faith instead of walking in relationship? Are you filled with God’s Holy Spirit, the Father’s personal present of His presence?

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