Tag: Ark of God

Thankful for God’s Presence!

Scripture reading for March 28th:  2nd Samuel 11-15

Key Scriptures:  2nd Samuel 15:25-26  “Then the king (David) said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back into the city (Jerusalem).  If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, He will bring me back and let me see it and His dwelling place again.  But if He says, ‘I am not pleased with you,’ then I am ready; let Him do to me whatever seems good to Him.”  

King David was reaping what he had sowed, but he had confessed his sin with Bathsheba and was forgiven.  His own son was trying to take his throne and his closest adviser had betrayed him.  David valued God’s Presence, represented by the Ark of God.  He knew that the Ark belonged in Jerusalem and trusted God to bring him back there to be in His presence again.

Thankful for God’s Presence:  Jesus, God’s Son, through king David, prayed for His own return to God’s Presence!  “I have brought You glory by completing the work You gave me to do.  And now, Father, glorify Me in Your Presence with the glory I had with You before the world began.”  (John 17:4-5)

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The Worship connection!

Scripture reading for March 27th: 2nd Samuel 5-7

King David had a heart for God and His presence.  David was a psalmist, musician, and worshiper himself.  He knew God by personal experience.  He attempted to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem with a cart pulled by oxen and guided by Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab the priest.  David  and the men of Israel were celebrating with all their might, when the oxen stumbled and Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark.  God struck Uzzah for touching the Ark and the celebration ended abruptly!  (2nd Samuel 6:7-9)

After some research, David again decided to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem.  This time the Ark was carried on the shoulders of the priests with blood sacrifice.   David took off his kingly robes and put on a linen ephod and danced before the Lord with all his might.  The house of Israel followed with the sounding of trumpets and loud shouting.  (2nd Samuel 6:12-15)  As the procession entered the city, Michal, David’s wife, saw David dancing and leaping before the Ark and wrongly judged he was putting on a show for the women.  As a result, she became barren and was judged by the Lord!(2nd Samuel 6:20-23)

God wants us to enjoy His presence and has made specific instructions about how man may come into His presence.  When we come in our own way, we disrespect God and bring judgment. We must be careful today to come humbly before the Lord and treat His presence with respect.  We must be covered by the sacrifice of Christ’s blood.

David wanted the Presence of God in his city and the nation he ruled.  David realized that God was King and that he owed Him whole-hearted worship.  He disrobed and danced with all his might as an offering of himself to the Lord.  This was acceptable to God because of David’s heart attitude! In Michal’s eyes,  David’s worship wasn’t “dignified”!  We must be not be critical of others’ ways of worship.

Take time today and examine your own worship of the Lord.  Are you giving God “all your might”?  Are you hungry to have His presence with you whereever you are?  Show Him an extravagant life of worship this week!

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God’s presence–blessing or curse?

Scripture reading for March 18th: 1st Samuel 4-8

I love the presence of the Lord.  I always have tears or sometimes feel all my senses are alive and His Peace makes me want to wait quietly or kneel before Him.  God’s Presence was something that men and women of God have sought.  Moses would not move without God’s Presence going with him.

The Ark of God was the place where God’s Presence rested with the Israelites.  (1st Samuel 4:3-5)   They had just lost four thousand men in battle and were aware of a need for God’s presence.  The Ark was brought into the camp by Hophni and Phinehas, Eli’s two wicked sons, and the camp erupted in shouting!  They planned on taking the Ark into battle to insure victory.   More than 30,000 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) Sin has consequences!  Treating God’s Presence as something to be used or manipulated is never allowed.  Hophni and Phinehas had been dishonoring God, their own father, and the nation.  They had been eating the portion belonging to God and they had been having sex with the women who served at the temple.

All the noise and enthusiasm was not an indication of God’s presence with them!  The loudest and wildest worship is not always a sign of God’s Presence or approval!  We can turn things that represent God’s Presence into an idol very easily!    Passionate worship, being slain in the Spirit, dancing before the Lord, and other manifestations are fine if genuine and a response to God’s Presence.  They can bring trouble if they are not in “Spirit and Truth”.  (John 4:24)  God’s Presence was not a blessing to the Philistines either!  Everywhere they took the Ark of God, panic, fear, tumors, death and confusion broke out!

God’s Presence is Holy and special.  He must be treated with honor and respect by those who know Him!  Take time today to thank Him for His Presence with you in the Holy Spirit!   His Spirit is a gift of the Father sent to bless His children!

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Extravagant Worship!

Scripture reading for March 27: 2nd Samuel 5-7

King David was a psalmist, musician, and worshiper.  He knew God by personal experience.  Deciding to bring the Ark of God back to Jerusalem, the king set it on a new cart pulled by oxen and guided by Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab the priest.  David  and the men of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, when the oxen stumbled and Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark.  God struck Uzzah down dead and the celebration ended abruptly! (2nd Samuel 6:7-9)   His good intentions and exuberant worship ended in tragedy.  What went wrong?

After careful research, David found God’s instructions for moving the Ark.   This time the Ark was carried on the shoulders of the priests!  David sacrificed to the Lord a bull and a fatted calf.  He took off his kingly robes and put on a linen ephod and danced before the Lord with all his might.  The house of Israel followed with the sounding of trumpets and loud shouting.  (2nd Samuel 6:12-15)  As the procession entered the city, Michal, David’s wife, saw David dancing and leaping before the Ark and despised him in her heart.  As a result, she became barren and was judged by the Lord! (2nd Samuel 6:20-23)

These stories speak about true worship.  God wants us to enjoy His presence and has made specific instructions about how man may come into His presence.  When we come in our own way, we disrespect God and bring judgment.  Uzzah died as a result of the king and priests failing to move the Ark in the prescribed way.  We must be careful today to come humbly before the Lord and treat His presence with respect.  We must be covered daily by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  We are to come wholeheartedly,  offering ourselves to the Lord in spirit and truth.

We are now the bearers of God’s presence through the Holy Spirit.  As the new Temple, God’s glory dwells in us.  We are priests and kings before the Lord and bear His glory where ever we go!   Take time today and examine your own worship of the Lord.  Are you living for God with “all your might”?  Are you more focused on pleasing God than appeasing others who may not understand your worship?    Each day brings opportunity for extravagant worship!

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Whole-hearted Worship!

Scripture reading for March 27: 2nd Samuel 5-7

What constitutes worship that is acceptable to God?  Does God really kill people who don’t do exactly what He wants?  Does God want us to do bizarre things in order to worship Him?  Is God wanting us to dance in His presence?  Must we do things that others don’t appreciate in order to please God?  These are the kinds of questions that come to our minds when we read about King David bringing the Ark of God back to Jerusalem.

King David had a heart for God and His presence.  David was a psalmist, musician, and worshiper himself.  He knew God by personal experience.  Deciding to bring the Ark of God back to Jerusalem, they set it on a new cart pulled by oxen and guided by Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab the priest.  David  and the men of Israel were celebrating with all their might before the Lord, when the oxen stumbled and Uzzah reached out to steady the Ark.  God struck Uzzah down dead and the celebration ended abruptly! (2nd Samuel 6:7)  David was angry and afraid of the Lord!  (2nd Samuel 6:8-9) His good intentions and exuberant worship ended in tragedy.  What went wrong?

After some time and careful research, David again decided to bring the Ark back to Jerusalem.  This time the Ark was carried on the shoulders of the priests!  David sacrificed to the Lord a bull and a fatted calf.  He took off his kingly robes and put on a linen ephod and danced before the Lord with all his might.  The house of Israel followed with the sounding of trumpets and loud shouting.  (2nd Samuel 6:12-15)  As the procession entered the city, Michal, David’s wife, saw David dancing and leaping before the Ark and despised him in her heart.  She judged that he was putting on a show for the women.  As a result, she became barren and was judged by the Lord for her disrespect!(2nd Samuel 6:20-23)

These stories are recorded for us today and speak about true worship and its attributes.  God wants us to enjoy His presence and has made specific instructions about how sinful man may come into His presence.  When we come in our own way, we disrespect God and bring judgment.  Uzzah died as a result of the king and priests failing to move the Ark in the prescribed way.  We must be careful today to come humbly before the Lord and treat His presence with respect.  We must be covered by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  We are to come wholeheartedly,  offering ourselves to the Lord in spirit and truth.

Another aspect of this story concerns the heart of David to have the Presence of God in his city and the nation he ruled.  David realized that God was King and that he owed Him whole-hearted worship.  He disrobed and danced with all his might as an offering of himself to the Lord.  This was acceptable to God because of David’s heart attitude! In Michal’s eyes,  David’s worship wasn’t “dignified”!  We must be more concerned with our own heart and pleasing the Lord than the opinions of others.   We must also be careful not to be critical and judgmental of others’ ways of worship.

Take time today and examine your own worship of the Lord.  Are you giving God “all your might”?  Are you hungry to have His presence with you whereever you are?  Show Him an extravagant act of worship this week!

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God’s Presence–Blessing or Curse?

Scripture reading for March 18: 1st Samuel 4-8

I love the presence of the Lord.  I almost always have tears or sometimes feel all my senses are alive and awake and a sense of His Peace makes me want to wait quietly or kneel before Him.  God’s Presence is something that men and women of God have sought.  Moses would not move without God’s Presence going with him.  He knew how much he needed it.  We certainly need it ourselves!

In today’s reading, the Israelites presumptuously took the Ark of God into battle with them.  The Ark of God was the place where God’s Presence rested with the Israelites.  (1st Samuel 4:3-5)   They had just lost four thousand men in battle and were aware of a need for God’s presence and power.  When the Ark was brought into the camp by Hophni and Phinehas, Eli’s two wicked sons, the camp erupted in shouting!  They had a “pentecostal” service right there!  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!  What a chain of events!  Where was God, anyway?  I thought that they had shouted because God was in the camp!  How could God let such a thing happen to His people?

First, God had warned Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas about their wickedness and about His coming judgment! (1st Samuel 2:16-22) Sin has consequences!  Treating God’s Presence as something to be used or manipulated for advantage is not allowed.  Hophni and Phinehas had been dishonoring God, their own father, and the nation by setting a bad example.  They had been eating the portion belonging to God–the fat!  They had been having sex with the women who served at the temple.  God will not be mocked!  (Galatians 6:7)

Using the symbol of God’s Holy Presence as a “good luck” charm is not wise!  Even all the noise and enthusiasm was not an indication of God’s presence with them!  We who are Pentecostal need to take note!  The loudest and wildest worship is not always a sign of God’s Presence or approval!  We can turn things that represent God’s Presence into an idol very easily!  We can also try to manipulate God!  Styles of worship, being slain in the Spirit, dancing before the Lord, and other manifestations are fine if genuine and a response to God’s Presence.  They are a curse if they are not in “Spirit and Truth”.  (John 4:24)

God’s Presence was not a blessing to the Philistines either!  Everywhere they took the Ark of God, panic, fear, tumors, death and confusion broke out!  God’s Presence is Holy and special.  He must be treated with honor and respect by those who know Him!  He brings death to those in sin and rebellion!

Take time today to thank Him for His Presence with you in the Holy Spirit!   His Spirit is a gift of the Father sent to bless His children!

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