The other day I was reading a story found in the book of 1 Samuel chapter 5 from verses 1-12. It’s funny, yet very interesting and insightful.
The Philistines had defeated Israel in a war and had taken away the Ark of the Covenant of God which was an express symbol of God’s presence in their camp. The enemy is proud and confident of having deprived the Hebrews of their God. They will be able to beat them hands down in subsequent battles.
But then, they get a major surprise. They’ve just treaded on dangerous grounds. They’ve walked into a trap.
Before long the Lord begins to afflict the Philistines with painful and ugly tumors. Their land is infested with mice. They then remember that they’ve made the same mistake Pharaoh had made many years before.
When they become helpless they decide to return the Ark to its place; and not without a trespass offering.
What really made me laugh was the fact that each city where the Ark of God was sent to in the land of the Philistines, there was wailing and mourning. “They have brought the Ark of the God of the Hebrews to afflict us as He afflicted Pharaoh in Egypt…”
- Beloved in the Lord, this is how the presence of God in our lives should afflict the enemy.
- No devil should feel comfortable when a child of God walks into the room.
- The presence of God in our lives should inspire awe in those who do not yet know Him and bring them on their knees in worship.
- Because of your presence in that office, the fear of God should slowly take over the place.
- Men of evil intentions should dread having you in their midst.
- When they wrong you, they should be afflicted with holy guilt and then repent (a trespass offering).
I love the presence of God…and you?
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not delay (Habakkuk 2:3).
God had promised Abraham Canaan. It was his by covenant right.
The entire land was to become his in the future.
But you know what? Abraham had to buy a tiny piece of that land the inhabitant (Genesis 23:1-16).
And do you know what part he bought? Not the most fertile. He bought a cave in which to bury his wife; the land that was his by right.
The owner of this piece of land even begged the old man to get it from him as a gift but he would not. He would not use his own means to get what God had promised to give him at the appointed time.
At the appointed time, the land became his.
Do not use your own power to get what God has promised to you.
Don’t rush ahead of God because you think it’s getting late. It could be suicidal.
God is not idling; He is busy preparing a table for you in the wilderness.
Don’t compare yourself with others. Your timing might not be theirs.
Ask of God the discernment to know the seasons; when it is time to move.
Endure the training, and then enjoy the job.
Leviticus chapter 16 records the events of the Day of Atonement as commanded by God to Moses and then to the High Priest. Aaron, who was the High Priest at that time, was required to enter the holiest place of the tabernacle once a year to offer blood for the atonement of the sins of Israel. Come to think of it. It happened just once a year, on the tenth day of the seventh month.
Can you imagine the impatience, anxiety and unease in the camp of Israel as they bore their sins on their minds waiting for the day God will finally accept their repentance? They waited, prayed, and longed for their load to be lifted off their soldiers so that they can be relieved. How they must have waited for the Day of Atonement.
When it finally came, they all gathered before God to have their burdens lifted off their backs. At last, they were free, holy and acceptable before God. It is against this background that we can understand the impact of what Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary. What an excellent joy to know that under the new covenant, we do not need to wait for a Day of Atonement.
Christ offered up a sacrifice of himself once and for all (Hebrews 7:27). When he cried “It is finished”, I became holy, righteous and acceptable before God provided I lay a claim to the finished work of Calvary (John 1:12). I am already forgiven.
I do not need to wait for a particular day in which I will be worthy to ask of healing, deliverance, blessing and the like. It has become my permanent and everlasting possession all thanks to Christ’s once and for all sin offering. Am I not blessed?
The new covenant is really far better than the old (Heb. 8:6-8).