16 April 2013
*TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE:*
1 Sam 5:1-12
/The Ark in Ashdod and Ekron/
*5* After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it
from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s
temple and set it beside Dagon. 3 When the people of Ashdod rose early
the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before
the ark of the Lord! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. 4
But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on
his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands
had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body
remained. 5 That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor
any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.
6 The Lord’s hand was heavy upon the people of Ashdod and its
vicinity; he brought devastation upon them and afflicted them with
tumors. 7 When the men of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said,
“The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because
his hand is heavy upon us and upon Dagon our god.” 8 So they called
together all the rulers of the Philistines and asked them, “What
shall we do with the ark of the god of Israel?”
They answered, “Have the ark of the god of Israel moved to Gath.”
So they moved the ark of the God of Israel.
9 But after they had moved it, the Lord’s hand was against that
city, throwing it into a great panic. He afflicted the people of the
city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors. 10 So they sent
the ark of God to Ekron.
As the ark of God was entering Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out,
“They have brought the ark of the god of Israel around to us to kill
us and our people.” 11 So they called together all the rulers of the
Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let
it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For
death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy upon
it. 12 Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the
outcry of the city went up to heaven.
I love how the book of Samuel reveals the power of God. The power over
Israel’s enemies, both individuals and nations.
This chapter, particularly, is a great encouragement for us if we ever
doubt the power of God. Here, we see that wherever the ark of the
covenant (which represented the presence of God) went there was
devastation. Even statues of false gods fall and crumble when the
presence of the Holy God is in the room.
The enemies of Israel understood it. The ark moved from place to place
until eventually the people at Ekron cried out for the ark of the
covenant to go back to Israel. They didn’t know Him, but they knew
He was powerful.
His power is displayed in creation. His power is displayed through
history. His power is displayed through the pages of scripture. His
power is displayed when miracles happen. And His power can be
displayed through our own lives. But is it?
A CALL TO ACTION
For God’s power to be displayed through God’s people, God’s
people need to submit to His power. What does that mean? How does that
happen practically? Well, for starters it means allowing His Word to
dictate how we respond to life rather than our circumstances. It means
trusting Him to come through for us when we are in need. It means
ministering in His power when we serve Him (I can think of many times
I have stepped up to the pulpit exhausted after having prayed for
God’s power to be work through me, only to find He completely
strengthens me for that period). It means living with the
understanding that His power is made perfect in our weakness. When
that happens, when we submit to God’s power, then the things that
stand against us crumble at our feet.
Today, let’s look for opportunities to allow God’s power to work
in and through us.
A PRAYER TO PRAY
God thank you that you are all powerful. Thank you that your power
brings change to even the worst situation. Please help me to do today
in your strength, submitted to your power rather than my own. Amen.
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