Friday February 9, 2024
Scripture: 1 Samuel 7: 1 So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the Lord. They brought it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the Lord. 2 The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all. Then all the people of Israel turned back to the Lord. 3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the Lord and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the Lord only. 5 Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah, and I will intercede with the Lord for you.” 6 When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” Now Samuel was serving as leader of Israel at Mizpah.
Meditation: When the people of God adopt the false religions that are so prevalent in the world our faith becomes corrupted, our witness destroyed, and our hearts and minds depraved. Revival of genuine faith can only happen in a context of true repentance.
– The restoration of the ark, as well as the subsequent judgment of God on those who treated the ark with irreverence brought about a revival of devotion to the Lord. It wasn’t enough for the ark to be returned; the hearts of the people needed to return to God!
– Church, it is not enough for us to have the trappings of religious belief, we need to have our hearts and minds renewed! The apostle Paul writes in Romans 12: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
– James wrote in his letter, 4: 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
– These messages from the holy inspired Word of God point us away from cozying up to the world’s methodologies as is being practiced in churches and Christian homes around the globe.
– God will return to us when we as God’s people return to Him! The wrath of God, as in the days of Samuel, is clearly “being revealed from heaven today against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness”, Romans 1:18. Sadly there are those who should know the truth but who willfully choose to suppress the truth and who teach others to do the same. 2 Chron. 7: 14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.