Year 2 Day 231
Read - 1 Samuel 6:1-6
Message - Alan Burke
Coincidence, you know when a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection happens, it was all just a ‘coincidence’. Scripture teaches something else, that God is actively at work in the midst of all that is going on, there is no such thing as a coincidence but there are ‘God Incidences’, as God works by his providence. Here it took seven months for the Philistines to figure out that there was something more than a remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection, it took them seven months for the penny to drop and for them to figure out that all they were facing was the LORD God at work and these were all God Incidences, God was at work by his providence.
They had been afflicted with tumours, young and old alike, there was great panic among the peoples in their affliction, there was fear, death filled the cities with panic, and the ark was moved from one place to another. Now they finally wise up and know it’s because the Lord had done this. Look what we are told v2 that they got their priests and diviners together. Now these would have been the priests of the slain Dagon, you remember the one who was in pieces and probably off at the repair shop, and the diviners are something like fortune tellers. Well they get them together and ask what they are to do with the ark of the Lord, how should we send it back to its place?
Notice here how they speak, in chapter five they had always referred to the ark of the god of Israel, in verse seven, eight, twice in verse ten and again in verse eleven, it was the ark of the god of Israel (5:7,8, twice in v10, 11). Finally they understand that is the ark of the Lord. But at the same time, although they understand they don’t understand, because they are not looking to this Lord and God, the only living and true God who had slain their god, instead they want rid. So their question is in effect how can we get rid of this God, they want their problem fixed by moving the Lord God further away, they think that what they need to do is get rid of this all powerful God and that will fix all their problems.
There is a sense of real sadness in this, seven months of the Ark of the Lord in their minds, they had seven months and every opportunity to take good hard look at themselves and what they were doing. They had seven months to respond rightly to the Lord but they want their gods and they want is to get rid of the Lord God. They want him gone, they were choosing to deal with God on their own terms. The ark represented the presence of God among them, and they didn’t want it.
Today the presence of God dwells not in the ark, but in the believer, and there is a sense in which we see the same thing happening, as the light of the gospel Jesus Christ though his people reveal and confront sin. We do it in how we love, in speaking the truth of the word of God even when it goes against the narrative of the age. Calling people to repent and believe and people want to get rid of that light. For we know “Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come into the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (Jn 3:20). This land, this world does not want the light, they want us to conform to the darkness, or to silence the gospel. Sinners want God gone, the Philistines wanted the ark gone and the people around us want either the gospel or us gone. And one day, at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil 2:10-11).
Q107 What doth the conclusion of the Lord’ s prayer teach us?
The conclusion of the Lord’ s prayer, (which is, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen. (Matt. 6:13)) teacheth us, to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, (Dan. 9:4,7–9,16–19) and in our prayers to praise him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to him. (1 Chron. 29:10–13) And, in testimony of our desire, and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen. (1 Cor. 14:16, Rev. 22:20–21)