Now the ark of the Lord was in the country of the Philistines seven months. 2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, “What shall we do with the ark of the Lord? Tell us how we should send it to its place.”
3 So they said, “If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty; but by all means return it to Him with a trespass offering. Then you will bedgff healed, and it will be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.”
4 Then they said, “What is the trespass offering which we shall return to Him?”
So in Chapter 4 the Ark of the Lord was captured, in Ch. 5 God wreaked havoc on the enemies of His people, those that had taken His Ark that did not belong with them. Now in Ch. 6, these enemies want to get RID of this Ark, but have grown to respect the God of the Israelites and are determined to do everything they can to stay alive while they figure out how to get it back where it belongs.
13 Now the people of Beth Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley; and they lifted their eyes and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it…….
19 Then He struck the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the Lord. He struck fifty thousand and seventy men<sup class="footnote" value="[a]”>[a] of the people, and the people lamented because the Lord had struck the people with a great slaughter.
I was Beth Shemesh. I had just turned 18 and found a great spot to burn away my Friday nights, a club called the Edge. No big deal, just dancing and fun right? Yeah, there were some weirdos there, yeah there were the typical “serial killer type looking people” that drank too much and upon accidental eye contact you were immediately afraid, but there were also cute boys, so it was ok, apparently. Then one day, a girl I worked with, who didn’t go to church, didn’t read the Bible, and knew a lot more of the world than my sheltered little self, found out I went to “The Edge” and I never forgot her response of shock. “The Edge?? The world could end in the Apocalypse and you would never tell the difference in there.” huh. I thought. That’s weird. Aren’t I supposed to be the one with high morals and high standards? Yet she was the one to see that my actions weren’t exactly following my beliefs. As I Christian, I am the temple of the Holy Spirit. And I was not holding that position in the highest regard. I was not respecting God’s presence.
It is a sad day when the outside world, shows more respect for the things of God then His children.
But this next verse brings it back to the present day.
20 And the men of Beth Shemesh said, “Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God?
And the answer???
We Can!! I wasn’t struck dead for disrespecting the presence of God in my life because I have a high priest who read this “SYMPATHIZES with my weaknesses!!” Hallelujah!! But he loves me too much to leave me stuck in my sin! He gives me GRACE in time of NEED!! (Sorry for the all caps, but I am having church up in here!!) Can I get a Hallelujah!!
Romans 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
They couldn’t but WE CAN!! Can you imagine a conversation with them? Trying to explain how we are too busy to approach the throne of grace? What? It’s crazy. I am all about logic, and that don’t make no sense!!
One more verse since we are on the topic, and this one was just too good to leave out!
19 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
That is a lot to chew on! And I pray that these verses, these words of Life would stay on our mind and that we would hide them in our hearts as we approach the throne of grace and assemble together to stir each other up!
*title provided by Julie 🙂