Sunday, July 5, 2015

1 Samuel 5

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Samuel 5. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • The Philistines take the ark of God and place it in Dagon's temple.  Dagon was their chief god.  They believed Dagon sent rain and made sure there was always a good harvest. The Philistines worshiped many gods.  They figured the more gods they could have on their side, the better.  
  • Between Dagon falling on his face two days in a row and the people of Ashdod being afflicted with tumors, the Philistines realized that the ark was a source of greater power than they had ever seen.  A power they could not control.  
  • Not knowing what to do with the ark, they begin moving it to different cities.  Each time it brought great trouble and chaos to those living in the city.  So much so, the Philistines demanded that the ark be given back to Israel.   

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • People, oftentimes, don't respond to God until they experience pain.  Even though Dagon had fallen on his face two days in a row, it wasn't until they were afflicted with tumors that the Philistines decided to do something about the ark.
  • The Lord's hand was heavy upon the Philistines.  God brings judgment to those who don't follow and obey Him.  But His greatest desire is to have a relationship with them.  He often uses pain to lead others to Him.  Proverbs 3:12 says "the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in."  

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Today many people don't respond to Biblical truth until they experience pain.  Are you willing to listen to God for truth's sake or do you turn to him only when you are hurting?  
  • Has it ever felt like the Lord's hand was heavy upon you?  Take advantage of those times to be reminded that God loves you and seek to draw closer to Him.