Encountering God

 

 

Text:  I Samuel 4:1-11, I Samuel 6:13-21, II Samuel 6:1-11, I Chronicles 15-16

 

The Ark of the Covenant 

         The Place of the Presence of God

 

      “There I will meet with you; and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, I will speak to you about all that I will give you in commandment for the sons of Israel.”  Exodus 25:22

               The eternal God who is not constrained by the existence of time, the infinite God who is not bound by the constraints of space, the transcendent God who dwells above and beyond all time and space, and the immense God who fills all time and space condescended to the weakness of His people and became manifest for their benefit in one locale. This God is not bound by time, but He bound Himself to the time-bound experience of His people. This God is not bound by space, but He bound Himself to this box. He is above all creational constraints, but He bound Himself to them. He is everywhere, but He was there.     Daniel Hyde  adapted from God in our Midst

 

Superstitious Treatment       I Samuel 4:1-11

                  A lost battle

                  A misplaced trust

                  The Ark is taken captive

        Lesson:    God will not be manipulated!
          
Some examples of what we may be doing…

                Praying as a bargaining effort
                Practicing Spiritual disciplines to obligate God    

                Giving to get

 

Curious Treatment         I Samuel 6:13-21             

               The Ark returned by the Philistines

               Some men looked into the Ark

               God killed 50,000 people as punishment

       Lesson:   God demands to be treated as holy!

          Examples of what we may be doing…

               Checking God out to see if He will work for you  

               Treating God as an object that you will decide about

 

Casual Treatment         II Samuel 6:1-11

               Returning the Ark to Jerusalem

               The Ark transported on a cart

               Uzzah steadies the Ark by hand

               God kills Uzzah for his irreverence

       Lesson:   God commands how He should be treated! 

           Our examples…
               Treating God as if you are doing Him a favor

               Thinking that you are helping God out

               Doing the God-thing your way

 

Reverential Treatment     I Chronicles 15-16

               A Psalm of Thanksgiving  (I Chronicles 16:8-36)

               The Ark returned in accordance with God’s requirements

               A spectacle of music, joy, and celebration

               A time of worship

               An occasion of fellowship and thanksgiving

      Lesson:   God is worthy of all our best!

           Examples for us…                

                Humility

                Obedience

                Passion

                Reckless abandonment of self

 

       How are you treating God?

 

Would He agree with your answer?

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