The Philistines had oppressed the Israelites for years. They had fought them and heavily defeated them. They had even taken the Ark of the Covenant for themselves. Unfortunately, that did not work out well for them. The Philistines' false gods bowed down to the Ark and their people were cursed with a plague of tumors and some, even death. Needless to say, God was in control and the Philistines had to come up with a plan to return the Ark to Israel, but they wanted some reassurance. So they yoked two cows that had just given birth and never been yoked, to a cart carrying the Ark to see if they would go across their border and into Beth-shemesh. I'm not sure it's a great idea to test the Lord, but I love to see the outcome when we do! The cows went straight to Beth-shemesh.
Even God's people can a get a little cocky sometimes. While the Ark was in Beth-shemesh, 70 men were killed for looking into the Ark. These were Israelites. They knew what the Ark was, and whose it was. They knew better than to look. When we know better, choose wisdom. The consequences of our curiosity isn't always worth the look. Because of what happened, Beth-shemesh sent word to Kiriath-jearim to come and get the Ark. Once the Ark was brought to Kiriath-jearim, Eleazer was ordained to be in charge of the Ark, and there it remained for 20 years. During this time, Israel mourned deeply, thinking God had abandoned them.
Samuel was a man of God. He sought God's direction and told the Israelites if they wanted to return to the Lord, they must do two things:
1- get rid of all of their foreign gods and images
2- determine to obey the Lord
Israel complied with these requests and repented their sin to the Lord. Samuel prayed for them, and this time, when the Philistines attacked, God confused them with His own voice and Israel defeated the Philistines. Oh, the power of God that is unleashed when we give up our idols, repent our sins and truly obey God!
Yet, even with God's power displayed, the Israelites were not satisfied. Samuel was Israel's judge at this time and he had appointed his sons, Joel & Abijah to be judges over Israel as well. Unfortunately, they were not like their father. These men were greedy and cared only for their own gain. Israel complained about these men to Samuel, and wanted a king to rule over them like the other nations around them.
"Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance." ~ I Samuel 8:6
Samuel knew what they wanted wasn't the right thing. It upset him. but instead of trying to handle it on his own, he went to God for direction. God told Samuel to do as the people asked, but also directed Samuel to warn Israel about how a king would rule over them. Obeying God's direction, Samuel told Israel how a king would rule and all that he would take from them. He sincerely warned them that they would regret the king and ask God for deliverance, but when that time came, God wouldn't deliver them. Up until this point God fought Israel's battles, but now they wanted someone else. They were rejecting God; they wanted a king.
"So Samuel repeated to the Lord what the people had said, and the the Lord replied, 'Do as they say, and give them a king.' The Samuel agreed and sent the people home." ~ I Samuel 8:21-22
Who do we want to rule over us? Are we looking to man for protection and provision or are we seeking the only One who can truly give us both? Israel knew God, and they knew ALL He had done for them. God's love, mercy and mighty miracles had both been seen by them and told to them for generations, yet, they rejected Him for a man, a king.
Are we much different? As redeemed, born again believers, we know God. Each one of us could write a book on ALL that God has done for us, yet, we keep searching for other things or people to care for us and fulfill us. Are we truly trusting God or are we rejecting Him? If we know He is our King of Kings, why is our faith in other things?
The Lord has taken my family on a wild and wonderful journey over the past 14 years. Like everyone else, we have experienced our own highs and lows, but this past year has brought more then we expected. Our faith has been tested and I'll be honest, I've had a hard time holding on at several points, but not once has God abandoned us. He has provided for us every month, at every step. One phone call and our heart breaks, yet God delivers a blessing of light at the same time. An unexplainable injury shortens our income, yet healing is given. We have had more than our share of mechanical failures over the last month, but God has given us quality time with each other as a family. Time spent loving each other, growing with each other and working side by side. God has used family, friends and our new church family to bless us in our time of need and I can't help but think: Why did I ever doubt you, Lord?
If I have learned anything, I have learned to trust Him. He knows our needs before we know we need them. He has a plan of provision for us before we start missing it. He begins healing our brokenness before that phone call, disaster or disease hits us, smack in the face. Who will we choose to reign over us? Will we trust in our own strengths, resources and abilities? Or will will trust In God Almighty, Creator of our very souls? The One who loves us mercifully, faithfully, eternally, unconditionally. Will we let Him be our King and trust His ways? I know I will. My faith may fumble, and doubts may sneak in, but I know God will never forsake me. And I choose to trust Him.
Dear Lord, shower us with Your Presence. Let my Sweet Sisters and I see You in ALL things. The big and the small. Let our faith grow immensely in You, knowing You will provide, protect, care and love us, always. May we put our trust in You and no one else. In the sweet name of Jesus, amen.
Keep reading God's Word!
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. "
Hi! I'm Andrea, wife to my handsome hubby, homeschooling mama to my 5 amazing blessings (with one more on the way), and daughter of the King of kings. I am so glad you have stopped by my little piece of the web. My prayer is that the Lord will use this blog to encourage you in your personal, daily walk with Christ.