It was noted in our study this past Sunday that information about Samuel isn't included in chapters 4-6 in 1 Samuel. Rather the focus is on the ark of the covenant ... that sacred box that signified God's presence, His rule, His provision, His forgiveness and grace, and His revelation. We saw in chapter 4 that the ark was captured by the wicked Philistines ... in chapter 5 we will examine their experience with the ark. Chapter 6 tells the story of its return to Israel.
As you read through 1 Samuel 5:1-12 prior to this Sunday's worship you'll see that it didn't turn out so well for the Philistines! In fact, it was so bad they couldn't wait to get rid of it and send it back to the Israelites. It's because of God's glory / His weight / His heaviness ... the Philistines were crushed under the significance of God's presence and power. Even their featured god, Dagon, couldn't stand before the glory of Jehovah.
How about our "gods" ... our idols? How long do we expect them to stand before the glory of God? Much of the reason we don't experience much change and growth in holiness/godliness is because we cling so tightly to our idols and we get mad if anyone speaks out against our precious idols. We justify them and contend that they are "good." And honestly, many of the things we idolize aren't the demonic, evil, wicked, pagan things with red horns; rather they are the good things of life - friends, family, work, hobbies, etc. Yet those "good" things often turn into our biggest idols as we seek to find meaning, significance, purpose, and identity in them. In this week's "Wednesday's Word" from Paul Tripp he issues a strong challenge about idolizing family relationships. I'd encourage you to read and subscribe to this excellent tool. http://www.paultripp.com/wednesdays-word
Also, please prepare your hearts to enjoy the Lord's Supper this Sunday.