Message for July 19, 2015 from Pastor Shirley

  In reading 1 Samuel the political affairs and the spiritual condition of Israel continue to go downward. This was a time when the scripture portraysEvery man did what was right in his own eyes. Judges 17:6 (Sounds like America today) This time of darkness was evident by the departure of the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark was Israel’s most sacred object, and it was the presence of God among His people.

     In 1 Samuel 3:1 we see it described as a period of time when God was not speaking to his people very often: “… the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.” The spiritual leaders had become immoral. God’s people were not obeying the law. Their hearts had turned far from Him. It seems since the people were not listening to Him why should He bother to speak them?

    There was a time when the Philistines captured the Ark. Never in the history of Israel had the Ark of God fallen into hands of the enemy. But as we can see, the capture of the Ark only symbolizes what was already true, the Glory of God had departed from Israel. After God destroyed the idol of their god, Dagon, the Philistines gladly sent it back.

    David was king of the Jews and his capital city was Jerusalem. He determined in his heart to bring back the Ark. David longed to bring the presence of God back. When David brought the ark into Jerusalem, he wrote a special psalm. (Psalm 24) David leads his people in worship. He dances before the Lord with all his might, and the entire house of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts and the sounds of trumpets.

    When the Jews brought the ark into Jerusalem, they believed that God came in with it. God was so great that they told the gates, “Lift up your heads.”  This means, “God is great. He cannot get under you so you must make more room”. The Jews believed that God was their king, and He went everywhere with the Ark. They carried the Ark through the gates. To the Jews this was a symbolic picture of God as king of Jerusalem. The priests shouted, “Who is the king of glory?” All the people answered, “The LORD!

    I pray that we would long to hear the voice of God. That we would make room for the King of Glory to come in by creating an atmosphere for His presence. In His presence is fullness of joy!

     Speak to us today, Father God. Our hearts are turned toward you. We celebrate You today for You have made us free and not just barely free but abundantly free!

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