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May 2017

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1 Samuel 5-7:17

For me this entire story of the capture of the Ark and its return can be played out today in our dealings with God either individually, as a congregation, a community and a nation. The Ark was captured because Israel used it as a “good luck” charm. It had become a symbol of God, something to carry into battle because they had lost a previous battle and not because they trusted God, they had put God in a box and kept Him there in the reasoning of their minds.

The Philistines now had the God of Israel in a box and took Him to their temple where their god, Dagon, fell before Israel’s God. [(I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of My mouth in righteousness and shall not return, that unto Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear [allegiance] Isaiah 45:23); (It is written: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' " 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Romans 14:11-12)]

Instead of getting a clue and either being too stupid or stubborn to buy one, the Philistines kept their god and tried to reason and placate the God of Israel. Their means and methods of dealing with Israel’s God, placing it in a chart being pulled by cows that had given just given birth to calves that were not allowed to travel with them and the gold idols, were about “blind” men searching in the dark for God. In the natural new mothers don’t leave their babies. Israel took this as a sign, which it was; however, they misinterpreted the “sign” because they failed to seek God’s direction. They went by how things appeared to them instead of what God said because they failed to have fellowship with God to find out what He required, they failed to adhere to the Laws handed down by Moses so they went by it kinda-sorta-seems-like-to-me.

We still do that today. We try to keep God in a box and only bring Him out in crisis, then only to cry, “Why God, why?” When we don’t have God in our lives, His Presence, when manifested, defeats the gods in our lives and instead of asking questions and examining the reasonableness of the gods we serve, we send the true God back. When the God we say we serve out of tradition shows up in our lives in a powerful way, we then forge a worship method based on what we think we have seen instead of drawing closer to Him in fellowship to find out what He requires. We then begin to forge a worship system formed out of the ignorance of our own minds based on traditions formed from the lifestyles of unbelievers, a deadly formula.

John 6:1-21

This sentence/verse has caught my attention,
2 And a huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miracles as he healed the sick.

Am I following the pattern of the crowd? Am I following Jesus because of His miracles, because he “fed” me? Am I looking for a feeding program? When we read through the Book of Luke we came across the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16: 19-31). At the end of that story there is a punch line which was, 31"But Abraham said, `If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead.' " Signs and Wonders do not bring belief and faith, signs and wonders just make us wonder, “Hmmm” Hopefully our curiosity will send us on a journey to find “Truth.”

What the now well-fed crowd wanted was a king to keep them fed. This desire not only indicted the crowd back then but it indicts us today. We seek the “right” politician or leader not for what is right and moral but for what they can do for us and at the same time not give to the other guys living across the tracks or the other side of the political spectrum. Like us, they wanted a prophet/king to give them “stuff” but they didn’t want the Messiah part because they, like, us, don’t really want to submit to anyone however we do just want the “stuff.”

Psalm 106:13-31
24 The people refused to enter the pleasant land,
for they wouldn't believe his promise to care for them.

25 Instead, they grumbled in their tents
and refused to obey the LORD.

I am always fascinated by how the readings from different books written at different times parallel and compliment each other. This division of the Book of Psalms, at least to me, clearly shows the fickleness of “us folks.”


Proverbs 14:32-33

32 The wicked are crushed by their sins, but the godly have a refuge when they die.

Our bodies were never created to withstand the weight of sin. For those who are “saved” go get a B.S. (Before Salvation) picture and one now and see the difference on your face. Salvation lifts burdens.

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.


Grace and peace,
Ramona

What a wonderful offer, to learn of me. Learn all about the master of the universe and all his wonderful ways. Just by taking his yoke, which he says is easy and his burden is light.

A yoke is for two, who better to have along with us as we journey through this life. If we care to take the burdens that life sometimes places upon us, instead of the yoke that comes from Jesus. Then we will find these burdens heavy and not light. Mathew 11. verse 29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls.

It is the gentle and humble bit that we often struggle with. Help!

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