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Today's OT reading I feel is loaded with meaning.God can't be used,put down or mocked.We need to leave all the security blankets and throw ourselves into God's arms.The Israelites had to be told to leave their gods aside and seek ONLY God.
I really don't get the "they drew water out and poured it out in front of the Lord"bit but I can see that they in all sincerity turned to God in worship.The enemy chose a really bad time to strike...during a family reunion...God gave them victory because they did their part and God took care of all the rest.Our part is trusting Him and my prayers are "please teach me how to trust you,to love you"..it may sound really silly but I honesty look into my heart and it's not pretty.
God bless you all

Mike,
thanks for putting the links "steps to peace with God"cos I found some wonderful passages from "God can make a difference in the unknown" and "where to look in times of need".God bless you for your labour of love.

Commenting on Psalm 106:19-21 "The people made a calf at Mount Sinai; they bowed before an image made of gold. they traded their glorious God for a statue of a grass eating ox. They forgot God..." Alas, the last three words are the ruin of many people---"they forgot God." Everytime I read this passage I am reminded of what the famous preacher and scholar Jonathon Edwards said about "goodness". He said, "The ultimate good in life is to treat something according to its true value." How true. The ultimate good is to treat God according to His true infinite value, but these people chose not to, and in not treating God according to His true value, they destroyed themselves. When we fail to treat ourselves according to our true value as the 'imago dei'--image bearers of our great God, we then also turn to lesser gods that end up destroying us over time. Aplly this principle to every relationship in your life--treat your spouse/children/friends/enemies/fellow parishiones/neighbours---according to their true value as image bearers of our Triune God. The Israelites chose as we/I do at times to 'bow before an image made of gold" and we pay the price for our unwise choice. May God help all OYB readers to practice this discipline of treating people and God according to their true value.....

John 6:15 "Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself."

After the miracle of feeding the 5000 they were so awed that they figured he must be the Messiah and wanted to forcibly make him king. That was not Jesus' plan, clearly. He would not allow them to be guided merely by their appetites (like the wandering Israelites in the desert) and to make an idol of what He could do for them.

This flies in the face of Western materialistic Christianity which is all about what we can get from God. Instead, we need to approach God on His terms and not simply to satisfy our needs. He is indeed the Giver of every good gift we have. He is also the King, but not in the way they imagined. Instead He is the King of Kings and so much more than anyone could hope for.

I Samuel 5 (NKJV)
6
But the hand of the LORD was heavy on the people of Ashdod, and He ravaged them and struck them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory.
7
And when the men of Ashdod saw how it was, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is harsh toward us and Dagon our god.”
8
Therefore they sent and gathered to themselves all the lords of the Philistines, and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?”

19
Then He struck the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD. He struck fifty thousand and seventy men of the people, and the people lamented because the LORD had struck the people with a great slaughter.
20
And the men of Beth Shemesh said, “Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? And to whom shall it go up from us?”
21
So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath Jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the ark of the LORD; come down and take it up with you.”

1 Samuel 7 (NKJV)
1
Then the men of Kirjath Jearim came and took the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD.

~~~
NOTE:
I really like this very timely, ever real question and challenge by Mike:
“What is your Glory today? Do you, at times, exchange your true Glory for something else? Is this wise? Are you forgetting the God who saved you? The God who has done great things for you? Please don’t ever exchange the true Glory for a false idol.”

An idol is not just something physical, like a statue of the Buddha or one of the thousands of Indian gods and goddesses.

It is so easy to develop an idol inside the heart which no one but the Lord can see. God’s Word can reveal to us what God sees within us as we wait in His Presence.

I am taking more time to wait in God's Presence, sing and praise Him. God gave me the ability to play guitar and to sing. The guitar helps me sing and pray through my joys and sorrows.

~~~
Note that even when worshiping the true and living God, we must follow His instructions and worship the way that He tells us. Note what may be considered the “severity of God” as the holiness of God’s Presence weighed heavily on the Philistines (I Samuel 6, verses 6 – 8, 19 and 20).

This makes me think of something Charles Spurgeon said when questioned about God’s mercy and judgment. I do not remember the exact quote, but he said they were twin sisters – both glorifying the Lord.

God is holy. We need to be holy. We can only be holy as we wait in the Presence of the Holy One and allow Him to place His Word into our lives. We can, and our spiritual life longs for us to, meditate on His Word as we wait in His holy Presence.

This makes me think of these verses I have been meditating on with guitar and song:

Psalm 101 (NKJV)
1
I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O LORD, I will sing praises.
2
I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

Vance

John 6

Feeding of five thousand

Greater than the last:

Water into wine for a wedding gathering, healings for individuals - witnessed by household and the other by temple occupants.

This miracle was in front of 5,000 - 20,000 people.

Previous miracles dealt with existing constraints - only a certain number of water jars, and illness in an individual.

This miracle had no constraints the food would go out to as many as would receive it - whether that was 20,000 or a million. And there would still be food (grace) left over.

Allusion to Moses is strong in this chapter, and will be expounded on later by Jesus. Moses prayed and manna came down from heaven. Jesus came down from heaven, prayed, and food was available to the people. The miracle sets up Jesus' next discourse on the "bread of life". Remember Bethlehem was translated : "House of Bread".


I love this passage about the Dagon statue falling over. God is powerful, and He acted supernaturally--making Himself known-- in the midst of a nation that did not believe or honor Him.

And the offering of the mice and tumor. It was an "E" for effort and God accepted it apparently. Except after the Israelites repented and brought in a an army it may not have seemed like it. But God let his nation expand their borders as a result of their obedience.

Walking on Water

A month ago a professor at F.S.U. just "threw out there" that the region had experianced freezing temperatures and ice may have been formed on top of the water.

Professor Nof said: "We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account."

And the media ran with it in the usual run-up to Easter that has become so common of late.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12152740/

Must have been cold on the mount when people were being fed :) Heck of a cold front that would freeze a stream of fresh water 3 and a half miles out to the boat, so that not only Jesus walked on it, but Peter as well. Pretty neat that the boat just happened to be at the end of the fresh water ice. Course Peter must have hit a thin patch of ice when he sunk.

[SIGH!]

Man, particularly non-believers, can not rest until they find an explanation of things that make sense to them. "That works for them" (How many times do we hear that phrase?)
[referring to media here and not so much the professor]

Random notes on Walking on Water:

They were terrified when they saw Jesus walking on water. Why? Up to now they had been present at other miracles and being comfortable in presence of Jesus had seen them unfold. This miracle came out of the blue and was directed at them.

How many times in Bible did angels suddenly appear and tell people "be not afraid". The supernatural scares people when suddenly confronted with it with no warning or warm convivial build-up (just my opinion).

Jesus for the second time that I recall in John uses "ego eimi" or the "I am" phrase, and like the angels tells the disciples to not be afraid.

The disciples willingly take him in - the same Greek word as in John 1:12 - Gk. "lambano": receive him. And immediately the boat reached shore.

Pretty neat capsule picture for "salvation". Life in sin is a nasty storm, but if you believe in him and "take Him in" you will straightaway reach your destination. Does not mean the storms will subside or life will get all smooth and happy.

Your destination. It is like Andrew posted yesterday from Ephesians 2:6. The Greek verb construct is: we are already there (in heaven) raised up and seated with Christ. That is our destination to which we immediately come to upon salvation.


Can you please tell me why when I listen to the passage it does not read the whole thing? I'm not a very good reader an am trying the one year bible, but it only reads the first half. can you help me please.

Gloria,

Try this:

http://www.biblegateway.com/resources/audio/?source=3&aid=3

1 Samuel 5:1-7:17

What do I do when confronted with the undeniable power of God? Do I place Him amongst all my other gods? Do I scratch my head and ponder when the false gods I have erected bow down to the One True Living God loosing their heads and hands? What do I do when faced with the Truth of who God is? That is the question of the day.

The Philistines, who had no relationship with God, use magic, superstition and magical thinking to try to understand the God of Israel. They may be excused in their handling of the things of God, after all they were not given His commands. However, they cannot be excused for their continual worship of their false gods after seeing the devastation and destruction that came upon the people. They served and worshiped a weak god. What is so troubling to me is this: In the face of the power of God, they chose to get rid of Him instead of finding out who He was. They new He was powerful, yet still didn’t want Him. They desired gods that they could carry around, the desired images that allowed them to project their thoughts, their religious systems upon inanimate objects. How far off from the Philistines are we today?

Now God’s people and their reaction to the return of the Arc is another matter. Here we have a people who have been chosen by God to be His people, yet they utterly treat with contempt and familiarity, the things of God. They gave Him no honor, no respect and no reverence.

In the John passage, we have Jesus feeding more than five thousand people. We know there were more than five thousand because only the men were counted. Not only were the people fed, they had been healed and taught the Word of God, and yet, what was their reaction. They wanted to take Jesus and make Him king. The problem with giving anyone your stamp of approval, including God, is that then we want to tell them or Him how they should operate because after all didn’t we make “Him” king.

There is a common thread in today’s Old and New Testament reading and it is this: what do we doing with the information we have about God? Are we operating out of assumptions (ass-u-me), which is the lowest form of communication when it comes to the things of God and God Himself? Are we making up our own rules and regulations, like the Pharisees, and saying these are the laws of God? When God’s mighty power manifests in our lives, are we pushing it away instead of making a heart felt inquiry. How am I handling God and the things He has created, after all He created me!

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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