I Chronicles 13-15
The ark of God, signifying His presence, is brought back to Jerusalem. We read about this in II Samuel, but there is a little more explanation here.
The ark had not been sought during the days of Saul. David, who is a man after God’s heart, desires God’s presence and honors His presence. He wants the ark, but there is a way to obtain it.
By putting the ark on a new cart with oxen bringing it in, and then having someone reach up to steady it through a rocky spot, a man gets killed. David is upset and leaves it with Obed-edom.
Okay, Obed gets blessed, so let’s go again – this time let’s do it right. There were clear instructions to Moses concerning the ark and how to carry it. It wasn’t to be carried on a donkey cart, but by poles on the shoulders of Levites. (the priestly tribe).
Everything runs smoothly this time. The ark of God’s presence goes up to Jerusalem.
There are some principles for us today. Our God loves us and wants to be close to us, just as we do to Him – even more so. Yet let’s not forget that He is God; we aren’t. His plans and ways of doing things are to be honored by us, and not to be changed.
He’s the sun; we are the moon. We reflect His light (His glory), but we don’t have any light of our own. When we represent Him, we can’t take it upon ourselves to change His principles. In other words, we are to represent Him to the world – and not substitute our own ideas.
There are many doctrines being thrown out there today which certainly do not represent God. Ministers are trying to uphold the idea of grace apart from accountability.
Their mantra is: God is love. Well, that’s right, God is love. That’s not the question. The question is do we love Him?He has shown His love to us by sacrificing his Son. Now we show our love back by giving our lives to Him.
Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox.
The point is that God desires to have His presence be manifested where He is honored as the One True God.
In His presence there is true joy, peace, love, provision, healing – everything good. Everything we could desire. It’s worth doing it His way.
John 7: 1-24
This seems like a continuation of the Old Testament reading today. Jesus says, “He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (V. 18) And then, “Do not judge according to appearance, but with righteous judgment.” (V. 24)
The Pharisees were supposedly representing God, but they weren’t really – obviously. They were seeking their own glory.
The Pharisees had become used to being honored as great men of God. The had long robes of distinction and held the seats of highest honor. people generally looked up to them – and even feared them, because they had the right to put people out of the temple.
Yet instead of truly being God’s men, they were their own men. They held themselves higher than God.
Regardless of the stature someone might hold in the world, if they are going to understand God’s ways, they have to be humble before Him. There is no amount of grandeur, or intelligence, or ability which can ever place man higher than God.
This statement should be obvious, but it’s surprising sometimes to see the arrogance men have against their Creator.
True humility is like a golden key which unlocks God’s presence, His power, and His purpose. Without that humility, we stumble around in the dark.
Dear Father, open our eyes so that we can see You and understand Your plans. We want to partake of Your presence and purpose.