Vineyard Life Journal

An online forum for our church family to connect around our 2012 daily Bible reading plan using the S.O.A.P. method.

Day 99

Monday, April 9, 2012

Welcome to Day 99 of our Life Journal!

Click here for today’s reading: 1 Samuel 6, 7; Psalm 72; 2 Corinthians 9 (2012 Daily Bible Reading Plan)

Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?

S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer

S cripture

1 Samuel 6:1 “When the ark of the LORD had been in Philistine territory seven months, 2 the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the LORD?”

v 13 “Now the people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they rejoiced at the sight.”

v 19 “But God struck down some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they looked into the ark of the LORD.”

1 Samuel 7:1 “So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took up the ark of the LORD. They brought it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD. 2 The ark remained at Kiriath Jearim a long time—twenty years in all.

Then all the people of Israel turned back to the LORD.

3 So Samuel said to all the Israelites, “If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.” 4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only.”

v 15 “Samuel continued as Israel’s leader all the days of his life.”

Psalm 72:18 “Praise be to the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. 19 Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.”

1 Corinthians 9:10 “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.”

O bservation

I’m wondering about the tabernacle… where is it? The Ark is not in the tabernacle at this time…

We are nearing the time of the Solomon’s temple when the Ark will have a more permanent place to rest… But in the meantime, “They brought it to Abinadab’s house on the hill and consecrated Eleazar his son to guard the ark of the LORD.”

Samuel was raised in the tabernacle, but scripture just seems silent as to its whereabouts at this time.

If you search “tabernacle,” the word does not appear in the book of 1 Samuel… 2 Samuel 7, David laments, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”

What’s my point? I’m wondering why the Ark wasn’t placed back into the Tent of Meeting. Samuel was practically raised in the tent of meeting, earlier in 1 Samuel, right? After the Ark was removed for war, then returned by the Philistines after 7 months, it was placed in another location (at least that seems to be the case, but not in the tent of meeting… Abinadab’s house??)

Also wondering why the 70 elders were killed for looking into the Ark. I mean, I get that it’s sacred, and others have died for touching it… but I’m wondering if they just hadn’t inquired of the LORD in advance of opening it?

I would think the articles that the Philistines had placed into it should have been removed, right? I mean, gold tumors and rats have no place in the Ark…

I’m also wondering if, at this point, the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant (Hebrews 9:4) were still in the Ark?

A pplication

Ok… so what? What does this have to do with anything? What does this have to do with me today?

I just wonder why someone didn’t step up and say, “Let’s make this right. Let’s do the right thing and put the Ark back where it belongs.” Especially Samuel, who spent his young life serving in the Tent of Meeting.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m kind of a rules guy. I don’t mind guidelines. I like clarity. Even within flexibility, I like clarity. If someone asks me to lead worship for an event, I like knowing what they have in mind. If they say, “Just let the Lord lead you…” I will respond with what I am thinking and ask for flexibility within those guidelines.

I’m thinking 30-40 minutes and we’ll see where it goes. It’s your event and I submit to what you are sensing.

If they say, “you’re the worship leader, just take us there.” I’m good with that. It’s like playing volleyball… a little back and forth to clarify. It’s healthy and avoids misunderstanding.

The significance of Solomon and David’s desire to build a temple for the LORD is ever-growing. It has been moving about in a tent for four centuries now.

Without jumping ahead and researching the details of the Ark when David brings it back, we’ll just assume for now that the articles had been left in there, along with the Philistine gold guilt offerings? (I really don’t like assuming this, though…)

The good news in this is that the people have returned to the LORD. They put away their Baals and Ashtoreths… “Put away?” I wonder if they’re in a closet, why not destroyed?

I wonder a lot of things if you haven’t noticed.

If you’re looking for answers, you came to the wrong blog… this blog asks more questions than it gives answers.

P rayer

Thank you for your heart for your people, your faithfulness toward us, with all our imperfections. You are good… You are good.

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8 thoughts on “Day 99

  1. Nicole Marvin on said:

    2 Cor 9:6 (Msg)
    “Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop, a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. ”

    vs. 8-9
    “God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it,
    He throws caution to the winds,
    giving to the needy in reckless abandon.
    His right-living, right-giving ways
    never run out, never wear out.”

    I’ve been working on my garden over the last few weeks. These verses got me thinking about the garden and life. Planting. Am I a stingy planter or a lavish planter-in my garden and in other’s lives? What do I have to give? How much do I plant in the lives of others, and what am I planting?

    Lord, thank you for your blessings. I want to be able to meet the needs of others. Show me what I have to give. Give me your eyes and heart for others, so I can see their needs. Help me to be a lavish planter. Take any fear and selfishness out of me. Thank you for meeting my needs. Thank you for your peace.

  2. I found another promise to stand on in what appear to be, financial chaos. I got sick in Jan. And praise God was healed. Like many I didn’t work for 3 weeks. In reality I still am behind a whole month. However, 2Corn. 7:8 all grace abound to you, so that in ALL things, in ALL times, HAVING ALL that you need, you will abound in every good work.11) you will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous in every occasion. Thank you Father for hope in what appears to be a hopeless time.

  3. I wondered the same thing about the idols, did they “put them away” or “PUT them away [for good]”. It is so hard to read the teeter-tottering of the Israelites turning to God, then falling away. We can see the same with us now with so many distractions in the world. We go to church on Sunday and get charged up, then go back to work on Monday, get into the grind of life and often fall away. We have made Monday as the night we worship in House of David and I think it promotes the idea that we should continually worship God, not just in church on the weekend. It’s also interesting that I no longer dread Mondays.

    Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11-12 NLT

    This is like God’s profit sharing program. He blesses us so we can bless others in His name, which in turn brings additional blessing on them to bless others. It’s like the old Tide laundry detergent commercial where they tell two friends, who tell two friends, and so on, and so on… Greed will easily get in the way though. It’s easy to turn our backs on those in need and turn them over to the government to care for. The government cares for people in a highly wasteful and Godless way. As the church, it should be our goal to “out help” the US Gov’t and put Uncle Sam out of business in the help department. The cool thing is, God pays a huge interest rate.

    Lord, we can’t worship you enough and we can never give enough. I pray that we worship You more and and that we give more in Your name. Thank you for multiplying our giving. Because You paid the ultimate price, we earn spiritual dividends on our investments. Thank you Jesus. May you continue to bless your people.

  4. The Philistines seem to have more respect for God than the Israelites. They remembered the story of how He had rescued His people from the Egyptians and feared what He would do to them if they didn’t return the Ark. They did the right thing (for whatever self-serving reason), but the Israelites? They “mourned because it seemed the Lord had abandoned them.” Hello? Who abandoned whom? They were the ones worshiping other gods, they were the ones showing no respect for the Lord or the Ark–yet they wondered why God ‘abandoned’ them.

    So easy to see the big picture when reading this kind of history. Today, how often do Christians abandon God and then blame Him or get depressed over a lack of His presence in His life.

    One thing I know… God does not abandon me. If it appears He’s missing in my life perhaps I need to stop the whining, crying, and questioning and start asking myself the hard questions.

    God, you are faithful! You love us, you redeem us from our pits. You are good! Thank you for the story of Your faithfulness. Thank you for loving us always!

  5. Cindy Biggs on said:

    I see that giving is all about our hearts from 2 Corinthians 9:

    How not to give:
    Grudgingly
    Sparingly
    Reluctantly
    Under compulsion
    Unprepared

    How to give:
    Generously
    Ready
    Cheerfully
    Freely

    Results of giving: God will supply and increase your store of seed and enlarge the harvest of righteousness. You will be enriched in every way. It will result in thanksgiving to God. Others will praise God for the obedience.

    Lord, may our gifts extend your kingdom!

  6. Here is one more question- what stops my consistency ? One day I have the right mindset and the next, I am frantic with loose lips.

    Lord, we are forever grateful for the cross. Please help us to die to complaining for we are abundantly blessed. May I be positive and hopeful today. I do not want to live as if you are dead, but in the hope through your resurrection.

    Oh that I would enjoy this day to the full.

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