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    “See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    « 1 Samuel Commentary: Part 2 | "Million Dollar Baby" Review »
    Wednesday
    Sep222010

    1 Samuel Commentary: Part 1

    Preface: I never thought that reading simple Bible story books would provoke my own dive into scripture. After all, I read my Bible nearly every day. Boy, was I wrong! This commentary would not exist if it had not been for faithful trudging, through my old childhood Bible with my kids.

     

    1 Samuel 4

    Last Sat. I attended a church service with a good girlfriend of mine. Sitting in front of me was a man who during worship raised his hands, swayed, and even covered his face with his hands as if he were crying or ashamed before God.

     

    About 2 seconds into his performance, the quiet, non-judgmental voice of the Lord spoke to me, “He is false”. At first I was shocked that such an uncalled-for thought entered my head, but as the service went on, I realized the truth of the matter. During the entirety of the pastor’s sermon, this same man held his cell phone in his lap, texting and smiling and not paying any attention to anyone else, including his friend sitting next to him (his friend WAS listening intently).

     

    I kept wondering and praying for that man who obviously knew how to talk the talk, but not really caring about God. Then, the other day I read the story of the capture and return of the Ark of the Covenant to Katherine. The story really struck me and I began to research bits and pieces of it. I struck gold with the website below and included it for your learning pleasure J It meant a lot to me, anyway.

     

    1 Samuel 4 - The Capture of the Ark of the Covenant

    http://www.enduringword.com/commentaries/0904.htm

    a. All Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook: Someone passing by Israel’s camp would have thought something tremendous was happening. Certainly, this would have been considered a great church service, and many would think they were really trusting in God. But for all the appearances, it was really nothing. All their noise and excitement meant nothing because it wasn’t grounded in God’s truth.

    i. The Israelites probably felt they were better than the Philistines because the Philistines were pagans, worshipping false gods. Yet the Israelites were thinking and acting just like pagans, thinking they could manipulate God, and force Him into doing what they wanted Him to do.

    ii. “Had they humbled themselves, and prayed devoutly and fervently for success, they would have been heard and saved. Their shouting proved both their vanity and irreligion.” (Clarke)

    b. “Now, beloved, when you are worshipping God, shout if you are filled with holy gladness. If the shout comes from your heart, I would not ask you to restrain it. God forbid that we should judge any man’s worship! But do not be so foolish as to suppose that because there is loud noise there must also be faith. Faith is a still water, it flows deep. True faith in God may express itself with leaping and with shouting; and it is a happy thing when it does: but it can also sit still before the Lord, and that perhaps is a happier thing still.” (Spurgeon)

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