N. Berry, 1971
- I. Introductory Reading (1 Samuel 4:1-11)
- II. Conflict in a Day of Ruin
- III. The Daughter-in-law and Ichabod
- IV. God Takes Care of His Glory (1 Samuel 5)
- V. Not a True Restoration (1 Samuel 6:13)
- VI. A True Restoration (1 Samuel 7)
- VII. The Lord’s Perfect Way (1 Chronicles 13, 15)
I. Introductory Reading (1 Samuel 4:1-11)
II. Conflict in a Day of Ruin
“When we do not realize our state — we are in the most danger!”
We could also, like the Israelites, have the ark of God — but really not be operating “with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12-15). Israel was proud and “shouted with a great shout” (vs. 5), but they did not move from a position of divine power and virtue. To the Philistines, there was the appearance of the power of the God of Israel (vs. 7); however, we see the utter defeat that followed there. They had REALLY forgotten about the Lord Himself. The ark of God, the thing that spoke to HIS presence with them, was just an amulet, or good luck charm.
III. The Daughter-in-law and Ichabod
What a word of instruction — the one object before this woman was the loss of the ark of God — God’s glory was before her. Second, it was the death of her Father-in-law, then the death of her husband. This woman was in the channel of God’s thoughts.
God’s glory came first!
As we see the days darkening, sorrows on every hand, tragedies around us — Let us not lose sight of the first object before us, the Lord’s glory!
Are we concerned about the fact that worldliness is creeping in amongst us? Are we concerned about the fact that so many who once stood for the truth are now giving it up? God’s name being lowered? The standard lowered everywhere?
Are our thoughts only centered in our own sorrows, in our own lives, in our own problems?
IV. God Takes Care of His Glory (1 Samuel 5)
“God is behind all the events — we can rest in peace with the consciousness that God is behind all — nothing is happening by chance!”
V. Not a True Restoration (1 Samuel 6:13)
First scene: The men of Beth-shemesh
“…They lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.”
-It sounds like a great response, but was there a deep work in their soul? Was there a true work of repentance there? or true brokenness of heart and mind in the presence of the Lord? Was there really “fear and trembling” — the honor and ascribing of glory that was due Him? The men of Beth-shemesh opened and looked into the ark of the Lord (vs. 19). There was no reverence to it at all.
VI. A True Restoration (1 Samuel 7)
Second scene: The men of Kirjath-jearim (20 years duration)
“…For it was twenty years — and all the house of Israel lamented after the Lord” (vs. 2).
- Here we see a work of a tender conscience. A true work of restoration is seen (vs. 2)
- The secret of true restoration: “If ye do return unto the Lord with ALL YOUR HEARTS…etc” (vs. 3).
- They were in earnest and recognized their own weakness (vs. 6).
- There was true dependence on the Lord — “And the children of Israel said to Samuel, ‘Cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that *HE* will save us out of the hand of the Philistines” (vs. 7).
- The victory was possessed — “Hitherto hath the Lord helped us!” (vs. 12).
VII. The Lord’s Perfect Way (1 Chronicles 13, 15)
The Philistine Way: Didn’t they use the Philistine way/method to carry the ark? (vs. 7) — They used the same method of transport as the Philistines — it was symbolic of the world’s way — it had rubbed off on them.
“David was displeased” (vs. 11) — that wasn’t a good state for David to be displeased with God — but often we are, when we have not gotten the things as we wanted (according to our own will).
The Lord’s Way: “None ought to carry the ark of God but the Levites: for them hath the Lord chosen to carry the ark of God, and to minister unto Him forever…For because ye did it not at the first, the Lord our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought Him not after the due order” (15:2, 13).