Monday, April 8

God can take care of Himself

Scripture: 1 Samuel 3-5, Psalm 77, 2 Corinthians 8

Observation

Every time I read 1 Samuel 3, I am struck by Samuel’s response to God: “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.”  It’s my prayer each time I read Scripture, each time I pray, and often during the day.  Jesus quoted Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”  How we need to hear the Lord’s words!

In 1 Samuel 4-5, the Israelites foolishly take the ark of the covenant into battle with the Philistines, treating it like a talisman.  The ark represented the presence of God.  They are soundly defeated and the ark is captured.  The Philistines proudly set the ark in the temple of their god, Dagon—a sign that Dagon is obviously stronger than the Lord.  What follows is comical.  They awake to find Dagon’s statue has fallen facedown before the ark.  They stand their god upright (they have to take care of their god), but the next morning he has fallen again, and his head and hands have broken off (they can’t protect their god).  They send the ark to three Philistine towns and in each one, terrible plagues break out.  Finally (in chapter 6) they send the ark back to Israel, and the plagues lift.  They thought they had defeated God—they quickly learned He can’t be defeated, and didn’t need Israel to defend Him. 

Application

First, I want to listen for the Lord’s voice today.  I’m in all-day meetings, but I’ve learned that God can speak to me anywhere, anytime, if I’m listening.  “Speak Lord for your servant is listening.”

Second, God can take care of Himself!  While the Israelites were not able to protect the ark from Philistine capture, God was able to take care of Himself.  We sometimes feel the need to defend God.  This is like a child feeling the need to defend a lion!  The lion can take care of himself.  There are now, as then, forces arrayed against God.  I don’t nee to worry, fear or fight—God can take care of Himself, and He will.  Trust Him and live with confidence.

Prayer: Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.  And help me live with confidence in You today—nothing and no one can defeat You!