Make models of the tumors and of the rats that are destroying the country, and give glory to Israel’s god. Perhaps he will lift his hand from you and your gods and your land. Why do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh did? When Israel’s god dealt harshly with them, did they not send the Israelites out so they could go on their way? (1 Samuel 6:5-6 NIV)
Having recognised the severity of the situation, with five towns afflicted by God wherever the ark was located, their response was to make sure they returned it to the rightful owners. Although they had victory, the fear of God was present in the thinking of the Philistines in the light of their circumstances.
The reaction of those in Beth Shemesh who receive the return of the ark is also illustrative of the importance of treating the presence with the right respect. The eagerness and brazen nature of some to dare to peek into the ark brought about grave consequences. Once again reverence for the presence was highlighted by what happened when that which was right was not observed.
Lessons like these in the life of God’s people is supposed to act as a guide for us. In the light of Jesus there is ready access to God and being in His presence is something to be celebrated. It is not, however, to be taken for granted. It is not a light matter. Due reverence for the presence is always something to bear in mind as we grow in the grace and knowledge of God.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden