Cover to Cover

Reading: 1 Samuel 3:19-7:17

Focus: 1 Samuel 5:1-5

It is somewhat difficult to apprehend how people see the truth before their very eyes and still refuse to accept the truth before them. We live in a world that is slowly decaying and being destroyed by our way of life, yet there are still people who refuse to believe that we are doing any serious damage. We live in a world where in some countries, the stories of genocide, war, conquest are suppressed from being revealed. We live in a world where slave labour, child prostitution and pornography, desperate poverty are all before us, yet still people think that these things don’t happen anymore. For some, the reality of God stands before them, yet their hearts are hard and refuse to accept the truth.

Flashback a couple of thousand years to the time of Samuel, the Israelites have been defeated and had the Ark of God captured by the Philistines. The Philistines place the Ark in their temple beside the idol of their god, most likely as a symbol that the god of the Philistines had defeated the God of the Israel. However, the next morning as they entered into the temple of their god, they found the idol prostituted facedown before the Ark. They restored the idol to its place, only for it happen against the next day, but this time with its head and hands broken off.

What gets me though is that these people didn’t think to recognise the God of Israel as greater than their god. Instead, they send the Ark through various cities in their land, only to have their leaders and people affected by a plague of tumours. In the end, they resort to return the Ark to the people of Israel. Right before them was a testimony that their god was weak and powerless before the God of Israel, rather than rejecting their own god, they simply took the God of Israel out of the picture.

Let me fast forward a few generations to the time of Jonah. Here, Jonah, an Israelite received the call from God to go and prophesy against the nation of Nineveh. However, in his hatred for the people, heads the opposite direction finding himself on a ship going as far away as possible. Upon the journey, a storm arose that threatened to destroy the ship. The sailors all called out to their own gods while Jonah slept below. One of the men woke him up and pleaded with him to call upon his God—which so happens to be the God of Israel. They cast lots to find the one at fault for the storm and it lands upon Jonah. Lost for how to rectify their situation, Jonah told them to throw him over the boat and the moment they had done so, the storm grew calm. As a result, we are told that “the men greatly feared the LORD, and they offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him.” (Read Jonah 1 for the full story.)

When it comes to things regarding God there is a need for the Spirit’s work and faith, I don’t deny that. However, on the same note, we have been created with eyes to see, minds to perceive and hearts to feel. Surely, if one would only stop to see and perceive what is before them, hearts would be stirred to realise that there is something more in this world that simply what is. Even more so for Christians, quit avoiding the facts before you and do something about it.

Next Reading: 1 Samuel 8:1-11:15

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