REVERENCE FOR THE LORD
- Key Verse
"And the people of Beth Shemesh asked, 'Who can stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God? To whom will the ark go up from here?'" (1 Samuel 6:20)
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God instructs His people to have reverence for His sanctuary, regardless of our agenda.
Does something keep you from revering God? Dictionary.com defines reverence as a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe. In 1 Samuel 6, we see a consistent pattern of irreverence for God as both the Philistines and the Israelites disrespect the Ark of the Covenant at their own peril. Each nation attempts to use the Ark to meet their own agenda – ultimately bringing punishment to their people. Upon the Philistine's return of the Ark of the Covenant to the Israeli town of Beth Shemesh, even the Israelites suffer punishment for treating the Ark irreverently.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to accompany my 7-year-old's cub scout den to spend the night on the now decommissioned USS Lexington aircraft carrier in Corpus Christi. Prior to eating dinner in the mess hall, we were told that all hats needed to be removed out of respect for those World War II veterans that lost their life there as surgeons worked to save them (mess halls provided more space for multiple casualties). It was a great teaching moment and reminder of how to show respect for and remember those who sacrificed so much.
In Leviticus 19:30, God instructs His people to "have reverence for my sanctuary." I often feel like I do not properly revere God. Rather than spending time with Him on a regular basis, I find it easy to turn to God only when my circumstances warrant it. It is convenient to be distracted by a busy schedule, personal technology or just laziness. To help me address this, I am part of a small group of men to hold me accountable on a regular basis. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I recommend finding a group that can help you stay focused on keeping God a priority in your life.
1. How does our culture make it easy to avoid revering God?
2. What things or distractions keep you from revering God? How can you manage these distractions?
3. In 1 Samuel 6:19-21, we see the people of Beth Shemesh act in a similar manner as the Philistines in wanting to remove the Ark from their town. What does this say about the spiritual condition of Beth Shemesh?