SATURDAY November 3, 2018
Then a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line the same day, and came to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. Now when he came, there was Eli, sitting on a seat by the wayside watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told it, all the city cried out.
1 Samuel 4:12-13
Israel had a false concept of their God. They thought they could go into battle and win without true repentance in their lives. The whole problem in their camp was sin. Israel had broken fellowship with God. All the Lord wanted to do was to draw them back to worship Him in spirit and truth, but they were so stiff-necked that they would not do it.
So the judgment of God set in throughout the camp of Israel. The Lord would not put up with sin. Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were among the thirty thousand dead, just as the Lord had spoken. The man of Benjamin, having torn clothing and dirt on his head, ran from the battle line into Shiloh with the terrible news. At this time period in Israel, tearing the clothing and placing dirt on the head was a sign of deep sorrow.
Although tragic circumstances occurred in the lives of the people in Israel, we need to learn from their experiences. Notice how God used the Philistines to discipline His people for their sin. Although God used them as a thorn to Israel, He used evil for good. In the same way, God will allow evil in our lives for good. The Lord will discipline a person who has strayed away from His presence to bring them back to Himself––to be governed by His lordship.
Do you have a false concept of God? God is our Father and we are His sons and daughters. When He chastises us, it is because He loves us.
Any chastisement that ever reaches us comes for our profit, that we might be partakers of God's holiness.
~Donald Grey Barnhouse~
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