But God struck down some of the men of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they had looked into the ark of the Lord. ... 1 Samuel 6:19a
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Some pretty interesting things happened in this first book of Samuel.
Among those things is the Philistines discovery that the Ark was pretty powerful. Indeed, they kept moving the Ark from town to town because everywhere they placed it the people got sick.
It was a real disaster.
Finally, the Philistines decided to return the Ark to the people of Israel. To see if that's what God wanted, they put the Ark on a cart drawn by some cows, whose calves were kept in the barn. They thought if the cows head for Israel instead of back to their calves, they were doing the right thing.
You know what happened: the cows headed straight for the border of Israel.
When the Ark entered Israel territory, the Jewish religious leaders took it off the cart and set it in a field. All was going well until some Jewish men decided to take a peek inside. It was the last thing they ever did! God struck them dead.
You might wonder why just looking into this golden box made these men die. The people of Beth Shemesh knew; they died because they didn't take God's holiness seriously. They died because they didn't honor God as they should have.
Today people sometimes do the same thing. We say, "Oh God!" to express mild surprise. We watch movies that make God out to be some sort of bumbler. Even worse, we often ignore Him completely for days at a time.
My friends, if we could define God with one word it would be "holy." All of His other characteristics are controlled by His holiness. He could have been demanding and mean like some of the Greek gods and goddesses portrayed in movies and myths. He could have been selfish and arrogant.
But God is perfect in every way. Imagine how awful it would be if God wasn't good all the time. What would happen to us if one day He decided to have "an attitude"? We'd never know what He was going to do.
Because of His holiness, we can totally trust Him with every part of our lives, knowing that He will always do what is best for us. To do what is best for us is why Jesus came, lived, died and rose.
Knowing that, it would be right if we learn a lesson from the men of Beth Shemesh and treat God the way He deserves to be treated -- with honor and respect.
THE PRAYER: Father, help us to honor You in all we do through Jesus. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Sosana Yousef, an 18-year-old student at the Egyptian Music Institute. Lutheran Hour Ministries operates ministry centers in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. The dedicated efforts of the men and women in these foreign offices share the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a variety of ways. Through devotions and Bible studies, radio and television programming, prison ministry, evangelism rallies, humanitarian efforts and more, lives are impacted throughout the world by their work.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries