Archive for the ‘Choices’ Category


Under Gods Command

War with the Philistines

The Philistines Capture the Ark

1 Samuel 4:1-11 1And Samuel’s word came to all Israel.

    Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. 2The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. 3When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the LORD bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.”

     4So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

     5When the ark of the LORD’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. 6Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?”

    When they learned that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp, 7the Philistines were afraid. “A god has come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. 8We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. 9Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!”

     10So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

The Philistines, descendants of Noah’s son Ham, settled along the southeastern Mediterranean coast between Egypt and Gaza. They were originally one of the “Sea Peoples” who had migrated to the Middle East in ships from Greece and Crete. By Samuel’s time, these warlike people were well established in five of Gaza’s cities in southwest Canaan and were constantly pressing inland against the Israelites. Throughout this time, the Philistines were Israel’s major enemy.

The ark of the covenant contained the Ten Commandments given by God to Moses. The ark was supposed to be kept in the Most Holy Place, a sacred part of the tabernacle that only the high priest could enter once a year. Hophni and Phinehas desecrated the room by unlawfully entering it and removing the ark.

The Israelites rightly recognized the great holiness of the ark, but they thought that the ark itself—the wood and metal box—was their source of power. They began to use it as a good luck charm, expecting it to protect them from their enemies. A symbol of God does not guarantee his presence and power. Their attitude toward the ark came perilously close to idol worship. When the ark was captured by their enemies, they thought that Israel’s glory was gone (4:19-22) and that God had deserted them (7:1-2). God uses his power according to his own wisdom and will. He responds to the faith of those who seek him. 4:4 The “ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim” conveys that God’s presence rested on the ark of the covenant between the two golden cherubim (or angels) attached to its lid. The people believed that the ark would bring victory when Hophni and Phinehas carried it into battle. 4:5-8 The Philistines were afraid because they remembered stories about God’s intervention for Israel when they left Egypt. But Israel had turned away from God and was clinging to only a form of godliness, a symbol of former victories.

This event fulfills the prophecy in 2:34 stating that Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, would die “on the same day.”

Lets Bring it Home:  People (and churches) often try to live on the memories of God’s blessings. The Israelites wrongly assumed that because God had given them victory in the past, he would do it again, even though they had strayed far from him. Today, as in Bible times, spiritual victories come through a continually renewed relationship with God. Don’t live off the past. Keep your relationship with God new and fresh.S


Under Gods Command (More on Ruth)

Ruth 1:1-16 In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a whiled in the country of Moab. 2The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.

Now remember, Bethlehem meant The House of Bread. So you leave your praised and provision to follow your emotions. If Bethlehem was the House of Bread, why would you leave there to go to the country of Moab when you know that was a place that God singled out to be one of the worst enemies of Israel? In Psalm 60:08 God called Moab a Washbasin, a place where you wash feet.

 3Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. 4They married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, 5both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

This indicates that when trouble came (famine in the land) you give up the House of Bread for the Washbasin of Moab and then tragedy strikes.

Point 1: Bad decisions cause horrible destinies.

6When Naomi heard in Moab that the LORD had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. 8Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the LORD show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. 9May the LORD grant that each of you will find rest in the home of another husband.”     Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 10and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”  11But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13would you wait until they grew up Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the LORD’s hand has turned against me!”   14At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her.

Orpah remained in Moab. Sometimes when people decide to leave, we need to let them go. Don’t keep begging them to come back.

Point 2: Sometime God will release people out of your life and we want to bring them back. LET THEM GO!

 15“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”  

16But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.

Now remember, as Moabites she worship false gods. So what she means now is, she is leaving her false religion to follow the true God. So with living with Naomi’s and Elimelek with all the stress that happen in her life, something attracted her to God.

Point 3: God has a destiny for every person’s life.

Sometimes we need to understand that when God puts his finger on somebody, and how he selects them and how he puts his finger on them to bring them to a level where that person or the people around them would never realized that God has selected them. Are there some people in your life that thought you would never be where you’re at in life?

The woman who was stress out as a kid, sexually molested as a child and now preaching the Word of God all over the world like a Joyce Myer.

God has a way of selecting you, and singling you out. He does not regard your background, and use your background to select your future. What God does, he avoids the pit falls in your life and he selects you because he sees something in you that no one else can see.

Point 4: God does not select you base on the outside, but what is on the inside.   God looks at the heart.

Lets Bring it Home: It is so important that we make right decisions and no one should make decisions simply on basic economics. Where God leads you he will provide for you, but sometime we become impetuous and move on our emotions at that particular time.