Today’s Scripture: 1 Samuel 5-6
Before Solomon’s temple was constructed, people built altars where they would worship and call on the name of the Lord. For example, Noah erected an altar when he exited the ark (see Gen. 8:20). Abram built one when God spoke to him about the promised land (see Gen. 12:7). Gideon built an altar when the angel of the Lord called him to defeat the Midianites (see Judges 6:24). These altars remained in the same location, and sometimes the person would return to that place to recall what the Lord had done.
When Moses led the Israelites through the wilderness to toward the Promised Land, the Lord instructed them to build the ark of the covenant, which represented God’s Presence. They carried that ark—His Presence—wherever they went. As long as the ark was with them, they experienced blessing and victory.
Although their enemies recognized the Power the ark represented, they didn’t fully comprehend that Power’s holy significance. In one situation, the Philistines captured the ark, thinking they would experience the same successes as the Israelites. Instead, the Lord sent a plague that tortured them until they returned the ark to Israel (see 1 Sam. 5-6).
What was bad for the Philistines is good for us. As long as we remain in Presence of the Lord, we will experience triumph. And, since His Presence dwells within us, we can walk in victory all the time.
- What connection do you see between the victories you experience and your recognition of God’s Presence within you? How can you remain aware of His Presence so you can walk in victory all the time?