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The Children of Israel didn’t really get the ark restored until 1 Sam. 7:3, when they cleansed their hearts and served the Lord and Him only!
For them, it was a matter of moving Idol Furniture. Just carting out some statues, amulets, and things to the dump. For us it is a matter of moving the Furniture of Time, Priorities, and perhaps even Idol Furniture, like horoscopes, witch things, magic things, etc.
Illus. Years ago, we received the daily paper. We’re radical about this stuff, so our first duty was to find the Pagan Horoscope, tear it out and either burn it, or throw it away. That was OK, until my Grandmother came to visit, not a believer at the time and it just so happened that the OTHER side of the Horoscope was the TV Guide. Every day she asked about the hole in the Newspaper until we explained. We thought it would put her off, being too fanatical, but it piqued her interest. A week or two later, a 64 year old woman prayed to receive Jesus! Maybe our making sure the “Ark” was in it’s proper place in our hearts had something to do with that!
2) Restoring the Sacrifice. 1 Sam. 7:9, Samuel sacrificed a Lamb! The people had come a long way back, but the Blood of the Lamb would complete the journey. Never forget Jesus and His blood. What a picture of sin and the Savior.
Illus. Ever slaughter an animal? Shooting deer’s not necessarily the same thing. I helped a farmer once slaughter a goat. I was a city slicker and it was awful. A dull knife didn’t make it any better. A poor innocent goat, having hurt no one (I forgive the time he tried to butt me)
getting it’s throat cut, crying, struggling, straining to live! Years later I read about Jesus, My Lamb, Slain. That’s what MY Sin did! It is awful, but that’s what sin is!
3) Restoring the Prophetic word. 1 Sam. 3:1 says, “Now the word of the Lord was rare in those days,” they had a bible, but they weren’t hearing God.
Anyone can hear a sermon, only a few hear God; anyone can read the Bible, only a few hear the Voice of God; Anyone can pray, only a few, talk WITH the Lord.
Illus. My wife, Cheryl before we were married, caught my interest with a statement like this. We were both at Gordon Conwell Seminary at a social gathering and people were sharing. Cheryl said, “I was talking to the Lord, and He said . . . !” Wait, I was steeped in the “passive” voice. God speaks in general impressions, circumstances, a sermon, perhaps, but no one “talks to God, and He said!” I found out that she had a wonderful, charismatic relationship with the Lord. He was a PROPHETIC PRESENCE in her life. He spoke through thoughts in her head and led her in some remarkable ways. And isn’t this the promise of Pentecost?
That a Prophetic presence shall come upon all flesh?
Well, Samuel was talkin’ with the Lord, and He Said . . . !
1 Sam. 7:9-10. It says, Samuel cried unto the Lord, and the Lord answered him. Of course, he answers me, every day. He sent forth the Holy Spirit into our hearts so that we could hear him.
Can you see the Israelites weilding the weapons of steel, while the Lord weilds the weapon of lightning & thunder. They surprise the Philistines with confidence and boldness, and the Lord confuses the Philistines!
America’s in trouble, not so much because
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