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The God Box

  • The God Box from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Today I want to talk about an interesting story in 1 Samuel chapter 2. In verse 12 we read about the high priest Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, who were priests serving at the temple, and they were very interesting priests.

    It says that they were “worthless men” who did not know the Lord. That is really strong language for the Bible, and these men were priests serving at the house of God. These two priests stole the best portions of the offerings that people brought to the temple, and they slept with the women who worked there.

    Israel in general had drifted away from God and was worshipping the idols of the pagans like baal and asheroth. The word of the Lord was rare in those days until the Lord began to speak to Samuel one night at the temple. He told him about what was coming, something that would make everyone’s ears tingle.

    Repeatedly through the book of Judges, Israel would drift away from God and their enemies would invade their land. Then they would cry out to God and He would deliver them. They would serve Him a while and then drift away again. Let’s look at Judges 10:11

    The LORD said to the sons of Israel, “Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the sons of Ammon, and the Philistines? “Also when the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you, you cried out to Me, and I delivered you from their hands. “Yet you have forsaken Me and served other gods; therefore I will no longer deliver you.

    “Go and cry out to the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your distress.” The sons of Israel said to the LORD, “We have sinned, do to us whatever seems good to You; only please deliver us this day.” So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD; and He could bear the misery of Israel no longer. Judges 10:11–16 NASB.

    God told them to go cry out to the gods they had chosen, but they kept crying out to Him and He relented. The Israelites did this over and over, but each time they cried out to the Lord, He would deliver them. He is merciful and long suffering. Then in 1 Samuel chapter 4, they tried a different approach.

    The philistines fought with the Israelites and beat them, killing four thousand of them on the battlefield. Instead of crying out to God, Hophni and Phinehas, the two worthless priests, brought out the ark of the covenant. As in the movie Indiana Jones, they thought that the army carrying the ark could not be defeated. They were wrong. God allowed the ark to be captured, and Israel defeated. He would not allow them to use Him like a tool. They could not pull Him out like a spare tire when they needed Him, and ignore Him the rest of the time.

    When a person’s spiritual relationship with God weakens, they turn to rituals, objects, idols, rote repetition - religion. The delivering power of God came when they cried out to Him, not when they carried a box. Today don’t be deceived into thinking that carrying a crucifix will save you, or praying to a statue. God is not a thing. Even the Bible was given to point us to the Author. The Bible is not God, it tells us about Him.

    When the Israelites were in distress and cried out to God, He delivered them. This phrase is found through out the Bible:

    Our help comes from above. Our help will come when we cry out to God like the Israelites did (See Judges 3:9, 15; 4:3; 6:6, 7; 10:10, 12) not because we carry some spiritual relic. There’s always someone seeking relics like the Holy Grail, or the shroud of Turin, or kissing the statue of an apostle. There are crosses and crucifixes everywhere. People handle them, rub them, and kiss them, but they are totally irrelevant. Our God is not dead. Our God is not on a stick. God is not a tool, and He certainly is not a pet you can carry around. Our God is not in a box.

    If you want your situation to change, then you speak directly to God Almighty, the Father in heaven. You do not need to go to a priest, and in fact the two in this story did not even know God. Don’t pray to angels, or dead people, or dead saints, or apostles or your mother. Pray to God directly, no one else. That is what Jesus taught us to do in Matthew 6:6:

    “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 NASB.

    Jesus prayed to Abba, Father, and He gave us an example of how to pray, and who to pray to. This will be our closing prayer as I don’t think that we can improve it:

     “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.” Matthew 6:9-13 NASB.


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20 comments
  • 0
Debi Burton
Debi Burton Thank you for the daily devotional and Praise to the Lord for being my God Jehovah........❤️
May 6
  • 1
Cheryl Hepler
Cheryl Hepler

Thank you, I so pray to stay close to the Lord.  Abba Father.  To know Him more & more as a Father & His love.

 

May 5
  • 1
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

May 5
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Amen!!!

May 5
  • 1
Sara Jane Turner
Sara Jane Turner

Yes, timely and refreshing...my nightly prayer.  Sorry, but the list in the middle of things inserted was unable to read as eyes are not what they used to be and I am also particularly tired tonite.  Thank you for another Daily Evotional which I read...

 

Sara Jane Turner

May 6
  • 1
Yvette York
Yvette York

Amen Good Morning 

May 6
  • 1
Schalk  de Beer
Schalk de Beer

Amen Lord

May 6
  • 1
Celeste Strenn
Celeste Strenn

Amen! And Amen!

May 6
  • 1
Perry Robertson
Perry Robertson

What a great reminder! Thank You Pastor Dion! And Amen!

May 6
  • 1
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Amen and Amen!!

May 6
  • 1
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

Dear God I do not cease in praying. Thank you for your care. Please find favor with us. Open doors. Praise God. Amen. 

May 6
  • 1
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen Father!!

May 6
  • 1
David & Dianna Earlywine
David & Dianna Earlywine

Amen, thank you Pastor.

May 6
  • 1
Linda Clark
Linda Clark

Amen  Praise  for our God!!

May 6
  • 1
Celestina Ndunda
Celestina Ndunda

My help comes from God. Halleluyah. Am blessed Pst.Dion. It is a very powerful message. Much blessings to you and the entire RHM Family.

May 6
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Thank you so much, Celestina, blessings to you as well <3!

May 8
  • 1
Jose Simo
Jose Simo

Heavenly Father thank You for all Your blessings and help, that Your Holy Spirit lead us to You always and that Your favor be with us. Forgive my sins and transgressions as I forgive others, in Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Excellent reminder, God bless you Pastor. Praise the Lord. 

May 6
  • 1
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

I love this message! Thank you Pastor Dion!

May 6
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Amen and Amen and Amen!!! Thank you such much for teaching us, Pastor Dion, what a message! When I think how many times i read the Word of God and missed the message or took some of the verses out of context and missed the true meaning ... Thank you so much for rightly dividing the word of God, Pastor Dion!

May 6
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

May 6