October 9, 2023

1 Samuel 6:21

“So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath Jearim, saying, ‘The Philistines have brought back the ark of the LORD; come down and take it up with you.’”

Don’t turn away from the Lord because of His discipline, or because He permitted things to happen to you that you don’t understand. I know it can be tough, but I plead with you not to act like those who do not understand the Lord. Yes, the Lord can come across as harsh at times; and yes, He may permit things to happen to you that you are unhappy about; but NO, He has not and does not stop loving you. You need to be so firm in this understanding, such that Satan has no power over you with his lies and false accusations about the Lord. As Job confessed, even if He slays you, your resolve to follow Him must be unwavering. This is the kind of rugged faith that is needed for these Last Days.

A weak faith that is anchored on emotional foundations will fall apart when things happen that you cannot explain. That kind of faith will be chewed up and dismissed by events of the Last Days. The voices of Satan and the mockeries of people will gang up to portray God as evil, unloving, and unreliable. But that is not true. I am not defending God; I am simply saying that God’s nature does not change, and HIS LOVE for us has no end. Even if He disciplines us, it does not mean He has stopped loving us. On the contrary, the discipline is a mark of His love for us.

The people of Beth Shemesh did not understand this. Once the Lord disciplined them, they reacted by rejecting the Lord. They said with one voice, “Come down and take the Ark up with you.” These were the same people who had rejoiced when the Ark of God first arrived. Now, however, because of God’s discipline on them, they didn’t want Him anymore. They saw God’s discipline as too harsh and maybe unfair and were unwilling to deal with Him anymore. But who would they turn to? Can you imagine that the Ark remained in Kirjath Jearim for 20 years? They rejected the Ark for 20 years!! They turned their backs on God because God had rebuked them for their wrong actions.

Let’s permit God to discipline us, and still have enough faith and commitment to walk with Him. I don’t want His discipline because it can actually be very painful, but I know that, even if He chooses to do this, He is doing it for my good. His love for me is unwavering, and I will still believe and trust Him, even when I don’t understand. Like the old hymnal says, “No turning back. No turning back.”

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