Inspirational Wednesday: Do we worship symbols of God instead of God?

Hello friends and welcome to Inspirational Wednesday! 🙂 First, I want to share with you a video from one of my favorite movies: The gospel of John. I really like how they read straight scripture in this movie & how the actor portrays Jesus. He’s very respectful and appropriate. After, I’m going to share some notes with you from Bible study last week.

We must abide in the Vine….. 🙂

Last Wednesday our preacher talked about 1 Samuel 4. This part of the Bible talks about a dark time for Israel. This is before Jesus came & the Israelites were carrying around the ark of the covenant, a beautiful chest containing the law of Moses that the spirit of God would rest upon. The Israelites had forgotten god. They were living in sin. The Israelites decided to fight the Philistines without consulting God. They were defeated and wondered why God let them be defeated. They still forgot to consult God and decided they needed the Ark to win. So they grabbed the ark and went to battle with the Philistines….again forgetting God. There is a reason we should pray before making decisions and the Israelites teach us why. They were slaughtered. 4,000 Israelites died the first time they went to battle without God’s presence…….the 2nd time it was 30,000.

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You see, the people believed the ark could save them……it was just a box. They needed God to save them and he can’t be contained in a box. His spirit would manifest on it yes but God is omnipresent (everywhere at once). God was there the whole time but the people did not stop to talk to him. They had no relationship with the Lord.

Instead, the people of Israel put faith in the symbol of God’s presence and not God himself. Our preacher pointed out how we still do this in modern times. Often churches get caught up in the symbols…..like Baptism, circumcision, the cross, methods etc…even the Bible is a symbol. They represent salvation, surrendering to God, and God himself but they are meaningless on their own. Jesus Christ (God) is a person not a symbol. He’s real and alive. We can worship our Bibles and crosses all day but in the end they are just wood or paper. The waters of Baptism will not save us. Baptism is symbolic of what has happened inside of us. The temple….the ark…..they were all shadows of what is in Heaven. Word pictures you can say. The lamb that was slain was just a picture of the true Lamb of God who would die for all the sins of the world, Jesus Christ. The feasts and festivals of Israel were shadows of Christ.

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But how often we get caught up in legalism when we worship the symbols & shadows instead of worshiping and truly knowing the living God. It’s like when the Pharisees rebuked Jesus for healing on the Sabbath day. They did not understand the whole purpose of the Sabbath. They only saw the physical….the exterior……they didn’t look deeper. May we not be so shallow & deceived.

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Here are some notes I took: God is not a good luck charm. Success is determined by whether or not we surrender to Christ. Nothing real (meaning of value and worth) in life is cheap and easy. The only thing to bring victory is God’s presence. We need to ask God what HE wants us to do. We are so busy we don’t have relationship. The question should never be does God love us or has God left us. The question should be what have I done.

Here are the verses with the story:

1 Samuel 4

1AND THE word of [the Lord through] Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines and encamped beside Ebenezer; the Philistines encamped at Aphek.

    2The Philistines drew up against Israel, and when the battle spread, Israel was smitten by the Philistines, who slew about 4,000 men on the battlefield.

    3When the troops had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Why has the Lord smitten us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that He may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.

    4So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, Who dwells above the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were with the ark of the covenant of God.

    5And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth resounded.

    6And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What does this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean? When they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp,

    7The Philistines were afraid, for they said, God has come into the camp. And they said, Woe to us! For such a thing has not happened before.

    8Woe to us! Who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods that smote the Egyptians with every kind of plague in the wilderness.

    9Be strong, and acquit yourselves like men, O you Philistines, that you may not become servants to the Hebrews, as they have been to you; behave yourselves like men, and fight!

    10And the Philistines fought; Israel was smitten and they fled every man to his own home. There was a very great slaughter; for 30,000 foot soldiers of Israel fell.

    11And the ark of God was taken, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain. [Foretold in I Sam. 2:34.]

God bless and remember The High King Lives! ~Amber Dover

0 comments on “Inspirational Wednesday: Do we worship symbols of God instead of God?

  1. Amen Sister! Well put! Our eyes have to be kept on the One who gives us salvation. When we look at the cross we should see Jesus. When we look at the Church we should see Jesus…………

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