Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Family: 1 Samuel 4; Romans 4. Secret: Jeremiah 42; Psalm 18. (King James Version)

Just a couple of quick observations. I have commented previously on ways of falsely trying to worship or recognize the LORD our one true God, that are manifested in the Bible. Often a bit of truth is mixed in, but in a false way.

In today’s example we first see the people of Israel trying to use the Power of God, the Ark, for their own purpose.

1Sa 4:3  And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.

1Sa 4:4  So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

1Sa 4:5  And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again.

Initially, it seemed to have an effect. Or at least until they mustered their courage in the following verse the Philistines were concerned.(Note we again have the reference to the Gods who brought them our of Egypt.) This seems to be a phrase used when some form of false worship to God occurs. AKA…Exodus 32:4  And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

1Sa 4:6  And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the LORD was come into the camp.

1Sa 4:7  And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore.

1Sa 4:8  Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.

But as we read it didn’t turn out that way…..

1Sa 4:9  Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.

1Sa 4:10  And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.

1Sa 4:11  And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.

1 Samuel 4:22  And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.

Jeremiah 42 gives another account of listening to the word of the LORD an a stern warning.

It’s interesting that there was a 10 day gap between the people inquiry and God’s answer.

Jer 42:5  Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us.

Jer 42:6  Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.

Jeremiah 42:7 Gill

And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah. Abarbinel thinks it was on the tenth day of the seventh month, the day of atonement, that the answer was returned; but it is clear, from the context, that it was ten days from the time the Jews applied to the prophet to inquire of the Lord for them, and he promised to do it, that this word came from the Lord to him; not that he was praying all this while, as some think; but, having spread the case before the Lord, he waited for an answer; which was deferred, that it might have the greater weight with it when it came; and that it might appear that it was not of the prophet himself, a device of his own; and chiefly this was to mortify these people, who were impatient of an answer; and whose hypocrisy the Lord knew; and whose disobedience he foresaw; and therefore did not think fit to give the answer directly, but keep them in suspense awhile.

Jer 42:7  And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah.

The answer, a warning is echoed as the chapter ends with these words…

Jeremiah 42:22  Now therefore know certainly that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place whither ye desire to go and to sojourn.

Jeremiah 42:22 Gill

Now therefore know certainly,…. Or, “in knowing know” (d); they might assure themselves of this, that it would certainly come to pass, and most justly and deservedly; since it was at their own request the prophet sought the mind of the Lord for them, and had faithfully related it to them, and they had promised to observe it; wherefore, should they go into Egypt, as their inclination scented to be entirely that way, they must expect what follows:

that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; by one or other of these, or all of them; some by one, and some by another, as before threatened; evils they thought to escape by going thither, but which should surely follow them, and overtake them:

in the place whither ye desire to go and to sojourn; that is, in Egypt, to which they had a strong inclination, where they greatly desired to be, pleased themselves with the thoughts of, and which they chose of their own will and pleasure for their habitation.

(d) ידע תדעו “sciendo scietis”, Schmidt; “sciendo sciatis”, Pagninus, Montanus.

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