Not safe but good!


What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?

“Who can stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God?” (1 Samuel 6:20)
God cannot be tamed or used for our purposes.
Israel thought God’s ‘ark’ would guarantee them victory in battle.
The Philistines thought that God’s ‘ark’ would submit to their god.
No one in this story was able to handle God, for God cannot be handled.
God is not our good luck charm, keeping us safe from all harm and danger.
God is not our guarantee of success for all our dreams and ambitions.
Many people treat God like the Israelites and Philistines – for their own interest.
God is restoring His good kingdom, He is not building our kingdoms.
Religion is our attempt to manipulate God, to control God with our behaviour.
In the words of C.S.Lewis, God is not a safe or tame lion, but God is good!
God wants a loving relationship with us, not to be used for our purposes.
Like Jesus, we need to submit our purposes to God’s, to trust God with our lives.
With Jesus, we are able to stand in the presence of this holy God!
Am I submitting my life to God, or expecting God to submit to my life?
Lord, forgive me for thinking that You are the way to get what I want. With You I pray, ‘Not as I want, but Your will be done!’


  1. God is my Pilot. He is in charge and not I. As the people then tried to manipulate God into there will, so too many today pray to have God bless them as they desire. I was born to serve Him and I may do in Jesus name. And in that power I go forward today walking in His SonShine working in His Kingdom.

    Jesus, Saviour, pilot me
    Over life’s tempestuous sea;
    Unknown waves before me roll,
    Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal.
    Chart and compass come from Thee.
    Jesus, Saviour, pilot me.

  2. Do I take the holiness of God seriously. Yes, the ark was only a visible artifact – but it represented God’s covenant with His people. Like Adam and Eve in paradise with the tree – they had to respect it. The Philistines learned to respect it and they called mind what God did for Israel in calling them out of Egypt – seems like it was common knowledge. In their happiness a number of people of Beth Shemosh did not respect it and they paid the price – sure the Levites put the Ark on the rock (that was in line with their duties) but God did not want the Ark itself to be an object of worship – that I believe is one of the reasons it was always kept in a special room where only the high priest could enter and that with special ceremony. God is Holy! I must respect Him for who He is is. I can enter safely into a relationship with Him through Jesus – I have no rights on my own – yet God wants me too!

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