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The Heavy Hand of God (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
February 25, 2022 3:00 am

The Heavy Hand of God (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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February 25, 2022 3:00 am

When you seek refuge from a storm, you search for shelter that will keep you safe and protected until the threat passes. Listen to Truth For Life as Alistair Begg explains why the only refuge from God’s wrath is in God Himself.


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When we are looking for detection from storm we search for a shelter that will hide us and protect us until the storm passes today on Truth for Life. Alastair beg explains why the only refuge from God's wrath is in God himself hears Alastair with the conclusion of a message titled the heavy hand of God were in first Samuel chapter 5 the art have been captured but now the Dagan has been toppled when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day something that happened during the night. We have no description of what happened during the night but the fact that something happened during the night is obvious in the morning, keep that thought in my never to come back to what we could not see during the night becomes revealed in the morning so they took Dagan because he had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord and they put him back in his place something kind of pathetically comedic about this is not as common and always at thanks for coming by to see our latest exhibit.

We if you just hold it there at the rope for a moment or two, just getting Dagan heat he's had a bad evening and were going to put them. We just put them back on backup where where he belongs there. He is you see is slightly above the box that we brought from the battlefield, but there there there you are there you are, and the day ends in verse four new day dawns. But when they rose early in the next morning. Things were even worse because Dagan had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord and ahead of Dagan and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold. Only the trunk of Dagan was left ahead while incidentally if Isaiah has this picture in his mind when centuries later, addressing the issue of idolatry. He says of the idols they lifted to their shoulders. They carry it. They said it in its place, and it stands there, it cannot move from its place. If one cries to it.

It doesn't answer pathetic. The notion of idolatry is prophetic. When God says you not supposed to have items you're only supposed to worship me. He says that because he wants us to live as he created us. Every idle that we are tempted to set itself deplete.

It offers but it cannot satisfy is says here is peace and only leads to chaos.

You can follow through on euro look at this now no hands, no head, just a trunk distress stump.

I remember when in these brutal days in warfare. This would be taken one of the ways in which the described the fact that they had vanquished the enemy's to cut off their hands cut off their feet and in certain cases, to decapitate them think. Later on David to Goliath of Gath Yukon before me and defied the armies of the living God.

I will cut your head up the way your God Dagan had his head cut that's the point that's being made, and as a result of that, they make a decision. The priests of Dagan have decided that since the only way they could get into the house of Dagan was somehow or another to navigate their way over the bits and pieces of him that was was lying around, you know, when you're with your grandchildren and they do that thing in the street and you can step on the line is if you step on the thing then something happens to you. I don't know what it is but that's not what they decided they think about it there. There idolize on the ground instead of becoming the occasion of a reappraisal, let's just think about this for a minute.

Now, instead of a reappraisal he turn it into a ritual that will do his will make this the this is what will do we come to the threshold to the point of departure between the set. The secular and the sacred. We will always do this. What a strange thing to put in as a ritual so that you could remember for years to come before that your thing was lying on the ground. No head couldn't think never occurred. No hands for everybody and all to see. Note as I work through this.

I said to myself I am not sure I I I can.

I still can get this yet. So I thought of it in terms of a split screen. What I'm thinking is verse 11 of chapter 4 and the ark of God was captured in the two sons of Eli Hovnanian finance die right. That's where it all comes to collapse okay now so one side of the screen which is verse 12 of four to verse 22 gives to is the scene in Shiloh. So the ark is been captured, and as we said there is despair in Shiloh is epitomized by the cry of a dying mother and her assessment of the situation as far as she's concerned the glory is gone. It is over. We been defeated. Ichabod is the only name for a boy being born in these circumstances, that's on that's half the screen.

The other half of the screen is chapter 5 verses 1 to 5.

Where, actually, although in Shiloh. It appears that the glory has departed in Ashdod. The glory is being revealed, the hand of God, which is heavy and outward for heavy which we noted before, is the same word that is used for glory, the heaviness of God establishes his glory.

So here superficially. The wife and the wife of Phineas says it looks to me like it's finished that some half the screen but on the other half of the screen.

The word of God is making clear that no that is not ultimately the case the ark is captured. Dagan is toppled and noticed.

Thirdly, the Philistines are terrified and afflicted. And the reason they are verse six is because the hand of the Lord was heavy against them. I was not missed this, the God Yahweh is a terrible God. He terrifies them, and he deals with them in immediate retribution so that they are able.

And this is an expression of his mercy.

You see, they are able, then immediately to realize cause-and-effect.

If God just says it doesn't matter what you do to the ark. It doesn't matter were all in the game together. There is no there is no ultimate consequences Then people would all continue in the way they were going. But no, there is immediate retribution. The person wakes up in the morning. His tumors the possibility that it is somehow or another to do with mice or with rats, but I kind of form of the bubonic plague or whatever it might be whatever this thing is it is unmistakable.

Now it is for this reason that people often get off the bus in terms of Old Testament studies and I find the people say to me things like this you know I don't like it when you mentioned that Alister, I don't. I'm not really keen on the God of the Old Testament. I'm not. I'm not keen on the God who terrifies and afflicts and produces tumors and chaos. I'm I much prefer the God of the New Testament far nicer, far easier to deal with.

But here's the deal.

The same goal. The same law you see the New Testament.

The New Testament doesn't can contradict the Old Testament, the New Testament completes the Old Testament.

It takes the New Testament. If you like to fill out an adequate understanding of God. It is clear in this day of grace that God does not operate on the basis of immediate retribution in the infancy he dives. That's why incidentally, you're supposed to deal with your children in their infancy, despite what the culture says in terms of immediate retribution here supports the power and they wow irrespective of what the Scottish Parliament says this past week where they are going to make the slapping of a child that punishable as a crime in my same newspaper. Incidentally, this is parenthetical, and I wish I had started it but I'm here in the same newspaper. It carries the story of a man in his 60s similar age to myself, who took a pillow and suffocated his wife as a quotes act of mercy. She had cancer so he decided the best thing he could do for her to kill her. The judge said to punish this man would be tragedy on tragedy. So here you kill your wife with a pillow and you go free, and here you smack your sons bottom and you go to jail.

Now tell me the world is an upside down, but the immediate retribution of child who does not continue all the way through to adulthood. You don't you don't treat your your teenagers in the same way you don't treat them into young adult who's in the same way know those early days are there in order that the days that follow might then be exercised in light of the same parameters so that the same parameters exist when you go into the New Testament. There is a broad road and it leads to destruction, and so the terrible nature of God's intervention, which is meted out to us in time, but ultimately when we face him in eternity is consistent with who and what God is to know when when the book of Revelation describes the circumstances. This is what it says in that day, the kings of the earth and the great ones in the generals and the rich and the powerful and everyone slave and free, they hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains calling to the mountains on the rocks fall on ice and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne and from the Roth of the land for the great day of the Roth has come, and who can stand. Now he intervenes 11 centuries BC in immediate retribution and the people are aware of this and they are able to put two and two together as pagans and understand it is the hand of the Lord that is heavy upon them. You will notice there in verse seven, the ark of the God of Israel must remain with us for his hand is against us and against Dagan and God. They came to the right conclusion. Fascinatingly, they came to the same conclusion that the Israelites had come to back in the beginning of chapter 4. Remember when they had been defeated by the Philistines. They said this is because God is done.

This is and is against us. They figure that the presence of the ark would be there solution. They were wrong.

The Philistines realized that the presence of the ark is their problem and they were right.

The Israelites were presuming on God's power. The Philistines were defying God's power and so in verse eight. They gathered all the lords of the Philistines, and said what then will we do with the ark of God of Israel and the answer let the ark of the God of Israel be brought around to death. What an interesting this is as a political passing the buck. This is fantastic.

Let's Ship it off to the other cities. Remember, there were five cities.

The other two were Gaza and Ashkelon will send it off to get now presumably the president said said it altogether had no relatives living in God because after they had brought in their whole city was in an amazing panic. You will see that in verse nine.

I so didn't have a meeting again. They just shipped it further on this, it will ascended to Akron is almost funny is that traveling roadshow. They said why don't you come and see. They are great acquisition and then that's not going so well Move it over to graph same thing a lot of tumors in Gath not going well and got this just flip it off to Akron off to Akron they send it and they have brought around to us of the people of Akron the ark of the God of yours is going to kill is in our people so they gathered all the lords of the Philistines.

Let's get the whole five cities together all the bright boys and that what will do his will send away the ark of the God of Israel will let it return to its own place, that it may not kill us and our people, for there was a deathly panic throughout the whole city. Why because the hand of God was very heavy, and the survivors who were not who did not die suffering from the tumors cried out to have which is exactly what the Israelites did in the bondage of Egypt.

In Exodus chapter 2 in the face of the hand of God being heavy against them. They cried out to have.

Can I ask you this morning.

Have you ever cried out to heaven ever cried out to the God who made you designed you, loves you, sustained you is gracious to you. There has to be a test at the end of life. There has to be an exam because God is a righteous God. God cannot simply overlook these things out. We began by saying it was written in the past so that we might have endurance and encouragement let me come full circle in and in this way by reminding us. Yes, it was written as something of a pattern for us so that we might understand a number of things. At least this, that without the power and presence of God. The people of God are powerless to others. Nothing like stating the obvious is for think about.

They were powerless they were defeated by the Philistines, not because the Philistines were strong, but because they were weak. Why were they weak because they began to turn the things of God into lucky charms and mascots living as we don't have to do what's right, we just take this with us if you have this with you, then you're okay, you're in the clear thinker before the from the truth. I swear they were soundly defeated. Also, as I began to say earlier.

The defeat of God's people is not the defeat of God is not the defeat of God.

They were defeated because they were weak. Eli was weak he might've been trying for a while, but he was in the best 20 and alongside him. He had his boys who were corrupt and immoral.

When the people of God, whether it is the people of God 11 BC where is the people of God. 21 A.D., when the church of Jesus Christ tolerates in that corrupt, immoral leadership. There is a reason for its defeat. There is a reason for the empty buildings. There is a reason for this decline.

There is a reason for the absence of us attended there is a reason for the loss of its credibility.

Of course there is an meanwhile, those same people will be say you see the problem is the opposition that secularism. All of this on the outside. No, no, never. However, fears that maybe the problem is always on the inside as it was here the Philistines themselves defied God, thinking as people do today. I can defy him and get away with it by their triumph was fleeting.

What a surprise they had when the morning came and what a surprise.

What a shocking surprise.

It will be when the morning comes for those who have defied God standing there with nothing to offer in my defense when he had inquires of me. Why did you ignore my work. Why did you deny my presence. Why did you live as you live because I wanted to because I thought I could get away with and I did get away with it for a long time but now I wish the mountains would fall on me and save me. You see, because there is no refuge from this terrible God except the refuge that is found in this terrible God and I said to you. There's no indication of what was happening during the night. The evidence is all in the morning. Think Jerusalem.

Think good Friday think the ultimate expression of men's defiance against God. He saved others can't even save himself if he is the Christ, he should come down from the from the cross.

Same kind of thing people say if he shows up on Carnegie Avenue.

I'll believe in them but not until that careful he's a terrible God. He's patient but his patience isn't limitless and in the morning the evidence was, therefore, that happened during the night. See what a morning gloriously bright.

He had been nailed to a cross in the classic expression of and celebration of man's defiance and his apparent defeat.

It surely must be the glory has departed all and then Mary, then the rest. Paul tells us what was happening. He disarmed the rulers and the authorities and he put them to open shame by triumphing over them in the cross are captured. Dagan toppled Philistines terrified God glorified, so may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you and give you his peace today and forever more. Amen.

Your listing to Truth for Life is Alister Bragg explaining that the heavy hand of God is a merciful hand but his patience is not limitless. He will not be defeated. He will be glorified. If you are a regular listener to Truth for Life. You are aware that all of Alister's teaching can be accessed through our website and our mobile app for free and that we provide resources, making them available to you at our cost.

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Just visit Truth for or call us at 888588788 and Bob Lapine. Thanks for listing. Enjoy your weekend as you worship with your local church and then be sure to listen again Monday. As we continue our study in first Samuel will hear how the ark of God quickly became a problem for Israel's enemy. The Philistines and the desperate measures. The Philistines took to appease God in response, the Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life with Learning is for Living

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