Today's devotion from 1 Samuel 6 & 7.
After they lost the ark, the people were completely devastated. They had placed their faith in this sign of God's work instead of God Himself. It's funny that when the ark arrives in Ashdod the Philistines think they've got a great offering for Dagon, their deity. However, God would not let the testimony of His work be defiled in such a way.
I know we're recapping from yesterday, but stay with me. The point I really want to drive home is that the Philistines soon come to a realization of the truth. In yesterday's reading we read, "The ark of Israel’s God must not stay here with us, because his hand is strongly against us and our god Dagon." (1 Samuel 5:7, CSB) Their entire plan now looks more sound with God's expectations than the Israelites. They recognize that it is God, not the ark, that is against them. Yet, they don't just need to move the ark. They need to make amends with Him even though they don't worship Him.
As we enter today's reading, note the wisdom in the words of the Philistine priests and diviners. They talk of offerings and guilt. They really don't have any idea what they're doing (uh, gold tumors and mice), but they had enough sense to see the big picture, "Give glory to Israel’s God" (1 Samuel 6:5, CSB) Isn't that pretty awesome? God cannot be denied glory even from those who refuse to worship Him.
This puts a smile on my face. I'm not a reformer, but I immediately thought of the Westminster Shorter Catechism. The first question is, "What is the chief end of man?" The answer is a two part response, "To glorify God and enjoy Him forever." These Philistines got just a taste of the fact that no one can withhold glory from God forever. Even if not on this earth, one day, " As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God." (Romans 14:11, cab)
Our prayer and efforts need to go into making sure that others don't just recognize His supremacy and give him glory, but to the end that they might accept His offer of salvation so that they can truly enjoy Him forever.