I Samuel 6,7
Now that I am older, God has allowed me to serve Him in the Temple as the leader of the Israelites.
Not long ago, Eli, Israel's last priest, died after he heard the Ark of God had been stolen by the Philistines.
Many months had passed before the Philistines gave the ark back to Israel. They thought they stole our God. But no one can steal the Almighty.
God didn't need our help to solve the problem. He punished each Philistine city that had housed the ark with a plague and disease. After many of their people died, the Philistine lords met together and decided to send the ark back to us.
They set the ark on a cart, included golden offerings for God, and let milkcows deliver the Ark of the Lord to Beth Shemesh. The Israelites ran from the fields and cheered when they saw the ark coming to their city. They offered sacrifices to God in celebration. But some of the people from the city did not show God respect.
One day, while the Ark of God sat at Beth Shemesh, a few of the townspeople became curious. They wanted to take a look inside the ark. They didn't ask permission from God or a priest or a prophet. They simply wanted to look inside, and they did.
A few people crept to the Ark of God, when no one was looking, lifted the lid and looked inside. I don't know if they were surprised, happy, or pleased, but I do know God didn't like it.
They told their friends what they had done. That night a few more crept to the Ark of God, made sure no one was looking then peeked inside. They told their friends who told their friends and soon seventy people had sneaked to the Ark of God without permission to look inside.
That night the people who looked inside the ark became sick. No medicines could help them. They all died.
The people from Beth Shemesh cried when they found God had punished the seventy people.
They called the Israelites from the next village, Kiriath Jearim, to take the ark away.
Like the Philistines, the people of Beth Shemesh didn't realize the importance of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. God gave Moses many rules for worship and the care for the pieces belonging in the Temple. The most important piece was the Ark of the Lord.
I was thinking about the time when Moses asked God to see Him. God said no man could see His face and survive because it would be too much for our human bodies. But, God made a way. He had Moses stand in a cleft of a rock, where he would have stone to his left, to his right, behind him, above him, and below his feet. God placed his hand over the opening then allowed his back to pass by the rock. Moses saw a glimps of God's glory. God granted Moses request because he asked and because Moses obeyed and loved Him.
There seemed to be a big difference between the Philistines, the people of Beth Shemesh, and Moses.
1. Did the Philistines love God?
2. What did 70 of the people from Beth Shemesh do that did not respect God?
3. What did the people of Beth Shemesh do with the Ark of God?
4. What did Moses do different from the 70 people?