And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us wherewith we shall send it to His place. And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return Him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.
And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home: And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods. And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Bethshemesh.
And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD, and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the LORD. (1 Sam. 6:2-3, 10-12, 15)
The diviners of the Philistines were right in that we cannot come before God without a trespass offering for our sin. Their sin before God, even though God had allowed the ark to be taken, was to keep it and celebrate their victory over the ark and over Israel. Their punishment left dagon bowing before God and their leaders and citizens suffering great diseases. The healing they desired would have to come from repentance and works demonstrating their change of heart and mind. God demonstrated His power over nature and the false gods which the Philistines worshiped when He directed the cows to bring the ark back to Israel without the active direction of the Philistines who could not touch the ark. Those Israelites who looked into the ark where rightfully punished for their disobedience and God was both just and worshiped when the ark returned to Israel.
We must come to God on His terms, for salvation, for His blessings, and with that which we would offer unto Him. Those who are not born again by faith in Him and His finished and perfect work on the Cross of Calvary do not bring anything to Him who desires repentant sinners to surrender completely to God the Father through Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is God the Son. God’s people come boldly before the throne of grace, not in our own merit or by any thing we have done, but because of the blood of Jesus Christ which purchased our redemption and made us children of the King. Sin and disobedience before God must be punished by death and we cannot pay our own sin price. We cannot come to Him empty handed or offering that which is not pleasing to Him, but must come covered by the blood of Jesus and with that which God requires of us, surrendered hearts and willing minds in repentance and faith. God will bless and demonstrate His power in those who are His who let Him guide and work while we worship Him who is our sacrifice and who is our power and who is the God of Israel and of all, our Creator, Redeemer, and King.
While we are here, God has sent those of us who are His saints and know Him out into this world to reach the lost that they might be saved from sin. He desires that His people strive to be holy and obedient unto Him that we might minister to those around us who are hurting and in need as He provides. We serve others, equipped with the Word of reconciliation and righteousness, rightly divided and fitly spoken, that they may see Christ in us, the hope of Glory. Our God has commanded us to love one another with an unfeigned love, even as He first loved us, and to disciple one another in the Word of God so that we may all grow in grace and in the Knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Our Lord has commissioned those who are His with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to go where He sends us in the power of the Holy Spirit. As we go, we are to proclaim the Good News of forgiveness through repentance and reconciliation with the Father through faith in His Son, that those who believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah of God might have life in His Name.
God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and the knowledge of the Truth. Jesus loves you and wants to establish a covenant relationship with you that is real and personal. Surrender to Him on His terms and He will give you a brand new life of discipleship and fellowship with Him that is abundant and everlasting. God calls you to faith in Christ and His finished and perfect work on the Cross of Calvary to pay your sIn debt. He has provided the only way of reconciliation with God, forgiveness from God, and Salvation through Jesus Christ, the Son of God who is God the Son, to give you a new life in Christ. Turn away from yourself and your sIn and turn to Him alone for eternal Life, now and always.