1 Samuel 6:11–12: “And they set the ark of the LORD on the cart, and the chest with the gold rats and the images of their tumors. Then the cows headed straight for the road to Beth Shemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and did not turn aside to the right hand or the left. And the lords of the Philistines went after them to the border of Beth Shemesh.”

February 11th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

The ark of the covenant spent 7 months being passed around the different Philistine cities, and everywhere it went, tumors and destruction followed. They decided they would test to see if God was doing this to them or if it was just chance. They took 2 cows that had never pulled a cart before, separated them from their calves, and hitched them to the cart; and then placed the ark on the cart to see where the cows would take it. How interesting that these cows headed straight for Beth Shemesh, in Israel, without turning aside, even though they were lowing, complaining, as they went, about being separated from their calves. Notice that the Philistine rulers followed from a distance behind, which is not, of course, the normal place to lead a cow. Typically when unbelievers try to put God Almighty to the test, He just ignores their arrogant experiment. But on rare occasions, because of His grace, He chooses to blow their minds by doing what they never expected Him to do. In this case God does what these gentile rulers ask. Not because the guilt offering they sent with the ark was correct, but simply because of His grace.

Grace is unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor from God, based solely on Him. Many years ago Billy Graham was driving through a small southern town, and was stopped by a policeman for speeding. Graham admitted his guilt, but was told by the officer that he would have to follow him and appear in court immediately. When they got to the court, the judge asked, “Guilty, or not guilty?” Graham replied, “Guilty.” The judge said, “That’ll be 10 dollars—a dollar for every mile you went over the limit.” But suddenly the judge recognized Graham. “You have violated the law,” he said. “The fine must be paid, but I am going to pay it for you.” The judge took a $10 bill from his own wallet and attached it to the ticket. He then took Graham out and bought him a steak dinner. “That,” Billy Graham liked to say in the years after, “is how God treats repentant sinners!”

“LORD, give us forgiveness and grace, we ask, as we confess our sins to You.”