TRIVIA: What poor choices, poor service, and irresponsible behavior did some early priests demonstrate?
If you missed the previous devotions, you can catch up, here at the Grandma Mary Martha blog:
1st Samuel Chapter 5, The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord is in enemy camp, and bad things happen…
Here we are in God’s wonderful word, picking up in Bible history, after the priest Eli, and his sons have died tragic deaths, following service to God that could easily be perceived as lax or careless. (Read above links to understand.)
Did you ever see that movie from the ’70s called Raiders of the Lost Ark? Fascinating action thriller full of archaeology digs and mysterious finds. Such was made of fiction based on exciting truths as were witnessed by the Philistines after they captured the Ark of the covenant of the Lord. V.1-6 of chapter 5 tells of the Philistines placing the Ark of the covenant of the Lord, next to their statue of Dagon (their god).
One has to know that this was done in mocking disrespect. They did not know the one true God of the Israelites at this point, but He showed His power. Twice they awoke to find their statue god broken and fallen to the ground!! The second time with its palms also broken. Service to their god was therefore interrupted.
Imagine what they must have thought or felt. They had been serving this statue god for who knows how long, but on the night spent with the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord by its side, it mysteriously FELL and BOWED and was never the same.
That was not the extent or limit of the show of the power and disturbance of the One True God, over the desecration of His Ark. The people were also struck with terrible TUMORS.
Finally, they suspected the true reason:
“The ark of God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is harsh toward us and Dagon our god,” they said.
They decided to take the ark somewhere else, to the city of Gath. This being man’s doing and not God’s will, TUMORS happened to those people as well. A curse you could say.
The Ark was sent to Ekron and those people were smarter by then.
“Send it away, lest WE die…” they pleaded.
For seven months the Ark was outside of Israel, but by chapter 6, the Philistines are seeking the counsel of the “priests and the diviners” to figure out how to GET THE ARK BACK to its proper place!
They were tired of the curses.
V.3 of chapter 6, the Philistines were advised to send it back with a “trespass offering,” inside of it. Furthermore, in answer to inquiry the type of offering was specified:
“Five golden tumors and five golden rats, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines..”
and it was foretold that doing the return in this manner, the curse of tumors would be lifted.
V.6 a plea to the Philistines heart was made (presumably by prophetic words from a priest or diviner) and then Vs.7-9 details precise directions for the transporting of the Ark.
Vs.13-17 the Ark is returned to the Israelites as per DIRECTIONS. The Levites made burnt offerings, unto the Lord, and rejoiced when it was back in their possession.
But they also looked inside of the Ark of the Covenant. Recall previous rules, laws, and rituals regarding this. Said rules were disregarded by looking inside of the ARK, and the Lord was livid.
He struck the 50,070 people with a great slaughter because they looked inside of the Ark. YIKES. Once again the people witness His serious, anger. At the end of chapter 6, they seem unsure of what to do with the Ark. What will happen next?
Dear Father in Heaven, I am so very grateful for Jesus, that by His provision of perfect sacrifice, I am forgiven. I know that I messed up as badly as those priests in earlier Samuel chapters though in different contexts, in different ways.
I see from your treatment of the civilizations that disrespected the Ark, that you certainly are capable of anger. I am grateful that I was not in that time. I pray that you would give me wisdom to recognize my own sin and to repent and correct my behavior. I want to serve You and honor You.
Your will be done on earth as in Heaven. Amen
When my sisters finish their blogs to the following chapters, I will link them here:
- 1 Samuel Chapters 7 and 8 devotion, by Stacey at Scribbles and Sustenance, May 26th or 27th (will be updated here with a live link when published)
- 1 Samuel chapters 9 and 10 devotion, by Angela at No Longer Lukewarm, by May 29
Salvation available for all who accept…
If you want to have the peace that I have, in expecting eternal paradise in life after death, I invite you to follow this link for a message of salvation: https://tellinghearts.blog/2018/06/27/join-us-in-making-jesus-the-lord-of-your-life/