Spiritual Training 1 Samuel 5:1-12

Posted: January 7, 2017 in 1 Sameul, Uncategorized

Under Gods Command

The Ark in Ashdod and Ekron 

1 Samuel 5:1-12 12After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezera to Ashdod. 2Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. 3When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. 4But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. 5That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.

     6The LORD’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation on them and afflicted them with tumors.

  7When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, “The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god.” 8So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and asked them, “What shall we do with the ark of the god of Israel?”

     They answered, “Have the ark of the god of Israel moved to Gath.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel.

     9But after they had moved it, the LORD’s hand was against that city, throwing it into a great panic. He afflicted the people of the city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors. 10So they sent the ark of God to Ekron.

     As the ark of God was entering Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, “They have brought the ark of the god of Israel around to us to kill us and our people.” 11So they called together all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy on it. 12Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven. 

The Philistines thought they had defeated God because they had beaten Israel and captured the ark. They soon learned that no one defeats God. Their sweet victory turned sour as God began to destroy them with a plague.

The Philistines were governed by five rulers. Each ruler had authority over a different city—Gath, Ekron, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Gaza. The ark was taken to three of these capital cities, and each time it brought great trouble and chaos to the citizens.

Dagon was the chief god of the Philistines, who they believed sent rain and assured a bountiful harvest. But the Philistines, like most of their pagan neighbors, worshiped many gods. The more gods they could have on their side, the more secure they felt. That was why they wanted the ark, thinking that if it helped the Israelites, it could help them, too. But when the people living nearby began to get sick and die, the Philistines realized that the ark was not a good omen. It was a source of greater power than they had ever seen—power they could not control.

Although the Philistines had just witnessed a great victory by Israel’s God over their god, Dagon, they didn’t act upon that insight until they were afflicted with tumors (possibly in connection with bubonic plague).

Lets Bring it Home: Similarly, today many people don’t respond to biblical truth until they experience pain. Are you willing to listen to God for truth’s sake, or do you turn to him only when you are hurting?

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