Thursday, April 23, 2009

Day 3: 1 Samuel 5-6

Glad you're back. For those of you joining us for the first time, don't hesitate to jump in a read and comment on what the passage spoke to you. We are only 3 days in, you have plenty of time to catch up if you want or you can start with today's reading and move forward with us. Today's reading is from 1 Samuel 5-6

These two chapters today are solely about the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark of the Covenant played a huge role in the lives of the Israel. When it had been captured by the Philistines in 1 Samuel 4 it was a sure sign of God's wrath against them. Much of what the Ark represented for Israel was their identity. The Ark is where God's presence resided with them. In it were the 10 commandments, Aaron's rod, and manna from the wilderness.

When the Philistines get the Ark in their own land they begin to realize that it is not what they expected. Their god Dagon's statue had fallen down overnight in the temple as if in reverence to God. They eventually decide to get rid of it because people are getting tumors, getting sick, and growing more fearful. They send the Ark back to Israel and even there 70 men died for looking inside the Ark. This is when the passage that resonated with me the most shows up. They say, "Who is able to stand in the presence of the LORD, this holy God?"

I love that question? Only those who are holy can stand before a holy God.

What are your thoughts from these passages? I'm interested to hear.


  1. What I got from these 2 chapters was how despite the fact that the Israelites used the Ark incorrectly God still used it to His glory by showing Himself to the Philistines.

    My take away:
    Even when we mess up God still reveals Himself to us and can use the situation if He so chooses to His glory..

  2. I love how in 6:13 it says the people were “overjoyed” when the Ark returned. They immediately began to give sacrifices and offerings to the Lord. It has been my experience that most people in our culture draw closer to God in times of great need.

    For me, I think we should learn to draw nearer to God at all times including our times of celebration. Who knows, if we only talk to God when there is problems, maybe he will allow us to have more problems, so he gets more of our time?

  3. The Old Testament always gives this truth, "that God has a witness of power even when there are no believers around". Reminds me of Romans 1:18-25. There is no excuse. The Philistines worshipped Dagon. The meaning of that name is: god of agriculture and the earth. They were without excuse.

    The Glory of God will not abide in darkness, it dispels darkness. This is shown through out the trips of the Ark. As the Children of God today, His Ark, the Church houses His Glory. So wherever we go, His Glory will bring light to the darkness that we encounter.

    Yet, even in the believer's camp, there are those who murmur as did the sons of Jeconiah. Why, we are not told why. The city they were in, Beth-shemesh means House of the Sun. Though they were in the light of God, they murmured. What a listen to learn. Those in the House of God today, need to rejoice at His works and not murmur, perhaps because they do not always understand His ways. Sometimes God simply chooses to do things for His purpose.

    The lesson to learn: watch and learn when God shows up !!

  4. These passages scare me. God simply doesn't play around. Sin cannot even be around His presence. The very presence of God in these "other god" worshiping cities brought their destruction. Seriously, when a stone statue bows in His presence, it is time to take notice. In each location God displays His power and each time they become scared and get rid of Him. What if these places had seen His power and decided to worship Him rather than the headless statue? How might history have been changed?

    This passage reminds me that God takes sin seriously and only holiness can enter His presence. Since I can't be holy, and I desire to be in His presence, drawing upon Christ is my only hope. But it has to go past that also. We have to live a lifestyle that pursues Christ and His ways, again pointing to obedience. Its kind of a theme in this book.

  5. Great thoughts everyone. This book is definitely a reminder that we must live lives of obedience...God demands it and won't settle for less in us...we simply can't approach Him with sin dominating our lives

  6. The Ark was like a trophy to the Philistines. They brought it home as a symbol to everyone that they had defeated the Isrealites therefore defeating God. Well, God showed them. He made Dagon bow down to Him and punished the Philistines with terrible tumors. If they knew it was the Ark causing the tumors, why didn't they get rid of it sooner? Did they not want to give up their prize trophy or were they in denial that God was causing these things to happen? Maybe they just thought it was bad luck. When they finally realized it was the Ark, why didn't they just bow down to God and follow him? Instead of trying to make it right they chose to give the burden to someone else. When we are having problems in our lives do we try to shove them off on someone else or face them with God's help?

  7. Lisa,

    Great insight! Why do we revert to the hardest route instead of just submitting to God? Good thoughts.