1 Samuel 5

1 Samuel 5 has the Philistines returning to their city of Ashdod with the ark of God.  The put it in the house of Dagon, one of the temples that housed the idol Dagon.  The ark was set up beside the idol “and when the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord”.  They took the idol and put him back in place, but low and behold “when they rose early on the next morning, behold, Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off on the threshold”.

So things are progressing here.  God is not pleased.  “Only the trunk of Dagon was left to him” as God had stripped off the rest.  But it didn’t stop with just destroying this false god.  “The hand of the Lord was heavy against the people of Ashdod, and he terrified and afflicted them with tumors, both Ashdod and its territory”.  God has their attention.  They know things are not going to improve if they don’t get rid of the ark.  So they decided they had to get rid of it.  But they didn’t know what to do with it, they only knew “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for his hand is hard against us and against Dagon our god”.

So they gathered the leaders and asked what to do with the ark.  The leaders said to take it to Gath, which they gladly did.  It didn’t take long before God moved against the people there, and it caused “a very great panic, and He afflicted the men of the city….so that tumors broke out on them”.  The people of Gath immediately figure out having the ark there was not a good thing, and they are looking for a place to get rid of it.  So it is sent to Ekron.  Before anything even happened, the people of Ekron cry foul.

They knew from the word that they had heard they wanted no part of the ark in their town.  They immediately get the leaders together and decided to “Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it return to its own place, that it may not kill us and our people”.  But even with their quick efforts to get rid of the ark wasn’t fast enough.  “The hand of God was very heavy there”.  You don’t mess around with God, even for a moment.  God may not always intervene for his people, but He will always stand on His Word!

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