1 Samuel part 4 4-7
Tonight we will examine 1 Sam 4 Ė 7. In these chapters we
will see the prophecies made in chapter 2 and 3 start coming to pass. You might
recall from last week that the messenger from God told Eli that an enemy would
come in and his 2 sons would die in one day. Well, as we start at in chapter 4
we learn that the Philistines and children of
1 Samuel 4:5 And
when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all
Now the children of
1 Samuel 4:7 So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, "God has come into the camp!" And they said, "Woe to us! For such a thing has never happened before.† 8 "Woe to us! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. †
We learn here that these men had heard the stories about God and how powerful he was and they thought for sure they would be doomed. You will notice they referred to our God as several Gods. This just shows us that in their own Pagan religion they believed in multiple Gods.
1 Samuel 4:9 "Be
strong and conduct yourselves like men, you Philistines, that you do not become
servants of the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Conduct yourselves like men,
and fight!"† 10 So the
Philistines fought, and
One of their men spoke out and motivated the Philistines to fight and die instead of becoming slaves to the Hebrews. This was all it took and this great battle raged on with 30,000 Jews dieing along with Eliís 2 sons and now the Philistines had taken the ark of the covenant as a trophy for the victory. Notice what happens next:
1 Samuel 4:12- Then a
man of Benjamin ran from the battle line the same day, and came to
Now it would seem strange today if a person came running to you with torn clothes and dirt on their head but back then this was common practice when some was mourning a great loss. We see that Eli was very old 98 to be exact and that his eye sight wasnít what it used to be. We can see that Eli was very concerned about the ark and when these man told him that the ark had been taken this caused Eli to fall backwards and break his neck we also learn that he was a very heavy man. It also interesting to me that he wasnít to worried about his 2 corrupt sons. So ends Eli reign as a priest and a Judge.
1 Samuel 4:19 Now his
daughter-in-law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, due to be delivered;
and when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her
father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and gave birth, for
her labor pains came upon her.† 20
And about the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, "Do
not fear, for you have borne a son." But she did not answer, nor did she
regard it.† 21 Then she
named the child Ichabod, saying, "The glory has departed from
As you can tell from text
so far that the children of
Now in chapter 5 we learn
that Philistines find out really quick that taking the
1 Samuel 5:6 But the
hand of the LORD was heavy on the people of
You see they are starting
to figure out that keeping the ark was not a good idea. So what do they do?
They get together and decide to send the ark to one of their other cities. So
the send it to
1 Samuel 6:1 Now the
ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months.† 2 And the Philistines called for
the priests and the diviners, saying, "What shall we do with the ark of
the LORD? Tell us how we should send it to its place."† 3 So they said, "If you send
away the ark of the God of
We learn that the
Philistines had the ark 7 months which probably seemed like a really long time
since they were suffering during this time and so they ask their priest who
took care of their God Dagon and these diviners who were their magicians. They could
supposedly look into the future by shaking arrows, examine a liver or other
entrails of animals. They tell them not to send the ark back without an
offering. Notice the quantity of things they would send were in 5ís. This was
because God plague had affected the 5 cities of
1 Samuel 6:7 "Now therefore, make a new cart, take two milk cows which have never been yoked, and hitch the cows to the cart; and take their calves home, away from them.† 8 "Then take the ark of the LORD and set it on the cart; and put the articles of gold which you are returning to Him as a trespass offering in a chest by its side. Then send it away, and let it go.† 9 "And watch: if it goes up the road to its own territory, to Beth Shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we shall know that it is not His hand that struck us -- it happened to us by chance."† 10 Then the men did so; they took two milk cows and hitched them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home.† 11 And they set the ark of the LORD on the cart, and the chest with the gold rats and the images of their tumors.† 12 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.
Now this is interesting because this was going to be a test to see if God was causing these problems or if was just coincidence. Now we can certainly tell from this test that God had a hand in proving that he was the one causing this plague. If you know anything about cows you will not that the mother will do everything it can to get back to its calf. Second thing is that cow who has never had a harness on it would not pull a cart in straight line especially for somewhere around 17 miles it correct direction yet that is exactly what happened which proved that God was punishing the Philistines. Now the ark enters into Beth Shemesh and where the people were reaping their grain harvest. When the saw the ark they rejoiced and the Levites there broke up the cart and killed the cows and offered up burnt sacrifices to God. But nothing something bad happens.
1 Samuel 6:19 Then He struck the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD. He struck fifty thousand and seventy men of the people, and the people lamented because the LORD had struck the people with a great slaughter.† 20 And the men of Beth Shemesh said, "Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? And to whom shall it go up from us?"† 21 So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath Jearim, (jee-uh-rim) †saying, "The Philistines have brought back the ark of the LORD; come down and take it up with you."
Well you have heard the expression curiosity killed the cat well we see that some of these menís curiosity of the ark killed many of them that day. We can see from the book Numbers that God made it clear that men would die if they looked into the uncovered ark.
Numbers 4:17 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:† 18 "Do not cut off the tribe of the families of the Kohathites from among the Levites;† 19 "but do this in regard to them, that they may live and not die when they approach the most holy things: Aaron and his sons shall go in and appoint each of them to his service and his task.† 20 "But they shall not go in to watch while the holy things are being covered, lest they die."
We see from out story that 70 men died from this. Now you also see that it say that 50,000 were struck down to but some the manuscripts do not contain this number so it could of killed this many or maybe it was just the 70 but in either case the important point is that looking into the ark would cause death because it was forbidden by God. Now they want the ark out of there midst.
1 Samuel 7:1 Then the
men of Kirjath Jearim (jee-uh-rim) came and took the ark of the LORD, and
brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated Eleazar his
son to keep the ark of the LORD. †2 So it was that the ark remained
in Kirjath Jearim a long time; it was there twenty years. And all the house of
So the ark finally made
its way back to where it belonged. Now it was time for the children of
1 Samuel 7:3 Then
Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, "If you return to the
LORD with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the
Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the LORD, and serve Him
only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines." So the
Once again we see that
the children of
Colossians 3:5 †Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
You see covetousness is
considered idolatry. So when we start allowing material things or the pleasures
of this word to keep from serving God or worshiping him then we are guilty of
falling and serving an idol just these Philistines who bowed down to Dagon or
like the children of Israel when they bowed down to the golden calf. Let us be
careful as Christians not to allow a hobby or material things to keep us† from assembling with the saints. We also see
from our text that the children of
1 Samuel 7:5 And
Samuel said, "Gather all
Do you how serious they took there repentance and how they confessed to God that they were sinners. We should learn from them and take our repentance very serious and to let it really sink in that we did sin against God and let us do our best not to repeat that same sin.
1 Samuel 7: 7
Now when the Philistines heard that the children of
Now at first the children
Proverbs 16:7 When a man's ways please the LORD, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.