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Friday, March 21 2014
1 Samuel 4: The Capture Of The Ark
"The Ark of God was taken"
The LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) declared the end of the house of the High Priest Eli. Notice that the reason for Eli's fall was not because he was corrupt, because he knew that his sons, who would have succeeded him, were corrupt - but he was too weak to correct them from "the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not." Eli's fatal flaw was that he was a "good man" who was weak in determination.
"3:11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 3:12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 3:13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 3:14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever." (1 Samuel 3:11-14 KJV)
According to the Word of the LORD (see 1 Samuel 2: The Prophecy Of The House Of Eli), it all happened in a single day. First, Eli's corrupt sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were killed in war against the Philistines after they arrogantly removed the Ark of the Covenant from the Tabernacle and took it into the battlefield. The Ark was never to be taken out of the Holy Place (see also The Holy Place In History And Prophecy) that the LORD commanded it to be placed. The Ark was then captured by the Philistines (but, as we will cover in the next study, the Philistines were soon very eager to return it).
"4:1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek. 4:2 And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men. 4:3 And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.
When the news of the loss of his sons and the Ark of the Covenant reached Eli, "he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died." Eli had been a Judge for forty years.
"4:12 And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head. 4:13 And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out.
This Day In History, March 21
537: The Siege of Rome: King Vitiges attempted to assault the northern and eastern city walls, but was driven back at the Praenestine Gate, known as the Vivarium, by the defenders under the Byzantine generals Bessas and Peranius.
1152: The annulment of the marriage of King Louis VII of France and Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.
1188: Emperor Antoku acceded to the throne of Japan.
1413: Henry V became King of England.
1556: At Oxford, Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was burned at the stake as a heretic.
1788: New Orleans, Louisiana, was nearly completely destroyed by fire.
1800: After being driven out of Rome during a rebellion, Pius VII was crowned Pope in Venice with a temporary papal tiara made of papier-mache.
1801: The Battle of Alexandria was fought between British and French forces near the ruins of Nicopolis in Egypt.
1804: The French civil code, the Code Napoleon, was proclaimed.
1844: The date set by "Adventist" founder William Miller for the day of Christ's return; when his prediction failed, he set a new date, October 22 1844, which also failed, becoming known as "the Great Disappointment" (see also When The Final Countdown Will Begin).
1857: An earthquake in Tokyo, Japan killed over 100,000 people.
1871: German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck opened the first Reichstag (Parliament) in the First German Reich (see also The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1871: Welsh journalist Henry Morton Stanley began his famous journey to find the Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone (Dr. Livingstone, I presume?").
1917: Czar Nicholas II and his family were arrested by communist revolutionary forces in Russia.
1918: The Second Battle of the Somme, the last German offensive of the First World War, began (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1927: Nationalist Chinese forces of Chiang Kai-shek took the city of Shanghai; communist forces and local warlords fled before they arrived.
1963: Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay was closed.
1973: John Dean's "there's a cancer on the presidency" meeting with Richard Nixon.
1980: President Jimmy Carter announced that the U.S. Olympic team would not participate in the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow as a protest against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The U.S. itself thereafter invaded Afghanistan in 2001.
1990: Namibia became independent after 75 years of South African rule.