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Sunday, March 23 2014

1 Samuel 6: The Return Of The Ark

"The Philistines have brought again The Ark of the LORD"

The Philistines captured The Ark (see Exodus 37: The Tabernacle Furnishings and Turning The Tables) after the Israelites wrongfully removed it from the Tabernacle (see Israel In History and Prophecy: The Tabernacle) and took it into battle (see 1 Samuel 4: The Capture Of The Ark). The Israelite battle loss was brought about by the LORD for their disobedience to His Command and to fulfill the prophesied fall of the house of Eli (see 1 Samuel 2: The Prophecy Of The House Of Eli). The Philistines themselves however soon experienced the wrath of the LORD because they had taken The Ark (see 1 Samuel 5: Why Did The Philistines Want To Return The Ark?).

When the Philistines had enough, they pleaded to their "priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place"?

The Ark

"6:1 And the ark of the LORD [Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God] was in the country of the Philistines seven months. 6:2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place.

6:3 And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.

6:4 Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him?

They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords. 6:5 Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land. 6:6 Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?

6:7 Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them: 6:8 And take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go. 6:9 And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, then he hath done us this great evil: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us: it was a chance that happened to us." (1 Samuel 6:1-9 KJV)

The Divine Will signs then happened. The two Philistine cows, who had never been hitched to a cart before, freely left their bellowing calves that had been taken away from them and went straight to where they had never been before - to the Israelites.

"6:10 And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home: 6:11 And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods. 6:12 And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Bethshemesh.

6:13 And they of Bethshemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it. 6:14 And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they clave the wood of the cart, and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the LORD. 6:15 And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD, and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings [see also Leviticus 1: The Burnt Offerings Of The Ancients] and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the LORD. 6:16 And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.

6:17 And these are the golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the LORD; for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Askelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one; 6:18 And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fenced cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD: which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite. 6:19 And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter. 6:20 And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us?

6:21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the LORD; come ye down, and fetch it up to you." (1 Samuel 6:10-21 KJV)

Fact Finder: Despite its return to Israel, why wasn't The Ark ever returned to the Tabernacle?
See The Parting of The Ark and The Tabernacle and 1 Samuel 2: The Prophecy Of The House Of Eli


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This Day In History, March 23

1324: German emperor Louis IV was excommunicated by Pope John XXII (see Emperors and Popes).

1400: The Tran Dynasty of Vietnam was deposed after 175 years of rule.

Henry VIII 1534: Pope Clement declared that the marriage of King Henry VIII of England and Catherine of Aragon was still in effect. The marriage was ended in Britain the year before, and Henry had then married Anne Boleyn. To accommodate his repeated marriages and divorces, Henry eventually created the Church of England with himself as the head.

1540: The Waltham Abbey was surrendered to King Henry VIII of England. It was the last Church of Rome religious community to be shut during the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

1568: The Peace of Longjumeau was signed, ending the second phase of the French Wars of Religion.

1657: France and England formed an alliance against Spain.

1801: Russian Czar Paul I was assassinated.

1808: Napoleon Bonaparte's brother Joseph took the throne of Spain.

1821: The Battle and fall of the city of Kalamata during the Greek War of Independence.

1849: After the Austrians had been victorious at Novara, Charles Albert of Sardinia abdicated in favor of Victor Emmanuel II.

1877: John Doyle Lee, a Mormon fanatic, was executed by firing squad for masterminding the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre in which 127 Arkansas Methodists bound for California were killed by Mormon settlers and Paiute Indians.

1879: The Battle of Topater, the first battle of the War of the Pacific between Chile and the allied forces of Bolivia and Peru.

1918: The immense German artillery gun, "Big Bertha," shelled Paris from a distance of 75 miles / 120 kilometers.

1919: Mussolini founded his Fascist Party.

1925: Tennessee banned the teaching of evolution in public schools in the state. Teacher John Scopes ignored the ban and was later tried in what became known as "The Scopes Monkey Trial" (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).

1933: The German Reichstag (Parliament) passed an "enabling law" that gave Hitler and the Nazi Party the sweeping dictatorial powers they had been seeking (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1956: Pakistan became the first official Islamic republic in the world.

1966: Archbishop of Canterbury Arthur Michael Ramsey met Pope Paul VI at the Vatican in Rome - the first meeting between the heads of the two churches in 400 years.

1983: Dr. Barney Clark, a retired dentist, died 112 days after being the first human to receive a mechanical heart.

2001: The Russian space station Mir was brought down out of orbit after 15 years. It burned up in re-entry and crashed into the Pacific Ocean.



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