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The Ark of God's Presence
Bible Passage 1 Samuel 6:7-16
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in book 1 Samuel & .

The Ark of God’s Presence

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached April 28, 2022

7 “So make a new cart, and take two milk cows that have never had a yoke on them. Hitch the cows to the cart and take their calves away from them and back to the house.

8 Take the Ark of the LORD, put it on the cart, and put the gold objects that you are returning to him as a guilt offering in a box beside it. Then send it away and let it go.

9 Keep watching it. If it goes up along the road to its own territory to Beth-shemesh, it’s the LORD who has done this great evil to us. But if it does not, then we will know that he wasn’t pressuring us. It happened to us as a natural event.”

10 The men did this. They took two milk cows, hitched them to the cart, and penned up their calves in the house.

11 They put the Ark of the LORD, the box, the gold mice, and the images of their tumors on the cart.

12 The cows took a straight path along the road to Beth-shemesh. They stayed on the highway, lowing as they went, and did not turn to the right or the left. The Philistine lords followed them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh.

13 Now the people of Beth-shemesh were gathering their wheat harvest in the valley. They looked up, saw the Ark, and rejoiced to see it.

14 The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh, and stopped there. In that place there was a large stone. They broke up the wood from the cart, and offered up the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD.

15 The descendants of Levi took down the Ark of the LORD, along with the box that was with it, containing the objects of gold, and they put them on the large stone. The men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the LORD that day.

16 When the five Philistine lords saw this, they returned to Ekron that very day.

God allowed the Philistines to defeat Israel and capture the ark from them. They had the ark with them for 7 months. However, God did not allow them to dishonour Him. He showed that the capture of the ark did not mean that He was inferior to the Philistine god Dagon (1 Samuel 5:1-5).

Philistines had 5 main towns; Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. Each town had a ruler. The ark went to only 3 towns, but all the Philistines were guilty.

Wherever the ark went it brought trouble to the Philistine people.
The Philistines felt fairly certain that the ark was the cause of their troubles. So they decided to send it back to Israel, along with gifts to Israel’s God to pay for their sin in capturing His ark.

To test whether their theory was correct, they planned to put the ark on a new cart to be drawn by two milking cows that had never pulled a cart and had only recently calved. The cows were to be left alone to see if Israel’s God directed them to take His ark back. When a cow gives birth, she does not want to leave her baby cow. So, if the cows went away, God sent them.

The town of Beth Shemesh was the Israelite town that was nearest to the Philistines.

God restored His honour by bringing His ark back without the Israelites’ doing anything at all. The Israelites accepted the Philistines’ gifts and offered sacrifices to God, but God killed those Israelites who looked into the ark. He wanted to impress upon the people that the ark was sacred. They were not to treat it as an object of curiosity or superstition.

🔷 God’s power cannot be mocked. His power is above every power

🔷 Those who disobey God will derail their own growth and development

💥 Ask God to pardon your disobedience
💥 Pray that the presence of God will be with you always

God’s honour belongs to Him alone. When we honour God, we will be honoured.

In series Bright Morning Reflections