1 Samuel 5:1-7:17, John 6:1-21, Psalms 106:13-31, Proverbs 14:32-33
Today is the 9th day of May welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it is great to be here with you today. It is wonderful to have a place to gather here around the Global Campfire and it is beautiful, the reason that we have gathered today, which is to take the next step forward in our lives together and to take the next step forward in the Scriptures as we continue to navigate through our journey this year. And, so, obviously we will be picking up where we left off, which is what we do every day. That will lead us back into the book of first Samuel. Today first Samuel 5, 6, and 7.
Okay. So, we are well moved into the book of first Samuel at this point. In the story that…that we’ve been reading about the loss of the Ark of the covenant and return of the Ark of the covenant, this actually seals the deal for Samuel. He becomes the singular leader, the last and final judge of Israel. And, so, let’s first of all remember, we’re still in the time of the judges. Yes, we’ve read the book of Judges. Yes, we read the book of Ruth, which is also from the times of the judges. Now we’re in first Samuel and we’ve come to the last judge of Israel. We got to know him and how he…how he came to grow up in…in the tabernacle, how we was raised up under Eli the high priest. But then there was a war between Israel and the Philistines, and they took the Ark of the covenant into battle and the Ark of the covenant was lost in battle and Hophni and Phineas, Eli’s sons were killed and then Eli the high priest fell over and died kind of leaving Samuel standing there going, what am I supposed to do now. Meanwhile the Philistines are rejoicing about conquering Israel’s God and having the Ark of Israel’s God. And, so, they of course take it to the temple of Dagon and set it before him. And Dagon falls over a couple of times and gets smashed and then plague breaks out among the Philistines who determine that it’s because of the Ark. It’s the God of Israel, the God of Israel is fighting against them. And, so, they moved it around to the different strongholds, the different Philistine strongholds, but plague keeps breaking out everywhere until all of the leaders get together and go, what are we gonna do. And they determine that they need to send a guilt offering and send the Ark back to Israel. And, so, they put the Ark on an oxcart with…with some oxen and determine basically if…if these…if these cows go back to Israel, they just go back then we know this was the God of Israel who did this to us. And that’s what happens. The cows go back to Israel. They go back to a place called Beth Shemesh, a place that exists until this day, both in modern and archaeological perspectives. There’s some amazing archaeology happening in Beth Shemesh. This is down in the low lands called the shephelah, the low lands of fertile low lands. And you can stand there until this very day and can look out over those fields and just imagine the oxcart with the oxen pulling the Ark of the covenant back to Beth Shemesh. But it doesn’t go so well there either. People decide to get a look inside the Ark, and a lot of people died and so it gets moved again. And we can look at it and go, this is kind of an erratic thing, an erratic story and that’s when we remember we’re in the times of the judges, where there is no king in Israel, and everyone is doing what is right in their own eyes. So, the Ark gets moved to Kiriath Jearim and then 20 years goes by. And that's…that’s the thing. We can…I mean that…that time goes by in like a sentence. In fact, I quote, “it was quite a long time, some 20 years in all that the Ark stayed at Kiriath Jearim. All the people of Israel longed for the Lord. Samuel said to all the people of Israel…” This is where he steps into this and leads the people back to God. “…if you are really turning to the Lord with all your hearts, remove from among you the foreign gods and the images of Ashtoreth. Give your hearts to the Lord and serve only Him, then He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.” And that is what happens. The people return to God under a prophetic voice who is now leading them forward. And we will watch as he continues to lead the children of Israel forward as we continue to move forward in the coming days.
Father, we thank You for Your word. We thank You for all of the stories of our spiritual ancestors, all of these people who played a role in Your story. And this was preserved and it is here for us to teach, instruct, guide, correct, to rebuke, comfort. It does all of these things, and we ask Your Holy Spirit to plant we’ve read today and each day in the soil of our hearts, that it may bring about a harvest of the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, that we may display the fruit of the Spirit to the world revealing who You are. Come Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus, we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer and Praise: