Intense Judgment!

In Gath, the city was thrown “into a panic,” because all age groups in the city were tormented “with an outbreak of tumors.” In an effort to end the suffering in Gath, the ark was “sent” to Ekron. The language describing the Gath’s removing the ark from their city suggests the writer was consciously indicating the similarity to the Israelites exodus from Egypt (Exodus 12:33).

The ark was “sent” north “to Ekron,” where its arrival created even more distress than it had in Gath. “God’s hand was very heavy upon” (1 Samuel 5:11) that city as the Lord once again increased the intensity of his judgmental actions. In addition to the “panic” (“panic of death”) and “tumors,” the Lord also slew many individuals. The entire city joined in an anguished cry “to heaven” (1 Samuel 5:12) for deliverance.

After a period of seven months—a number possibly included because of its symbolic overtones—the Philistines made the decision to “send” the ark “back to its place” in Israel.

  • Did they return the ark: so “you will be healed?” (1 Samuel 6:3).
  • Did they return the ark: for the purpose of removing the Lord’s hand of judgment from the land.
  • Did they return the ark: because they thought they were sending away an offended and powerful deity?

Returning the ark was not a task to be undertaken lightly; if done improperly, God might become even more aggravated, with dire consequences for all the Philistines. So, “the priests and diviners” (1 Samuel 6:2) were called upon to determine the best way of removing the ark from their region. Curiously, “Diviners” were an assembly of religious cult leaders that Israelites were forbidden to consult (Deuteronomy 18:10, 14).

By | 2018-05-08T15:52:20+00:00 May 11th, 2018|Categories: All, Promises|

About the Author:

Pastor Phil, his wife Carol, and their three children, started in Bixby over 23 years ago when New Beginnings was meeting in a downtown Bixby store front. As a result of God's blessings, New Beginnings has become one of the fastest growing churches in Oklahoma. Pastor Phil graduated from Tulsa East Central High School (1978), and Tulsa University (1982). After serving for 11 years as a Student Pastor, at the age of twenty-nine Phil began to pastor his first church in Edgewater, Colorado. Phil received a Master’s Degree from Denver Theological Seminary (1994) and completed his doctorate in Missions and Evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2012. Phil and Carol are honored to serve God in a Kingdom minded church, with joy and longevity.

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