The Power of the Ark is with us
1 Samuel 6:19-21
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.
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?
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.
Imagine an army that has F-2000 assault rifles, D-SR 50 sniper rifles, XM307 AC SW machine guns, 50 M2 HR guns and Uzi submachine guns (these are the topmost guns) yet this army fights battles with toothpicks and penknives, this is the picture of the spiritual warfare of us Christians.
Today's message talks of the power of the Ark of Covenant when the Philistines took capture of it. From chapter 5 we read the Ark causes their chief god Dagon to be beheaded and amputated (hands cut off). The people who saw it this did not dare to enter the temple will the time of the writer recording this event. The people of the city also experienced the wrath of God for taking the Ark. They all suffered from severe fissures (piles), both the people of the city and those in its suburbs. The fissures were so bad that many died due to it. Then they took the Ark unto the city Gath and the Hand of the Lord was heavy on this city also and many people here too suffered from fissures and died. So was the story when they took the Ark to another city Ekron.
Chapter 6 states this bought fear into the hearts of the Philistines that the only thought in their heads was how to return this Ark to its rightful people. They even thought of a guilt offering and came up with the idea of 5 golden fissures, 5 mice, a cart towed by 2 cows which have never been yoked. They put the Ark on the cart with the golden objects put in a box besides the Ark and set the cart free. The Lord caused the cows to take the cart directly (not turning left or right even once) to the Israelites. The Levites put the Ark on a large stone and offer the cows as a sacrifice.
In short because of the Ark the Lord caused all those Philistines who touched / looked inside the Ark to be killed and also many, many Philistines in total 50,070 to be killed, almost all due to fissures.
It is awesome when one understands all the symbolizations behind this event.
The Philistines put the Ark before their god Dagon to symbolize that they had bought the God of Israel as a subject before their god. The Lord causes their god to bow before Him and chopped off its head (symbolizing authority) and its hands (symbolizing work / doings). The Lord caused the Philistines to die due to fissures. The Lord did not choose this just to have fun or enjoy their pain of slow death but this too had symbolization. The Lord shut their crap (nonsense) inside them and caused them to die due to the poisoning of their own crap.
It is also interesting to note the guilt offering of the Philistines. They made 5 golden fissures symbolizing remembrance of the wrath of God on them. They also put 5 golden mice along with it. We need to note mice along with other animals are considered unclean and there are spiritual reasons for it (it is not for any natural reasons therefore eating unclean animals in natural is not forbidden but eating their spiritual symbolization is forbidden).
The mouse (the Hebrew word used here means field mouse or jumping mouse) is considered a curse to the land since it eats away the yield of the land.
Heathen who do not know God usually worship the curse and the curse deliverer but not the one who caused the curse to come on them. Even a religion like Islam is not spared from this. The word (Arabic script) Allah if translated in Hebrew is the word 'cursed' and the word Akbar in Hebrew means 'mouse'. Other religions also worship animals like the mouse (rats), snakes etc.
Coming to the main object of the whole story - the Ark. The Ark itself is a symbol and that is why it was taken away when its real meaning was manifested in Christ. The Ark symbolized the CROSS.
When Jesus said 'take up your Cross and follow me', He did not mean the crucifix for Jesus Himself did not carry His own crucifix all the way. He also did not mean suffering for Gods did not sacrifice His only Son for us to continue to suffer. Also persecuting is not suffering but the moulding or hurdles that we go through / overcome to be like Christ and do the mission of Christ. When the Lord told Paul that he would go to witness the Lord in Rome before the Romans ruler, the Lord cause many people to go against Paul. If they had not Paul would not have fulfilled the mission and the world would have been what it is today - Christianity would not have spread all over.
If we see the layout of the Tabernacle the Candle stand which symbolized the Holy Spirit and the Shewbread which symbolized the Son were both in the Holy place. But in the Holy of Holies was the only the Ark of Covenant. People think it symbolized God the Father or His Throne, they are mistaken. It symbolized the Cause of the Lord - CROSS. The Son and Spirit put the Cause before them and not themselves before the Cause. The Word of God is for the salvation of mankind and Bible says the Lord lifted His Word up.
If one needs to understand the Cross of Christ and experience its power, one needs to study and understand the Ark, its contents and its design.
God has given us the most powerful things in creation His Cause and His Spirit (Who helps us carry the Cause). Let us know the power we as Christians possess, let us not be like the army which has the most lethal weapons yet fights with toothpicks and penknives.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, the world has been giving all kind of teachings (crap) like diarrhea. The reason they do this is all because we Christians do not know the power of the CROSS. Lord we pray that they enemy get constipated like it happened during the times of Samuel. That their teachings become a bone in their lives and does not them live. That their gods be exposed and their works cut off...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
1 Samuel 5 & 6
Matthew 27:32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
1 Corinthians 1:18 - For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Matthew 16:24 - Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Matthew 10:38 - And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
Ephesians 2:16 - And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
9 And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the LORD your God.
10 And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites.
11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan.
12 Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.
13 And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.
14 And it came to pass, when the people removed from their tents, to pass over Jordan, and the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people;
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