1 Samuel 4-6
1 Samuel 4-6
The Philistines are making trouble again, and Israel goes to war with them. After several defeats they come up with the bright idea to bring the Ark of the Covenant out to the battlefield so that God with be in the fight. Maybe they were thinking back to all the battles during the 40 years wandering, but back then the tabernacle traveled with the people and was there in the area anyway. Now the tabernacle is permanently set up in Shiloh and God is omnipresent so the Ark can stay there and he can still aid them in battle, but the people had toyed with paganism so much over the past few hundred years that they possibly forgot that.
When the Ark arrived it was accompanied by Eli’s two ill fated sons, who had both done wicked things in the eyes of God. The arrival caused an uproar in the camp because they thought they were now invincible, and this caused the opposite effect of what they were hoping in the Philistines because they fought harder than before, in the ensuing rout the sons of Eli are killed and the Ark was captured.
The news gets back to Shiloh, and interestingly the news of the death of his sons didn’t seem to strike Eli as deeply as that of the Ark’s capture. When he heard the latter he fell of his stool and died.
The Philistines were in for a bad time with the Ark in their midst. First that placed it in one of the temples dedicated to their gods. And strange things kept happening so that they moved it out of the temple and began playing a game of hot potato between all their cities because where ever the Ark went, the people would develop lots of tumors (possibly boils) and this went on for seven months until they had enough and wanted to send the Ark away.
Their own priests and fortune tellers warned them not to send it back empty, so they made figured of the tumors and of mice that had been plaguing them and sent them back with the Ark to the Israelites.
(See The Story of Salvation; The Ark of The Covenant for more on the Ark)
The promise of the Holy Spirit is kept by God when the apostles are together in Jerusalem and there’s a rush of wind and tongues of fire rest on their heads. (See Pentecost in Sinai and Jerusalem for more on Pentecost)
When they all begin speaking they’re understood by the pilgrims in the city, despite them all knowing different languages. The people are amazed at this miraculous gift of tongues, but some accuse them of being drunk. It’s funny that when accused of this, Saint Peter doesn’t claim to not drink or says that followers of Jesus don’t drink wine, what he does say is that it’s only 9am lol. His defense is that it’s not late enough in the day to be drunk yet, and then he launches into one of the best sermons preached in church history.
He quotes several prophesies and mentions how king David, whom they all revere as the model king of Israel is dead and buried in Jerusalem to this day, and he then tell’s about how Jesus is the messiah and is not in his grave today. He also circles back several times to remind them they they, the people of Jerusalem, had a hand in putting this messiah to death. This was very effective and they were cut to the heart, so they ask Peter what they can do about this. Peter responds with “repent and be baptized” and they’ll be saved. He says that this promise is to them and their children, and those who are a far off.
That’s us. This promise of salvation is to us who are far off from that time and place, but through baptism we can receive it too.
1 Samuel 7-8