1 Samuel 5
After the death and destruction of many worshipers of dagon by Samson in the book of Judges, the Philistines rebuilt the temple of their fertility fish god dagon; who was just another manifestation of baal.
The pagan pantheon was mainly established at Babel and the various families of man took these gods with them under new names in their new languages. Outside of the true God, all the gods are but different names for the same Adversary and his demons.
The ark was placed beside baal, in the temple of baal; and God revealed by miracles that he would not share his preeminent God-hood with any false god: Even as today the Eternal will not tolerate the idolatry of men and organizations in the spiritual Israel of the latter day church of God.
The Eternal is God and beside him there is NO OTHER!
Just as baal fell down before the throne of the Eternal; the organizational idols of men and false traditions will be cast down before the Eternal God.
1 Samuel 5:1 And the Philistines took the ark of God, and brought it from Ebenezer unto Ashdod. 5:2 When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. 5:3 And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.
This was repeated the second day; only this time dagon the fish god broke in pieces before the throne of the Eternal; just as today’s church of God organizations who exalt men and organizations above the Word of Almighty God, are being broken into many pieces and corrected by the Eternal.
5:4 And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. 5:5 Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon’s house, tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod unto this day.
When severe this kind of affliction prevents normal activity and can be so severe as to prevent the hard physical work of cultivating the fields or any other physical work, causing hunger and severe distress to the nation.
5:6 But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods [Hemorrhoids; piles; tumors; boils], even Ashdod and the coasts thereof.
The Philistines then acknowledged the superiority of the Eternal, but sought to hide from him rather than to repent and turn to him.
5:7 And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.
They took the Ark to Gath, and Gath was nearly destroyed.
5:8 They sent therefore and gathered all the lords of the Philistines unto them, and said, What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? And they answered, Let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about unto Gath. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel aboutthither. 5:9 And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.
They took the Ark to Ekron, and Ekron was nearly destroyed.
5:10 Therefore they sent the ark of God to Ekron. And it came to pass, as the ark of God came to Ekron, that the Ekronites cried out, saying, They have brought about the ark of the God of Israel to us, to slay us and our people.
And so the cities of the Philistines were taught that the God of Israel was the supreme God; and they counseled to send the Ark back to Israel..
5:11 So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there.
Then the Philistines cried out in great agony because of the throne of God among them, which cast down any who would not repent and turn from their idols to bow before the Great and Mighty God; to exalt him alone, and to learn and keep his Word without compromise or turning aside to the right or to the left.
5:12 And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
1 Samuel 6
At the end of seven months of severe affliction the Philistines called all their wise men and the priests of their gods together to decide what to do; and instead of repenting from dagon to serve the Eternal; they rejected the Eternal and sent his throne out from among them.
1 Samuel 6:1 And the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months. 6:2 And the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, saying, What shall we do to the ark of the LORD? tell us wherewith we shall send it to his place.
The Philistines determined to offer an offering without repentance and without turning to the Eternal; they decided to continue to worship their idols and then to send the throne [which represents the authority of a ruler] of God back to Israel.
6:3 And they said, If ye send away the ark of the God of Israel, send it not empty; but in any wise return him a trespass offering: then ye shall be healed, and it shall be known to you why his hand is not removed from you.
From this it appears that a plague of small rodents also fell on the Philistines which would have consumed their granaries. So they were unable to work their fields and their foodstocks seem to have been consumed by rodents.
6:4 Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice [small vermin; mice rats], according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords.
There was no thought of repentance at the correction and power of God; instead they thrust God out of their land.
The case is the same with most today who reject any zeal for the whole Word of God and cling to their own ways; yet they cry out to the Eternal in prayers and fasting’s for deliverance from all their troubles.
6:5 Wherefore ye shall make images of your emerods, and images of your mice that mar the land; and ye shall give glory unto the God of Israel: peradventure he will lighten his hand from off you, and from off your gods, and from off your land.
They KNEW their history and they KNEW who the Eternal was; yet they would not repent to follow HIM!
6:6 Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?
This action of the Philistines later had a profound effect on David the king; for he followed their example [in ignorance, not having studied the scriptures on this point] in trying to transport the Ark contrary to the Word of God.
6:7 Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them: 6:8 And take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go.
In this case the Philistines were using this as a test, a kind of casting of lots; to see if the Eternal had discomfited them, or if their trials were simply natural events.
6:9 And see, if it goeth up by the way of his own coast to Bethshemesh, then he hath done us this great evil [has afflicted us]: but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that smote us: it was a chance that happened to us.
6:10 And the men did so; and took two milch kine, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home: 6:11 And they laid the ark of the LORD upon the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the images of their emerods.
The test of the Philistines made it clear to them that the Eternal God of Jacob had discomfited them to reveal that he was God indeed and beside him there is NO OTHER.
As the Ark [a type of God’s throne] turned neither to the right nor to the left; we are to follow HIM and we are to live by every Word of God without any hint of turning aside.
6:12 And the kine took the straight way to the way of Bethshemesh, and went along the highway, lowing as they went, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left; and the lords of the Philistines went after them unto the border of Bethshemesh.
Israel rejoiced at the recovery of the Ark representing the Eternal and his authority over his Mosaic Covenant people.
Likewise today’s brethren should rejoice that the authority of the Eternal and the righteousness of HIS Word are being proclaimed and restored in spiritual Israel today!
6:13 And they of Bethshemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley: and they lifted up their eyes, and saw the ark, and rejoiced to see it.
When the Ark stood still among them, the men called for Levites to teach them what to do.
We should also seek out to learn and to keep the whole Word of God today; we need to repent of doing what we think is right and we need to turn to live by every Word of God to do what the Eternal teaches and commands is right! It is long past time that we turned to the Eternal in wholehearted repentance and service [the meaning of the burnt offering].
6:14 And the cart came into the field of Joshua, a Bethshemite, and stood there, where there was a great stone: and they clave the wood of the cart, and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the LORD.
6:15 And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD, and the coffer that was with it, wherein the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone: and the men of Bethshemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices the same day unto the LORD.
The Philistines then returned home.
6:16 And when the five lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day. 6:17 And these are the golden emerods which the Philistines returned for a trespass offering unto the LORD; for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Askelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one; 6:18 And the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five lords, both of fenced cities, and of country villages, even unto the great stone of Abel, whereon they set down the ark of the LORD: which stone remaineth unto this day [the day that this was written] in the field of Joshua, the Bethshemite.
In their joy at receiving the Ark the people broke the commandment of God; and Jesus Christ destroyed then without mercy taking 50,070 lives.
This is a mighty lesson that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of the repentant who follow God’s Word in all things; NO, we are not to worship our God our own way: We are to worship the Eternal as he has commanded us to worship him.
Those of today’s spiritual Israel are also to worship God only as God has commanded us in the whole Word of God. We are not to take pagan things and re-label them “Christian” and claim that we do these evils in honor of the Eternal God.
We are to worship the Eternal Father and Jesus Christ the son, by doing what they require and by learning and living by every Word of God; We are NOT to worship our God by doing what we think is right and rejecting a wholehearted zeal to do what God has said is right.
NO, ABSOLUTELY NOT; God the Father and Jesus Christ will not tolerate sin against the Word of God!
6:19 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.
God is consistent in requiring that he be obeyed as he has commanded and God will not be worshiped as men decide for themselves. Today’s spiritual Israel should learn this lesson: we are to follow the Eternal and keep his Word with a sincere and whole heart; doing what God says, and NOT doing what we think is right.
6:20 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? 6:21 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.