Today’s reading is: 1 Sam. 4:12-7:17
1st Samuel Chapter Four
(Outline continues from yesterday)
- The report of the battle confirms to Eli the prophecy of the Lord regarding Eli’s house (1st Sam. 4:12-18; cp. 2:34).
- Eli’s Judgeship, like Samson’s, ends in failure, with his death (1st Sam. 4:18; Jdg. 16:30,31).
- The birth of Ichabod signifies the departure of the glory of the Lord, which will not return until Solomon dedicates the temple (1st Sam. 4:19-22; 1st Kgs. 8:10,11).
1st Samuel Chapter Five
- The Lord will discipline His nation through the departure of His glory, but He will not allow for His name to be defiled (1st Sam. 5:1-12).
- Placing the Ark of the Covenant in a pagan temple along-side pagan idols is an evil insult to the glory of the Lord (1st Sam. 5:2).
- Placing the Lord Jesus Christ along-side pagan religious leaders, such as Mohammed, Buddha, Confucius, etc., is just as evil.
- The idol of Dagon was forced to fall on its face, even as every knee will bend, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (1st Sam. 5:3; Isa. 45:23).
- On the second morning, the damage to Dagon was even worse (1st Sam. 5:4).
- God struck the Philistines with plagues as a consequence to their possession of His mercy seat (1st Sam. 5:6-12).
1st Samuel Chapter Six
- The Philistines consulted their pagan priests and occult diviners for help in ending the plagues on their land (1st Sam. 6:1,2).
- Their advice was to return the Ark with a guilt-offering ransom as penance for their offense (1st Sam. 6:3ff.).
Votive or thank offerings were commonly made by the heathen in prayer for, or gratitude after, deliverance from lingering or dangerous disorders, in the form of metallic (generally silver) models or images of the diseased parts of the body. This is common still in Roman Catholic countries, as well as in the temples of the Hindus and other modern heathen. [JFB]
- Just in case they’re wrong, the pagan priests and occult diviners recommend a course of action which might save them all the gold they didn’t really want to lose (1st Sam. 6:7-9).
- By God’s Sovereign direction, the cows transported the Ark directly back to Israelite territory (1st Sam. 6:10-12).
- The inhabitants of Beth-shemesh rejoiced and worshiped God because of the Ark’s return (1st Sam. 6:13-16).
- Some of the Beth-shemesh inhabitants, however, looked inside the Ark, and a great Divine judgment was inflicted upon them (1st Sam. 6:19,20).
- Just like the Philistines, the Jews of Beth-shemesh decided the answer was to get the Ark out of their town (1st Sam. 6:21).
1st Samuel Chapter Seven
- Abinidab became the host for the Ark in Kiriath-jearim, and his son Eleazar became the caretaker for it (1st Sam. 7:1,2).
- Samuel preached a message of repentance, as a condition for the Lord’s deliverance of Israel from the hand of the Philistines (1st Sam. 7:3,4).
- Israel responds to Samuel’s message, and partakes in a national confession at Mizpah (1st Sam. 7:5,6).
- As the Philistines approached, Israel placed their confidence in the prayers of Samuel on their behalf (1st Sam. 7:7,8).
- The Lord fought on behalf of Israel, and delivered them through the agency of Samuel (1st Sam. 7:9-11).
- Following the battle, Samuel established a memorial at Ebenezer (stone of help), and reclaimed the Israelite cities the Philistines had conquered (1st Sam. 7:12-14).
- A summary of Samuel’s ministry is then given to close the chapter (1st Sam. 7:15-17).