Dream word – PROD
1 Samuel 6:3-9
“So they said, ‘If you send away the ark of the God of Israel, do not send it empty; but by all means return it to Him with a trespass offering. Then you will be healed, and it will be known to you why His hand is not removed from you.’ Then they said, ‘What is the trespass offering which we shall return to Him?’ They answered, ‘Five golden tumours and five golden rats, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines. For the same plague was on all of you and on your lords. Therefore you shall make images of your tumours and images of your rats that ravage the land, and you shall give glory to the God of Israel; perhaps He will lighten His hand from you, from your gods, and from your land. Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart? Now therefore, make a new cart, take two milk cows, which have never been yoked, and hitch the cows to the cart; and take their calves home, away from them. Then take the ark of the Lord and set it on the cart; and put the articles of gold, which you are returning to Him as a trespass offering in a chest by its side. Then send it away, and let it go. And watch: if it goes up the road to its own territory, to Beth Shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we shall know that it is not His hand that struck us — it happened to us by chance.’” NKJV.
So God desired to kill the sons of Eli. Thus Hophni and Phineas were killed when the Ark of God, that box of the presence of the Lord amongst the His people was also lost to the Philistines in battle.
Like just another Trophy of just another locally conquered God, the Ark, was then placed by the Philistines in the presence of their own god, Dagon. After all, surely two gods = double the power. What follows however, is nothing short of disastrous for the Philistines in that they were plagued with testicular tumours and overrun with rats and all their associated infestations and infections. To top it all, their idol of Dagon was found on several occasions to be laid prostrate and broken before the Ark of the Lord. This didn’t do too much for the reputation of their own local god in that, “neither the priests of Dagon nor any who come into Dagon's house tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.”1 Samuel 5:5. Yes, the Dagon shrine at Ashdod was forever rubbished by the presence of the real and only God.
The five Lords of the Philistines seemed to be passing the problems associated with the presence of the Ark of God, from one of their ruling provinces to the next. That is, until a vocal group of NIMBY’s (Not in My Back Yarders) kicked up such a fuss, that the problem needed to be properly addressed at last. Thus through divination, the priests of the Philistines came up with the solution laid out in our text for tonight and so, they loaded up the cart and watched the outcome from afar.
God now did what Dagon could never do: He guided the cows, who unaccustomed to the yoke newly placed upon them, nevertheless, under God’s guidance, drew the load equally and securely, kept their attention on the right road, overcame their strong and natural desire to go to their calves, and brought them in a straight line, without missing one turn in the road, straight away to the priestly city of Beth Shemesh. Let me emphasize that these cows went contrary to their own inclinations in that they had not forgotten their offspring and were not therefore moved ahead in some disassociated Zombie Cow like state, no, they were still lowing for their young ones, calling them, even pining for them. It would appear then that these cows knew their true master, knew their great owner, and were following His commands, even to their death, above and despite their own natural cow like inclinations. The following and watching Philistines, in observing these continually lowing kine, saw the majesty and the power of God over nature. It was enough to cause them to acknowledge that the judgement of God, had indeed been upon them.
We all, in our home nations of this day, seem to neither know nor even consider that the judgement of God may be upon us. Unlike the pining cattle of our text, we are in fact “zombie like cows” trotting not so merrily but like a drug and voodoo’d zombie, we lumber in Frankenstein like steadiness, in stupor to the slaughterhouse, being covered in tumours of STD’s (did you know a 2003 federal study revealed that 25% of American teenage girls carry a sexually transmitted disease!) and piling up our young men like so much dead meat on various battlefields around the watching world. I cannot help but believe that this is but the beginning of our sorrows, for zombie like cows, lost in a self indulgent, cud chewing, mindless mooing stupor, rarely listen to the Gospel of Jesus Christ presented to them for God has hardened their heart and settled them in their Christ rejecting state.
The whole truth of the Bible, presents a disturbing picture of a Holy and a good God, coming into contact with a dirty and a bad mankind. Our only hope is to pray God’s mercy over our zombie cattled nations, which are moving headlong to the slaughterhouse. You see truly the answer to our problems is not better programs to pander to the masses, not hipper presentations to hype them into the Kingdom, not the coolest of music to con them into more consumerist tendencies, but rather to pray to God that He would unhardened their hearts and unblock their ears before they are slaughtered before His presence. It's not a merry message, but it is one that needs proclaiming.
Listen:“The ox knows its owner and the donkey its master's crib.” NKJV
Pray: What passing-bells are there for these who die as cattle? Lift O Lord, the zombie like stupor that has fallen like death cauls around all the newborn of these wayward generations. Lord, grant to your church the right kind of cattle prod to issue a most timely wake up call to one and all, in Jesus name we pray, amen.
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