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Week 2 May 2024, Devotion Part 2

The men did so, and took two milch cows and yoked them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home. And they put the ark of the LORD on the cart and the box with the golden mice and the images of their tumors. 1 Samuel 6:10-11

God’s hand now came down heavy on Israel’s enemies and bubonic plague began to spread. The population suffered from tumors, which the King James Bible identifies as emerods, or hemorrhoids. This is no laughing matter, as certain TV commercials will most solemnly assure us. Five nobles representing five key cities were not amused when they commissioned artisans to cast five golden mice and five golden emerods. These were intended as guilt offering to the powerful God of Israel. Since not all Philistines were sure of such a formidable deity’s existence, a test was devised. The guilt offering was loaded on a cart hitched to two “milch cows.” These animals were suckling their calves and had never pulled a cart before. Yoked to God’s purpose, they headed straight for Israel’s border, sadly voicing their maternal concerns all the way.

Modern medicine shrinks the stuff of Philistine discomfort and “shrinks” exorcise modern guilt. Talk shows blatantly air dirty linen, especially if it involves underwear. Compared to our coarsening culture, those ancient artisans who fashioned gold into tumors appear positively refined. But the enduring lesson is that we cannot hide what God wants brought out in the open. And – beware – He is not bound by family-hour sensibilities!  (Part 2 of 2)

Comment: When Dagon first fell face down before the ark, he was forced to bow to Yahweh.  When next his head and hands got cut off, it signaled to the pagans that the lifeforce inside the idol had been removed. This reminds me of the trembling demons that fell down before Jesus while calling Him “the Holy One of God” and begging not to be tormented.  He didn’t buy their feigned submission to “the Son of God,” but ordered them summarily to vacate their seat of power hidden inside tormented human flesh. Dagon was carved from stone, but the demonic force exerted its reign of terror over priests and population alike.  Since atonement was not possible, the constant practice of appeasement was necessary. To idolatrous Israel’s lasting shame, they even resorted to child sacrifice. British PM Chamberlain was sold on “making nice” to Hitler in 1938, but had to announce the onset of WW2 in September 1939.  During the London Blitz between May 1940 and September 1941, tens of thousands of civilians were killed.  By then gutsy Churchill was at the helm and the king and queen stayed in London to show solidarity, even after Buckingham Palace was bombed.  The KJV reads in Matthew 10:1, “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.”  The gospels and the Book of Acts testify to Christ’s authority and His followers taking Him by His word.  What if today’s church were to heed Paul’s counsel  in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, thus taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and using spiritual weapons to destroy  strongholds?  (Let the Winston in the pew replace the Neville, PM as in “Presbyterian Member”).  1 Samuel 6


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