Does the Victor Even Want the Spoils?

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
1 Samuel 4-6; Luke 9:1-17

 

After the Philistines took God’s chest, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then the Philistines took God’s chest and brought it into Dagon’s temple and set it next to Dagon. But when the citizens of Ashdod got up early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen face down on the ground before the Lord’s chest! So they took Dagon and set him back up where he belonged. But when they got up early the next morning, there was Dagon again, fallen face down on the ground before the Lord’s chest—and this time Dagon’s head along with both his hands were cut off and lying on the doorstep! Only Dagon’s body was left intact. That’s why to this day Dagon’s priests or anyone else who enters his temple in Ashdod doesn’t step on the threshold.

The Lord’s hand was heavy on the people of Ashdod: God terrified them and struck them in Ashdod and its surroundings with tumors. When Ashdod’s inhabitants saw what was happening, they said, “The chest of Israel’s God must not stay here with us because his hand is hard against us and against our god Dagon.”

So they summoned all the Philistine rulers to a meeting and asked, “What should we do with the chest of Israel’s God?” The people of Gath said, “Let the chest of Israel’s God be moved to us.” So they moved the chest of Israel’s God to Gath. But once they moved it, the Lord’s hand came against the city, causing a huge panic. God struck the city’s inhabitants, both young and old, and tumors broke out on them.

10 Then they sent God’s chest to Ekron, but as soon as God’s chest entered Ekron, the inhabitants cried out, “Why have you moved the chest of Israel’s God to us? In order to kill us and our people?”

11 So they summoned all the Philistine rulers to a meeting and said, “Send the chest of Israel’s God away! Let it go back to its own home so it doesn’t kill us and our people,” because there was a deadly panic throughout the whole city. The hand of God was very heavy there. 12 The people who didn’t die were struck with tumors, and the screams of the city went all the way up to heaven. (1 Samuel 5:1-12, Common English Bible).

If you want to see some beautiful work, sometime go into Google and type in “Arc of God” and then select images. You will see several people’s ideas and then handiwork based on what they believe the Ark of the Covenant actually looked like.

It all started with a battle. It was a battle the Israelites lost and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas were both killed in the battle. Before the end of chapter four, Eli was dead as well, just as God had spoken to Samuel in chapter 3.

The result of the battle was the old saying, “To the victor goes the spoils.” If the pictures of the replica Arks of the Covenant are anything like the real thing, who could blame the Philistines for wanting to take it. It is beautiful. It is gold. It would be worth a fortune. And now, because they won the battle, it belonged to the Philistines.

What the Philistines quickly learned was, taking the Ark was one thing, safely keeping it was quite another. Bad things started befalling the citizens of the two towns who had possession of the Ark. The end result, everyone is calling for its return. And, when you keep reading, you will see the return.

To the victor go the spoils is an ancient tradition of war. And such, at least in certain parts of the world still holds true. This story, however, is a caution. When we take things that don’t belong to us or to our people, very little good can happen. Our greed can take away from the item’s beauty. When we take that which God intended for others, a high price could become ours to pay.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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