Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Samuel Becomes the Judge of Israel

Samuel 4

Israel went out to a Philistine fight, was soundly defeated by them.
When the day was finally over, they lost four thousand men.
That evening in camp the elders said, “We need to bring the ark.
Perhaps it will give the soldiers a lift; bring comfort to their heart.”

When the ark arrived in the camp, it erupted with a great roar.
The Philistines began to wonder if they could win the war.
But the Philistines rallied and fought with great fear Israel to defeat.
Thirty thousand died that day and Israel’s despair was complete.

Among the casualties of the war was the loss of their precious ark.
Hophni and Phineas died that day, their lives having missed the mark.
A messenger brought a report to Eli whose heart was filled with dread.
Poor Eli fell down and broke his neck. He too was pronounced dead.

The ark was taken to Dagan’s temple and placed before his face.
Sometime that night before the morn, Dagan fell down from his place.
There he lay prostrate before the ark appearing as though it was planned.
The second time the idol fell down, it removed his head and his hands.

The hand of the Lord lay heavy on them. Many were struck with disease.
This deadly destruction terrified their hearts, brought them to their knees.
The Philistines placed the ark on a cart pulled by unbroken stock.
Amazingly they pulled the ark home in a mutually cooperative walk.

They finally stopped near Abinadab’s house located high on a hill.
There it stayed for twenty years til Israel would follow God’s will.
Finally the people confessed their sin with fasting and prayer in accord.
When the Philistines rose to afflict, they were routed before the Lord.

From that day on throughout his life, Samuel judged this nation.
They regained their cities and towns with all of their population.
Samuel travelled across the land to serve as Jehovah’s judge.
Israel learned that life is better serving the One above.

We too are like the Israelites with our many conflicting thoughts.
Too often we live for money or pride instead of how we ought.
The Scripture is given for every believer. O how its wisdom we need!
Help us O Lord to apply its direction and treasure its truth to heed.

© Copyright 2010 George M. Cuff, All Rights Reserved

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