+ DAILY PRAYER +
The Return of the Ark of Covenant Now the ark of Yahweh had been in the territory of the Philistines for seven months, 2 and the Philistines called to the priests and to those who practiced divination, saying, “What should we do with the ark of Yahweh? Inform us how we should send it to its place.”…
This Daily Devotion covers the first five books of the Bible, Genesis through Deuteronomy also called the Books of Moses or the Pentateuch, in a period of one year in a Monday through Friday format, the Psalms and order of devotion follow those presented in The Treasury of Daily Prayer from Concordia Publishing House.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan,
and he hears my voice.
Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you;
He will never permit the righteous to be moved.
1 God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear
though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her;
she shall not be moved; God
will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
8 Come, behold the works of the LORD,
how he has brought desolations on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
he burns the chariots with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
11 The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah
Reading for Tuesday October 31st 1 Samuel 5-6
The Ark of the Covenant among the Philistines
5 Now the Philistines had captured the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it to the temple of Dagon and placed it beside Dagon. 3 When the Ashdodites got up early the next morning, ?there was? Dagon fallen with his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh! So they took Dagon and returned him to his place. 4 When they got up early in the morning the next day, ?there was? Dagon fallen again with his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh! The head of Dagon and the palms of his two hands were cut off, lying at the threshold; only the body of Dagon was left. 5 (Therefore the priests of Dagon and all who come into the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod until this very day.)
6 Now the hand of Yahweh was heavy against the Ashdodites and he destroyed them and struck them with tumors, both in Ashdod and its territories. 7 The men of Ashdod saw that it was so, and they said, “The ark of the God of Israel should not remain with us, because his hand is harsh on us and on Dagon our god!” 8 So they sent and gathered all the rulers of the Philistines to them, and they asked, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” And they said, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be brought around toward Gath.” So they moved the ark of the God of Israel to Gath.
9 After they moved it, the hand of Yahweh was against the city, causing a very great confusion, and he struck the men of the city ?from the youngest to the oldest?, causing tumors to break out on them. 10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. But when the ark of God came to Ekron, the Ekronites cried out, saying, “They have brought around the ark of the God of Israel to kill us and our people!” 11 So they sent and gathered all the rulers of the Philistines, and they said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel and let it return to its place, so that it will not kill us and our people.” For a ?deadly confusion? was throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. 12 The men who did not die were struck with the tumors, so that the cry of the city for help went up to heaven.
The Return of the Ark of Covenant
6 Now the ark of Yahweh had been in the territory of the Philistines for seven months, 2 and the Philistines called to the priests and to those who practiced divination, saying, “What should we do with the ark of Yahweh? Inform us how we should send it to its place.” 3 They said, “If you are sending the ark of the God of Israel away, you must not send it away empty, but by all means return it with a guilt offering. Then you will be healed and it will become known to you why his hand is not turned aside from you.” 4 And they said, “What is the guilt offering that we should return to him?” They said, “The number of the rulers of the Philistines is five. Therefore send five gold tumors and five gold mice, because one plague was on all of you and all your rulers. 5 You must make images of your tumors and images of your mice that are ravaging the land, and you must give glory to the God of Israel. Perhaps he will lighten his hand on you and on your gods and on your land. 6 Why should you harden your hearts like the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their heart? Is it not just like when he dealt with them wantonly so that they sent them away and they left? 7 So then, ?prepare? one new utility cart and two milking cows that have never had a yoke on them, and you must harness the cows to the utility cart and then turn their calves from following them to their stall. 8 And you must take the ark of Yahweh and place it on the utility cart with the gold objects that you are returning to him as a guilt offering. You must place them in the container beside the ark and then send it off so that it goes away. 9 You must watch; if it goes up by the way of its territory to Beth Shemesh, he has caused this great disaster to come on us. But if not, then we will know his hand has not struck us; it was by chance that this happened to us. 10 So the men did so; they took two milking cows and harnessed them to the utility cart, but they shut up their calves in the stall. 11 Then they put the ark of Yahweh on the utility cart with the container holding the gold mice and the images of their tumors. 12 The cows went straight on the way on the road to Beth Shemesh, on the one main road, ?lowing as they went?. They did not turn aside to the right or to the left, and the rulers of the Philistines were walking after them up to the border of Beth Shemesh.
13 Now the people of Beth Shemesh were reaping the wheat harvest in the valley. They lifted their eyes and saw the ark, and they were glad to see it. 14 The utility cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh and stopped there where there was a large stone. They split the wood of the utility cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt offering to Yahweh. 15 Then the Levites took down the ark of Yahweh and the container that was beside it, in which were the gold objects, and they set them on the large stone. Then the men of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings, and they ?made? sacrifices to Yahweh on that day. 16 The five rulers of the Philistines saw it and returned to Ekron that same day.
17 Now these are the gold tumors which the Philistines returned as a guilt offering to Yahweh: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron. 18 And the gold mice according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines, for their five rulers, from the fortified city to the unwalled village of the open country as far as the great stone, ?where they set? the ark of Yahweh until this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh. 19 He struck seventy men among the men of Beth Shemesh because they looked into the ark of Yahweh. So the people mourned because Yahweh had struck a great blow among the people. 20 Then the men of Beth Shemesh asked, “Who is able to stand before Yahweh, this holy God? And to whom shall it go up from us?” 21 So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath Jearim saying, “The Philistines have returned the ark of Yahweh. Come down and take it up to yourselves.”
Almighty and gracious Lord, pour out Your Holy Spirit on Your faithful people. Keep us steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and deliver us in times of temptation, defend us against all enemies, and grant to Your Church Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Soin, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Heavenly Father, send Your Holy Spirit into our hearts to direct and rule us according to Your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.