Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2018.01.28



January 28 – February 3




Scripture Passage:  “And it was so, that after they had carried it about, the hand of the Lord was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.”  I Samuel 5:9 


Dear Friends,  


     The history of the nation of Israel has a period between the last two judges when the glory of God had departed because the Ark of God was taken.  Eli had allowed his sons to live vile lives and had not restrained them.  Samuel was a very young man and next in line to judge Israel, but God had promised judgment upon the nation because of their sins.  The Ark was first taken to Ashdod and placed in the temple of Dagon.  The next morning, Dagon was on his face before the Ark of the Lord.  They came in and set him up again in his place.  (What kind of God needs human hands?) The next morning they came in to find Dagon on the floor again with his head and hands cut off.  They decided to get rid of the Ark of God by sending it to the region of Gath.  Every place the Ark of God was sent was faced with the question, “What shall we do with the Ark of the God of Israel?” The Ark went from place to place and then finally returned back to the possession of the Israelites with gifts thrown in “to boot.”  How can something as wonderful as the presence of God turn in to such a pain in the behind?  (Pardon the pun)  It all has to do with respect and reverence or the lack thereof.  An emerod is defined as a tumor, boil, or hemorrhoid and this Scripture says they were found in their secret parts.  Come with me as we examine these Philistines and diagnose the reason for their discomfort.  


     First, they had removed God from His rightful place and housed Him in surroundings occupied by a false god.  He was taken from Shiloh, where He was honored, to Ashdod where He was exhibited like a trophy.   The Ark of the Covenant represented the presence of God and His holiness. Powerful and miraculous events occurred everywhere the Ark went.  Blessings to those who honored God and curses to those who dishonored Him.  We also have a tendency to put God on a shelf, or take Him down and parade Him like a trophy we have won because of some great feat we have accomplished.  God deserves a place of prominence in our lives and will not share his glory with anyone. Eventually the gods we put so much confidence in end up castigated and inept at producing any lasting benefits.  Gods who are no God end up exposed by their lack of ability to perform.   The one true and living God remains and cannot be controlled by human hands. 


     Secondly, familiarity breeds contempt.  The Philistine people did not know, or did not want to know, what to do with the Ark of God.  The decision was made to carry it around from place to place.  There were specific instructions to the Hebrew priest on the correct procedure for transporting the Ark, so the familiarity of the humanistic Philistines brought on the wrath of Omnipotent God. It did not take a sword or spear to defeat this mighty army just a bad case of hemorrhoids. This epidemic did not only affect the men of the army but attacked every man young and old, small and great throughout the land.  The Ark spent seven months in the land of the Philistines before being sent back to the land it came from.  When you treat the Sovereign of the Universe like an old hat, don’t be surprised when he corrects you in ways that are known only to you and him.   


     Finally, do not send the presence of God away empty.  (Chapter 6:3)  He is not interested in your gold or silver and is not impressed with your trinkets of worship. There were three things that had to be done for healing to take place.  They had to offer a trespass offering for sinning against holy God. (vs. 3)  They had to give glory to the God of Israel.  (Vs. 5)  They had to handle it with the respect and reverence due such an awesome God.  (Vs. 7-9)  Surely there is a lesson for us to learn and a precedence to be set by the example left us by a group of pagan Philistines.  The men of Beth-shemesh did not get the message and a great number were slain because they looked into the Ark of the Lord flippantly.  (6:19)   It is not only the unbelieving secular world that make these mistakes, but also the believing community who should know better.  Samuel gave the antidote in I Samuel 7:3 for Israel’s   problem and I feel it is good for us today.  1.  Return to the Lord with all your heart.  2.  Put away the strange gods from among you.  3. Prepare your hearts unto the Lord.  4.  Serve him only. If you choose not to, then be prepared for the consequences.  This may include a trip to the drug store for Preparation H. 


In Christ,


Pastor Johnny



Pastor Johnny



Pastor Johnny