First Samuel 5 Commentary
The battle between Israel and the Philistines is ended. The Philistines emerge victoriously. Israel is left licking her wounds while burying her dead. The Philistines take with them what they think is Israel’s defeated god – the revered Ark of the Covenant.
Events in this chapter are important for those engaged in spiritual warfare. Behind any physical battle is a spiritual battle. The Philistines have just won a physical battle but they are not aware of the spiritual battle still raging on. The LORD begins by dismembering their idol, Dagon. Secondly, people begin to suffer all sorts of ills. The LORD fights His own battles.
The Philistines surrender by shifting the problem away from one city to the other. We have more casualties until the Philistines realized Israel’s god wasn’t joking. The Philistines eventually lose the battle, together with their idol Dagon.
The worship of the Creator God is always serious business. Even mere objects of worship are important. It is a fact that the Philistines learn the hard way. The Apostle Paul counseled the Corinthians on the importance of treating the Lord’s Supper with reverence. Negligence by some brethren led to catastrophic consequences. The Philistines can tell this story better.
We are particularly reminded to think of the God-things or act the God-things in the most respectful manner as carelessness is always fatally punished.
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