It would take a miracle.
Do you remember the story? The ark (the box that symbolized God's holy presence and which was to honored in the tabernacle) had become a trophy of war. The Israelites had been ignoring God's commands, but took the ark to war in hope that God would miraculously help them win.
This duplicity gave the Philistines an open door to victory. Gloating over their conquest, they placed the ark along with their god, Dagon, in his temple.
In the morning they found Dagon on his face before the ark. The following morning, Dagon was again face down, but with head and arms broken off.
Painful tumors, diseased rats and awful deaths then plagued the city. Each time they moved the ark to another Philistine city, tumors and multiple deaths followed. Eventually they made the connection between the holy ark and unholy consequences. Results of disobedience and dishonor were scattered across the landscape. The God of the ark was not to be trifled with.
Leaders came up with the idea of hitching two milking cows to a new cart carrying the ark and their guilt offering to discern if the tumors and deaths were truly because of the ark. With no driver to guide, the cart was pointed toward the border and they watched where it would go. For twelve hours, God's unseen hand, led them away from their calves. Painfully stretched udders and an unknown destination did not stop them till they arrived in Beth Shemesh, an Israelite town.
Mission accomplished. A miracle.
For Your Consideration
Read 1 Samuel 4-6, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal insights for your life.
Have you ever made a decision based on magical thinking instead of God's revelation?
Might you be under high stress? To what course of action might God's Spirit guide you?
If you're in the midst of difficulty while obeying God, what comfort can you gain from this account?
Now, meditate on Jesus' words.
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26.