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The ark of God

A few years ago, Kathy and I heard a wonderful sermon about the Lord's presence and blessing being with the Israelites when they had the ark of the Lord in their midst.

In that sermon, Kathy saw a parallel between the blessing the Israelites received through having the ark of God with them (because the presence of God was in it), and the blessings families receive when they spend time together in God's presence.

Here are the main points of that message:

There was a time when the Israelites' enemies, the Philistines, sensed that God's blessing rested upon Israel because of the ark, so they decided to capture it for themselves.

In 1 Samuel 4:1-11 we see that at the same time as the ark's capture by the Philistines, the two sons of the priest Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were killed (verse 11).

We read in 1 Samuel 2:12-36 how Hophni and Phinehas committed great evil. Verse 17 says this: "This sin of the young men was very great in the Lord's sight, for they were treating the Lord's offering with contempt." Added to this evil, they were sleeping with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting (verse 22).

It is no wonder that God allowed the ark to be captured!

The Philistines, expecting the ark to bring them ongoing victory and blessing, discovered the opposite (1 Samuel 5). One reason why it didn't bring blessing to them was because they carried the ark into Dagon's temple, and set it beside Dagon (Verse 2). In verse 6 it says this: "The Lord's hand was heavy upon the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he bought devastation upon them and inflicted them with tumours." Again in verse 12 it says this: "Those who did not die were afflicted with tumours, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven."

1 Samuel 6 relates the story of how the Philistines, having had enough trouble, returned the ark to Israel. Chapter 7:1 says that in Israel, the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took the ark of the Lord to Abinadab's house on the hill, where they consecrated Eleazar, his son, to guard the ark of the Lord.

Later on, the ark of God ended up in the house of Obed-Edom, the Hittite, for three months, and Scripture says the Lord blessed him and his entire household (2 Sam. 6.11).

When David heard about the Lord's blessing on Obed-Edom, he wanted the ark of God in Jerusalem.

Verse 12 says this: "Now King David was told, 'The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.' So David went down and brought the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David."

This time, they treated the ark with great respect.


Over the years, we have noticed how the blessing of God, just as in Obed-Edom's household, is over any family that spends time with God, with the children and their parents praying together and sharing together over the things of the Lord.

We have not seen one family, who has actively cultivated the presence of the Lord in their midst, who has not been blessed.

We feel that fathers, in particular, need to be like Abinadab's son, Eleazar, who guarded the ark of God. Fathers need to make it a priority to "guard the time their family spends with God."

If you haven't already done so, why not read some of the testimonies of families on this website who have experienced God's blessing.

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