The Ark had been…captured?
The ARK ‘OF THE LORD’ had been captured?!
No one could believe it.
The heart of everyone who heard it turned to stone.
Eli fell from his seat backwards – and broke his neck.
His daughter-in-law went into premature labour. Instantly.
It was like saying, “ ‘God’ had been taken prisoner.”
It had never been heard.
The Philistines couldn’t believe it!
They had captured Israel’s ‘god’. Taken Him prisoner.
The same God who had destroyed mighty armies in fearful ways was now their captive…
…Or so they thought…
Until their own god, Dagon, fell down into pieces before the Ark;
Until rats and mice mysteriously plagued their land;
Until their men were afflicted with painful boils and tumors in their groins…
Until death and destruction filled all their cities – from Ashdod…to Gath…to Ekron…
Until they had to, finally, send the ‘captured god’ back to Israel with offerings of gold.
The Ark was back! The Beth-Shemites were excited…
Until 50,070 men died because they looked into it.
Horrified, they called to the people of Kirjath-Jearim: “Come and take the Ark away!”
So, the men of Kirjath-Jearim came and carried the ark to the house of Abinadab – on top of the hill…
…and it remained there for over twenty years.
Then Saul died.
Then David reigned…
…and it was time to bring back the Ark.
Ahio and Uzzah led the dancing and singing procession.
After all, they were the sons of Abinadab.
The Ark had been in their home for over twenty years.
They were used to seeing their older brother, Eleazer, keep the Ark.
They had grown up around it and were familiar with it – so familiar that they even forgot, most times, that the silent Ark was in their home.
So now, they led. Heads held high. Beaming with pride. Ahio in front. Uzzah by the side.
Then the oxen stumbled, and the Ark shook – and Uzzah put out his hand to ‘help’.
And after twenty years of silence, the Ark ‘spoke.’
Uzzah died on the spot.
David was terrified – and angry – and upset – and terrified.
He certainly couldn’t risk bringing the ark into his own city – the City of David – so he ‘kept’ it in Obed-Edom’s house.
Just for the time being…
Obed-Edom’s household watched in horror as the Box was deposited in their home.
After the last of the procession left hurriedly, faces turned away from the family in pity and fear, they silently turned to their leader and father – noticing his grey, drawn face as he silently studied the also silent Ark.
When he fell on his face before the Box, they followed suit.
In three months,
The news was all over Israel.
Obed-edom’s fields and farms had become the lushest in the land.
His crops were yielding in plentiful batches – and were the biggest in the market.
His cattle and animals were the fattest, their milk the creamiest, their meat the juiciest.
His sudden wealth had became the talk of the town.
His children’s IQs were astounding their Jewish teachers.
His wife’s business was through the roof – and she had to hire fourteen more servants.
Every trace of sickness had mysteriously disappeared – and everyone was disgustingly whole, hale and hearty.
All the females – human and animals – were getting pregnant.
Even the servants and their children were strangely prospering – and suddenly, everyone wanted to work for Obed-Edom…
…In three months.
And somewhere not too far away, there was a house up on a hill, still the same as it had always been – even though the Ark had lodged there…
…for over twenty years.
The Fear Of God Is The Beginning Of Wisdom, And The Knowledge Of The Holy Is Understanding. (Proverbs 9:10)