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Simple Thoughts – 1 Samuel 6

Occasionally I will be dwelling on a verse or passage, ruminating on the message, (or to be honest, wandering off into some undisciplined daydreaming), and the Lord will bless me with a truth that is so obvious, so fresh and such a blessing that I just want to share it with you.

Such is the following passage

1 Samuel 6:10-15 ESV – ……………. took two milk cows and yoked them to the cart and shut up their calves at home. And they put the ark of the LORD on the cart and the box with the golden mice and the images of their tumors. And the cows went straight in the direction of Beth-shemesh along one highway, lowing as they went. They turned neither to the right nor to the left, and the lords of the Philistines went after them as far as the border of Beth-shemesh. Now the people of Beth-shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. And when they lifted up their eyes and saw the ark, they rejoiced to see it. The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh and stopped there. A great stone was there. And they split up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD. And the Levites took down the ark of the LORD and the box that was beside it, in which were the golden figures, and set them upon the great stone. And the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and sacrificed sacrifices on that day to the LORD.

I was simply on my way to work, listening the 1 Samuel, when this passage started yelling at me. Yelling about the crucifixion and the the cattle of the story pictures as the Lord Jesus in the story. Let me try to explain.

Consider the reason for the story. Israel had sinned and been soundly defeated. The glory of Israel had been stolen and resided in a pagan nation. The Philistines ruled over the Israelites. Bad times!!!!

Eventually, the God of Heaven struck the cities of the Philistines with boils/tumors and His presence was repulsive to the Overlords (Titus 1:15 …to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure). They had to rid themselves of the ark of the covenant.

In comes the two milk cows that would carry the glory back to Israel. Did not the Messiah bring the glory of God into the nation of Israel, offering grace and truth?

In the ark was the glory, but it was brought on a cart that carried images of tumors and golden mice, symbols of the disease and death that came with the Ark when it entered Philistia. Did not the Messiah provide a solution to sin without reducing the glory of God? Did He not actually magnifiy the glory of God in the Crucifixion?

The cattle were never yoked before, speaking of the innocence (righteousness) of the Savior.

The cattle had a natural desire to return to their calves, yet this natural reaction was overridden by higher requirements. Did not the Lord of Glory leave all that He loved in order to complete His given work for His Father and brothers?

The cattle came unexpectantly to the people of Israel. Surely the nation of Israel did not expect the Messiah when He arrived, yet their prophecies spoke of Him coming, even within the generation living during the time. (They wanted a different kind of Messiah and refused to accept the Truth, but that is a different study!)

It is interesting that the cattle stopped of their own volition. It doesn’t state that the men of Israel steer, guided, man handled or stopped the cattle. The cattle simply stopped. In essence, speaking of their control of the situation. Was not the Son of Man in control, through all His trials and accusations, the beatings and lies, the tearing of flesh and ridicule, the shame and abandonment. He was (and is) in control.

Finally, when verse 14 was read to me, all I could see is the crucifixion.

The One who labored to deliver the glory of God back to the nation of Israel, was sacrificed upon a great stone. What a picture of the Lord Jesus and His life work.

The men of Bethshemesh sacrificed cattle to God, in obedience to God as a burnt offering. In the days of Jesus, the men of Israel sacrificed the Lord Jesus, thinking they were obeying God in condemning the Rabbi of blasphemy.

How completely good is the Lord and His dealings with His creation. In the midst of the darkest day on earth, His love and compassion, His mercy and kindness, His judgement and wrath were all typified in a story during the time of Samuel.

And me thinks the Old Testament is chock full of pictures of the Messiah in unexpected stories. He is good and He is the center and circumference of the Word!

Praise Him for His boundless love.


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