1 SAMUEL 6:7-12

Spend time in prayer and silence with God asking him to meet you and speak to you.

Bible Reading

Now then, take and prepare a new cart and two milk cows on which there has never come a yoke, and yoke the cows to the cart, but take their calves home, away from them. And take the ark of the Lord and place it on the cart and put in a box at its side the figures of gold, which you are returning to him as a guilt offering. Then send it off and let it go its way and watch.
If it goes up on the way to its own land, to Beth-Shemesh, then it is he who has done us this great harm, but if not, then we shall know that it is not his hand that struck us; it happened to us by coincidence.”

The men did so, and 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.

– 1 Samuel 6:7-12


Go Deeper

The Philistines wanted to check their assumption that their afflictions were from the hand of the God of Israel. As a result, they returned the Ark to the people of Judah by unusual means that left the delivery of the Ark in God’s control.

The Philistines placed the Ark in a cart pulled by two cows who had just calved and placed the calves in a pen. Then, they turned the cows loose, with their choice of direction determining the fate of the Ark.

The cows, under God’s direction and against their nature, headed straight for Israel and never turned aside in their journey back to the people of Judah, confirming the Philistines’ belief that the hand of God had been at work.

Do we have the same type of faith that these pagan Philistines had in believing that this powerful God was more than willing to reveal himself and prove himself?

The faith of the Philistine leaders was on display. They likely had heard about the power of the God of Israel through stories, had now experienced it themselves and were willing to act based on that faith.

God confirmed their faith in him and brought glory to himself in the process. Though the Israelites, without God’s help, could not defeat the Philistines on the battlefield, the Philistines could not defeat Israel’s God!

The Big Question

As you examine your life as a follower of the all powerful Yahweh, does your daily life exemplify true faith in Him as the Almighty One?

Conclude in prayer and silence reflecting on what you’ve learned.