Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Until the Cows Come Home: A Journey Through Samuel

1 Samuel 6

Often I come across common phrases in Scripture that we use today. I don't really know if there is any history to the expression "Until the cows come home" from 1 Samuel 6 but if so, it's somewhat appropriate. Not exactly something the cows would fondly remember, but it's a story nonetheless!

So here we see that the Philistines had enough of this ark because they think God may be punishing them, something they didn't have to stretch too far to see, and discussed how they didn't want another "Egypt" situation to happen. So they slap the ark on a cart, find a couple milking cows that recently gave birth, locked their calves up, and hooked them up to a cart. While I could go into various detail about cows (not the most exciting lesson) I think it's suffice to say that these 'milking' cows would not be good at this, enjoy this, know what to do, and certainly would not willingly leave their calves behind for the benefit of both (another lesson I care not to explain right now). In any case, guess what the cows do? Yep ... they go home.

OK, well not their home ... but they brought the ark "home" so to speak. (We can talk about God's amazing control and sovereignty another time!)

Anyway, the people were thrilled when the saw the ark coming! So thrilled they chopped up the cart to use for a fire to sacrifice the cows ... poor cows. :|

(side note: While I deeply appreciate the meaning behind the sacrifices, reflect often on the penalty of sin and what these sacrifices represented, I am thrilled that we are living after the One Final Sacrifice that was made! So the minute you (or I) start grimacing at the idea of more blood spilled (like I grimaced above), let us not forget Calvary. Brutal beyond brutal ... blood like no other ... pain, suffering, and death ... for you. Because you and I are heirs ... )

As much as I sometimes see me and my sin in the Israelites, I do see them do something so often (and again in this chapter) that I need to do more in my life. Maybe physically, maybe spiritually ... maybe something seen, or maybe just something told over and over again. When God does something for you what do you do? Do you know what they often did?

Build a memorial ... build an altar ... set a stone ... to remember!
The great stone beside which they set down the ark of the LORD is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh. (1 Samuel 6:18 ESV)
"Your life is progressing spiritually when you stop making deals with God, and start building altars." - Steven Furtick

Are you hoping to see any cows on your horizon? Are you waiting for that cart to arrive? I pray that when you do, you run to them, rejoice in the moment, and place a stone ... to remember.


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