Power in the Ark

“And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the earth before the ark of the LORD. And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.” (1 Samuel 5:3)

The Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant, where God met with His people, and set it up in the temple of their god, Dagon. The first night, Dagon fell down before the Ark; the second night, he fell down broken in pieces. On the next day, a great plague fell on the people of Ashdod, and forthwith they sent the Ark away!

Just as Dagon fell before the Ark, which was a type of Christ, so the priests and soldiers, who came to take Jesus away, “went backward, and fell to the ground” in His presence (John 18:6). Similarly, just as the temple of Dagon could hold the Ark no longer than three days, and the whale could only hold God’s prophet Jonah for three days, so the grave could not hold Jesus longer than three days.

The Ark also exhibited its great power both to bless and to curse. It brought death to the Philistines who desecrated it, and even to the Israelites at Beth-shemesh, when they foolishly looked into the Ark (1 Samuel 6:19). However, it evidently brought blessing to the house of the Levite Abinadab, where it stayed for 20 years (1 Samuel 7:1-2), and later to the house of Obed-edom (2 Samuel 6:11).

The same is true of the Lord Jesus Christ and of all who are “in him, which is the head of all principality and power” (Colossians 2:10). The presence of Christ was a blessing to many, but others “besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear” (Luke 8:37). “For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16). HMM

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