May 9 – When the Philistines Understand God Better Than the Israelites

1 Samuel 5:1-7:17
John 6:1-21
Psalm 106:13-31
Proverbs 14:32-33

The broken Dagon statue in the Temple of Ashdod in front of the Ark of the Covenant (1Sam 5: 1-5 – Merian’s Iconic Biblicae, Frankfurt 1625-30)

1 Samuel 6:3 — The Philistine priests were wiser than the Israelite priests – they knew they had sinned and needed reconciliation.

1 Samuel 6:6 — Apparently word got around about the Egyptians.

1 Samuel 6:15 — Scholars have noted the differences between the Israelites and the Philistines in Beth-Shemesh based on their diet.

1 Samuel 7:12 — Have you raised an Ebenezer?

John 6:14-15 — After which miracle did the crowd want to make Him King? Not His baptism (John 1:32), His identification as the Lamb of God (John 1:36), His cleansing of the temple (John 2:15), His dialogue on salvation with a leading Pharisee (John 3:36), His confronting the Samaritan woman (John 4:39), or His theological dialogue with the Jews in Jerusalem (John 5:19-47). They wanted to make Him king only after they had enjoyed a good meal (John 6:13). What did Jesus know about the crowd?

Psalm 106:13 — Just like the Israelites of old, “they soon forgot His works” (re-iterated in Psalm 106:21). Yes, the crowd that wanted to crown Him King would soon cry “Crucify!” (John 19:15)

Proverbs 14:32 — From the Pulpit Commentary:

Even in the greatest danger the good man loses not his trust in God. It is like Job’s word (if our reading is correct, Job 13:15), “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him;” and the psalmist, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). Thus the Christian martyrs went joyfully to the stake, and gentle women and little children smiled on the sword which sent them home

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