God Did What?! A look at when the Philistines had buyers remorse…

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Ever seen something you really want and when you get it, you immediately regret it? We all have!  You’re at the car lot for something practical, then you see IT – that beautiful luxury car and – take a big sniff – new car smell! Intoxicating!  You sign the papers, drive off and… hate it every month you make the payment. Or maybe it’s, “How much is that doggie in the window?” You get that puppy home and it won’t sleep at night, pees everywhere and destroys your living room in one week!  Buyer’s Remorse!  Here’s how it happened in I Samuel 5-6.

The story starts with Philistines (You know, the tribe that spawned Goliath from Sunday School fame) – who had just finished beating the fuzz off the Israelites, and they saw IT – THE ARK OF GOD!!!  (sparkle, sparkle). This was their moment of triumph – they had to have IT! A great trophy of strength and fighting prowess.  With all the fanfare they could muster, they took it and put it in the temple of their god (hand-made and notice the “little g”) – Dagon!

Quickly returning to the temple in the morning, what should they see but their beautiful “lil’g” –Dagon, fallen face down in front of the ARK OF GOD! Clearly, there was an earthquake or a strong wind that bumped “lil’g” off his perch and he fell before the ARK OF GOD! I’m sure that’s what happened! Let’s just sit him back up – come on!  All of you! Help, this thing is heavy!

The next day, they headed back to the temple. What to their wondering eyes should appear? – “Lil’g”, fallen on his face again before the ARK OF GOD, but this time his head and his hands were cut off laying at the door! A bit harder to explain. Do you see God’s great sense of humor, but imagine the Philistines? – the god your whole tribe serves hacked to pieces, laying face down before the ARK OF GOD in his own temple! I’m sure they were ready to abandon their god and serve Almighty God – but No!  Their answer was to get rid of the ARK OF GOD!

Everywhere they sent it, destruction and plagues followed. Tumors broke out all over the people….. and mice! Not mice! – nothing spreads disease or makes your scream like mice!  What followed was a terrible game of “Hot Potato” with the ARK. Finally, the Philistines determined it had to be returned!

The ARK OF GOD had proven so powerful however, they didn’t want to return it without a, “Sorry we took your ARK!” offering, so they made a plan. Get a few of those nasty tumors and catch a couple of the mice, we’ll coat them in gold and send them back with the ARK OF GOD to the Israelite land. No “Money back guarantee”. Not even a credit for future battles, just get this crazy thing out of here or we’ll perish!

Isaiah 55:8-9 says our thoughts are not HIS thoughts and our ways, not HIS ways – HIS ways are higher (or better)! 

Want to live a life free of “Buyer’s Remorse”?  Don’t follow your own ways! A lot easier said than done.  Following HIS ways instead of our own means trusting HIM. His ways are better.  

The Bible is full of stories where we beg and plead until God relents and gives us what we asked for. The story always ends the same – with buyer’s remorse.  This time, hold on and give HIS ways a try! I promise you won’t want to return it!

Brian & Jill Grant

Brian and Jill serve as the A Jesus Mission Missionary Care Directors out of Temple, Texas.


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