God called Samuel 4 times to inform him that the Philistines were about to attack Israel. The meaning of the name Samuel is “God of Heard.” Maybe you relate with Samuel’s story because you feel God calling you too. Everyone, including you, is invited by God to put their faith in Jesus and embrace the gift of eternal life. God calls you because He loves you.
At that time, in the bible, Israel and the Philistines both pitched tents at Ebenezer, while the Philistines camped in Aphek. The Philistines had congregated at that point to fight Israel. The Philistines had lined up and were facing Israel when the conflict began.
When the conflict started, they had killed about 4,000 troops on the battlefield. As the warriors approached the camp, the elders of Israel questioned why the Lord had made them lose to the Philistines today.
Bring the Lord’s ark of the covenant from Shiloh to this location, and He will come among us and protect us from the strength of our adversaries.
The Israelites then transported the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, who is sitting on the cherubim, from Shiloh. Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were present with the ark of God’s covenant. All of Israel shouted loudly when the ark of the Lord’s covenant entered the camp, causing the earth to shake.
What does this loud shouting in the Hebrews’ camp imply, the Philistines inquired upon hearing the noise of the shouting.
The Philistines were terrified when they discovered that the Lord’s ark had arrived at the camp because they believed that “gods” had entered it. And they added, “Woe to us!” Because this has never happened before. Shame on us! Who is able to rescue us from the strength of these powerful gods? These are the same gods who plagued the Egyptians in the desert with every conceivable calamity. O Philistines, have courage and act like men so that you do not become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you. Act like men and engage in battle.
The Philistines engaged in combat; when Israel triumphed, they fled, each person returning to his home. There was a massive bloodbath, as 35,000 Israeli foot soldiers perished. Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, perished along with the capture of the ark of God. However, when the Philistines took possession of the ark, tumor and disease outbreaks struck them, prompting them to surrender the ark to the Israelites. According to certain myths, anyone who approached the ark or peered inside would perish.
Why did the Philistines capture the ark?
The elders of Israel realized that God had allowed their defeat. He hadn’t fought for them against the Philistines. So they did what seemed logical to them; they took the ark the symbol of God’s presence and carried it to the battlefield. But the ark was not a good luck charm.
How did Samuel stop the Philistines from invading Israel?
They said to Samuel, “Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” Then Samuel took a suckling lamb and offered it up as a whole burnt offering to the LORD. So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israelite territory again.
Where is the ark of Covenant today?
One of the most famous claims about the Ark’s whereabouts is that before the Babylonians sacked Jerusalem, it had found its way to Ethiopia, where it still resides in the town of Aksum, in the St. Mary of Zion cathedral.