The Bible can be sort of funny. Why? Well, the Bible is about Jesus, but it is about our redemption by Jesus, and we can be quite ridiculous. Consider what the Philistines did after they beat the Israelites in a couple battles and captured the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites at Ebenezer. Sending it from city to city — trying to get rid of it — the Philistines treated this sacred artifact like a hot potato.
1 Samuel 5 Good News Translation
The Covenant Box among the Philistines
5 After the Philistines captured the Covenant Box, they carried it from Ebenezer to their city of Ashdod, 2 took it into the temple of their god Dagon, and set it up beside his statue. 3 Early the next morning the people of Ashdod saw that the statue of Dagon had fallen face downward on the ground in front of the Lord‘s Covenant Box. So they lifted it up and put it back in its place. 4 Early the following morning they saw that the statue had again fallen down in front of the Covenant Box. This time its head and both its arms were broken off and were lying in the doorway; only the body was left. (5 That is why even today the priests of Dagon and all his worshipers in Ashdod step over that place and do not walk on it.)
6 The Lord punished the people of Ashdod severely and terrified them. He punished them and the people in the surrounding territory by causing them to have tumors.[a]7 When they saw what was happening, they said, “The God of Israel is punishing us and our god Dagon. We can’t let the Covenant Box stay here any longer.” 8 So they sent messengers and called together all five of the Philistine kings and asked them, “What shall we do with the Covenant Box of the God of Israel?”
“Take it over to Gath,” they answered; so they took it to Gath, another Philistine city. 9 But after it arrived there, the Lord punished that city too and caused a great panic. He punished them with tumors which developed in all the people of the city, young and old alike. 10 So they sent the Covenant Box to Ekron, another Philistine city; but when it arrived there, the people cried out, “They have brought the Covenant Box of the God of Israel here, in order to kill us all!” 11 So again they sent for all the Philistine kings and said, “Send the Covenant Box of Israel back to its own place, so that it won’t kill us and our families.” There was panic throughout the city because God was punishing them so severely. 12 Even those who did not die developed tumors and the people cried out to their gods for help.
Instead of giving up their worthless idols, the Philistines stubbornly turned to them help. In chapter 6 (1 Samuel 6), we discover it took the Philistines seven months of hot potato to return the Ark of the Covenant back to Israel. Had the given up their own worthless idols? No. They had learned the God of Israel had real power. They had learned the God of Israel was more than just a lifeless hunk of wood, stone or metal, but the Philistines wanted a “safe” god of their own creation. They just wanted to get rid anything as dangerous as the One True God represented by the Ark of the Covenant. So, they demanded that their kings, the thugs who ruled them, get rid of the Ark.
In The irrelevance of Black Lives Matter and death of cultural revolutions (washingtontimes.com), Victor Davis Hanson contemplates America’s epidemic of political correctness gone mad. So, he speaks of something similar to but different from the Philistine hot potato experience with the Ark of the Covenant. He observes:
When a liberal mayor or black police chief or progressive governor or white leftist who diverges from the party line is targeted by the mob, then who really is safe?
Answer? No one. And so the cultural revolution sputters to irrelevance.
What deflated the #MeToo movement was the high toll that the accusations took among the Hollywood and cultural elite. Suddenly, progressive celebrities began demanding evidence and insisting on presumed innocence when their careers were destroyed.
What burns out these cultural upheavals is that today’s revolutionary can be denounced as tomorrow’s sell-out. No leader wants to share Robespierre’s rendezvous with his own guillotine.
There is one caveat.
Sometimes cultural revolutions don’t die out — if they are hijacked by a thug or killer. (from here (washingtontimes.com))
As Hanson explains sometimes a thug like Adolf Hitler, Napoleon, or Mao uses the confusion and the chaos of a cultural revolution to seize power. When we the people are seized by fear, we may tempted to sacrifice our souls and our freedom to bring back a return to what seems like stability, but denying God does not bring back stability, and thugs have no interest in stability. They just want power for themselves.
When God punished the Philistines for worshiping idols instead of Him, they knew the source of their troubles. Instead of repenting, they tried to push God away. When the politically correct demand conformity or else, we know the politically correct are ridiculous, but we fear the unreasoning wrath of the mob. Will we turn to the truth of God or power of a strong man? What do we think Liberal Democrats will do? What should the rest of us do?
I just love Victor Davis Hanson!
Thank you for sharing this Tom!
I hope you had a nice Father’s Day