The ark of the covenant was not to be misused. God made that very clear to both Israel and its mortal enemies in the days of Samuel, Saul, and David, the Philistines.
THE SHORT reign of Gideon’s son Abimelech lasted just three years, with a sad end to what was the first attempt to create a ruling dynasty over Israel. And at the heart of the conspiracy was a city sacred to one of the most powerful and popular of the fallen angels.
THE PEOPLE of Israel are finally dispatched to their homes. Before they go, however, Joshua binds them with another oath, demanding that the people choose who they will serve.
GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS to the Israelites were surprisingly progressive for the time, prohibiting His people from engaging in predatory lending practices and providing for the poor, widows, and orphans (without a government agency to collect and redistribute wealth!).
JACOB’S STORY comes to a close this week. He lived for seventeen years in Egypt, long enough to see Joseph use the foreknowledge given by God to concentrate power in the hands of the pharaoh (and the same number of years Joseph lived before he was sold into slavery by his brothers).