The Philistines took on more than they bargained for. Capturing the ark of God (the chest, not the boat) sounded like a good idea at the time - the fruit of plunder following a successful military campaign.
1 Samuel 6:4-5 (NIV)
The Philistines asked, “What guilt offering should we send to him?”
They replied, “Five gold tumors and five gold rats, according to the number of the Philistine rulers, because the same plague has struck both you and your rulers. Make models of the tumors and of the rats that are destroying the country, and give glory to Israel’s god. Perhaps he will lift his hand from you and your gods and your land."
If you ever choose to take something that rightfully belongs to me, I hope you will return it; but please no tumors and rats with it!
Why tumors and rats?
Directed to do so, the Philistines took costly gold and formed rats and tumors. They formed reminders of their missteps out of something valuable. Through this they learned a valuable lesson.
So - can we?
What tumors and rats have you experienced due to missteps? They don't have to be actual cancerous growths or rodents. They can be debts, frustrations, fines, pain, broken relationships, and the like.
You may not want to craft reminders out of precious metals, but I suggest that you take time to reflect on the damage caused by missteps. That reflection can lead to a great change of heart and behavior and, therefore, a lot less tumors and rats.
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