Today's Favorite Verse: 1 Samuel 5:2, 11
"When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagaon, and set it by Dagon.
So they sent and gathered together all the lords of the Philistines, and said, Send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go again to his own place, that it slay us not, and our people: for there was a deadly destruction throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there."
I had to sit and ponder a bit on this chapter. At first it sounded like there was power in the ark that caused destruction. I know a thing doesn't have power but God does. The ark of covenant's power came from the Lord's presence residing there. I thought about temples dedicated to the Lord and then desecrated like the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples were. If they fall out of the hands of God's people then the Lord won't reside there. They are not sacred places anymore. So what was happening with the ark when it fell into the wrong hands?
Then I began to see what the Philistines did, they mocked God. They took the ark of God and put it in the house of their god Dagon. The first morning the image of Dagan, part man and fish, was found laying on its face. They put it back again. Then the next morning it was on its face again with its hands and head cut off, and only a stump of Dagan left. Then the Philistines decided to move the ark of the God of Israel and disaster is met wherever it goes.
It appears God's spirit had not left the ark, like I would expect with a desecrated temple. The Lord was showing the Philistines his power because they mocked him. This power was to their destruction. It was only by them not mocking or treating lightly what was holy that they could be removed from God's wrath.