Hemorrhoids – Biblical in more ways than one

This week in the PBJ, we went from Israel losing the Ark of the Covenant (I Sam chpts 5-6) to the selection of Saul as the first King (I Sam chpts 9-10).


Losing the Ark of the Covenant in battle was catastrophic. It lands in the Philistine temple of Dagon. That is typical when a nation defeats another nation in battle. The winner puts the symbols and idols of the vanquished in their temples, in submission to their victorious deities. The fascinating thing about the Ark is that priests of Dagon wander into their temple and discover Dagon on the floor, in pieces, bowing to the Ark. The hysterically funny part is the men of the Philistines suffering from ‘Tumors.’ The Hebrew word for Tumors actually translates to Hemorrhoids. It gets so bad that when they send the Ark back to Israel, they make golden images of the Tumors – Hemorrhoids – as offerings to assuage God’s anger. The Philistine gold smiths had to be laughing and crying at the same time. This is a critical faith moment but like the parting of the Red Sea, is quickly forgotten.

I don’t know how many readers have suffered Hemorrhoids but eating MREs in Iraq, I got those often. Could hardly sit on more than one rump cheek, the other hanging off my seat. Preparation H was my friend. The spiritual lesson is that God catches people’s attention – sometimes in the funniest ways. And sometimes in tough ways when people should know better than to line up like tourists to look in the Ark.

Selection of Saul

Stepping to Saul, we have a fascinating situation. It’s the ninth generation after Perez, son of Judah and Tamar back in Genesis. Perez was illegitimate and the rule detailed in Leviticus is that an illegitimate family could not step back into fellowship until the tenth generation. Key here is that Perez is in the Scarlet thread of Jesus. Based on Jacob’s prophecy in Genesis about Judah, the rod of rule would not pass from the tribe of Judah until Shiloh comes. Shiloh is an acronym for Messiah.

Ninth Generation

So, it’s the ninth generation. The people demand a King and they get what they want from the tribe of Benjamin. Since it’s still the ninth generation after Perez, that King could not come from Judah and the line of the Scarlet Thread.

It’s fascinating to me that Saul hides in the equipment until elevated to King. David is forgotten until Samuel anoints him. You see, David is the tenth generation from Perez. David does not try to hide. Stepping on the battlefield to begin his journey of faith, David faced a Giant with such resolution that he had five rocks. That story is coming in the PBJ but Goliath had four brothers. David had no intention of missing Goliath or his brothers. One shot, one kill, for each one.

From Hemorrhoids to Saul

The flow is fascinating from Hemorrhoids to Saul hiding in the equipment to David wandering in from the fields to be anointed by Samuel. The key in my life, is trying to pay attention to God kicking my fourth point of contact to catch my attention and trying to be like that Shepherd boy to take on the Goliaths that come my way. The key is faith. Saul never stepped to that, doing it all on his own. David knew he had to walk in faith to face Goliath. It was not a perfect walk by any means and I find comfort in the restoration and forgiveness David receives across many mistakes. I want to be like David but recognize the lessons of Saul as a warning against Hemorrhoids.

Steve Holt’s book – Worshipper and Warrior is 21 days in the dangerous life of David. Click the title to get it at Amazon.

In San Antonio about to walk through the Alamo.