The Case of the Lowing Cows

Have you ever changed your mind about something you said, or had written while wishing it had been told differently? Here I do so by editing a former post with added material, subtracted words, and a touch of verve –the blissful blessing of posting on a blog rather than publishing prematurely.

“Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word.With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.”

Luke 1:1-4


As I have seen so many, who give their accounts for choosing to write and encouraging others to do likewise. I correspondingly shall attempt to do so here.

Why do I write? Would you like to know why I write? I will tell you why I write. But first, if I may, I would like to tell you a little story. A vignette of sorts. My way of leading up to an account of why I write.

It’s a true story. And I think it’s narrative apropos to the subject at hand. One that happens to be instructive – for me, and for all who have a discerning, inquisitive bent.

The Purloined Ark

*In this scene the Ark of Covenant is being readied to be returned to it’s rightful owners*

*It has caused grievous and nasty occurrences for it’s thieves*

*But they also set traps in the event coincidence was the culprit, not curse*

*The reason being they would really like to keep so formidable piece of war machine, its God being an ultra-powerful wartime God. Not to mention it belongs to the Israelites, from whom they had just won a hard-fought battle against, and didn’t like very much anyway.*

“[The Philistine priests said,] ‘Now then, get a new cart ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up. Take the ark of the Lord and put it on the cart, and in a chest beside it put the gold objects you are sending back to him as a guilt offering. Send it on its way, but keep watching it. If it goes up to its own territory, toward Beth Shemesh, then the Lord has brought this great disaster on us. But if it does not, then we will know that it was not his hand that struck us but that it happened to us by chance.’

10 So they did this. They took two such cows and hitched them to the cart and penned up their calves. 11 They placed the ark of the Lord on the cart and along with it the chest containing the gold rats and the models of the tumors. 12 Then the cows went straight up toward Beth Shemesh, keeping on the road and lowing all the way; they did not turn to the right or to the left. The rulers of the Philistines followed them as far as the border of Beth Shemesh.”  (1 Samuel 6:7-12)


The above passage from 1 Samuel chapter 6 is based on an accounting of the Philistines capture of the Ark of the Covenant, which represented God’s presence with Israel, in an upset defeat over Israel. Thus, technically, taking God’s power away from Israel for battle victory purposes. And not-so-technically, Israel should not have taken the Ark to the front lines of battle in the first place, very dishonoring toward God. It was to remain behind the lines, protected during any combat engagement.

But this time, the Israeli’s were fearful enough to lose sight of their trust in God’s word alone, and endeavored to ‘physically’ bring Him into battle with them. Showing His displeasure with the Israelis over such a transgression, He caused the Philistine’s to win the engagement, and capture the Ark of the Covenant.

However, taking it back to their Philistine towns as a battle trophy and setting it before the carved idols that were their own gods displeased Almighty God greatly. The Divine caused a sudden, severe outbreak of pestilence and plagues of infestations of rats in response.

Long story a bit shorter, the Philistines decided to appease God, by sending the Ark back to Israel’s territory to be rid of the plague. However, to test if it was, indeed, the Ark of God causing the infestation, they schemed to use two calving cows never yoked for burden-bearing. And further, two cows still nursing their calves, separating the calves from their mothers during this effort for purposeful testing.

Now, under more normal circumstances, the cows should never have moved forward, not accepting being yoked to the pull cart. They should have followed where their calves were taken, back to the barn or enclosure. That would be normal and predictable.

But God, in His sovereignty, directed events by compelling the cows to do His will. However, they did His will while lowing all the way. Having been induced by God, we could say they were complaining. Although it would be more likely that they were utterly confused about what and why they were doing this. They were doing something completely unnatural in their circumstances, and they were lowing, voicing their confusion as to why they were obeying. Fair enough?

[Side note: To be fair to those two cows, I want to note that we often do the same thing. How many times have you said to yourself, “Why am I doing this?” while doing something you didn’t want to do, but knew it had to be done. Sound familiar? I’m sure I’m not the only one. Compelled of God?]

And now the segue into writing.

All the above, if you please, a case to say this is why I write. I am compelled. Even as those two cows were induced of God.

I don’t always know why; I don’t invariably know what. But I keep doing it. I am ordained for God’s good pleasure. Driven when given, writing even while saying I’ve had enough of writing. Although I work to do my best, composing doesn’t come naturally to me. I struggle to produce the words in the most pleasing order of syntax available so as to paint a fetching portrait. I love God, and I love the people of God. I want to paint the best picture in terms of which I am most capable. Words, spoken or written, ideally should enhance quality of life even as they record truth in life.

Please don’t misunderstand, I am delighted and so very thankful. That the Lord would find me useful, still, as He gives me this small patch of ground to care for in His vast field. So, I keep my hands and mind busy for His glory and my thankfulness to Him for it. Working shoulder to shoulder with my risen Savior. And others who belong to Him of the same mind and spirit, sending written words of His attributes by blog over net connect. May it ever be so. And may many of His blessings flow into the world through this world-wide-web of net connections and others like it.

Having said all above, I can boil it all down to one short phrase: The God of Life, the Savior. He is why I write. I write to point others to Him in all His Glory (attributes). And may it be so until that final post is published, when He says come home now. Home. Where the Desire and Creator and Savior of my life resides.

May the peace of Christ be with you always!

In His grip, G.W.

One post at a time might make a difference to one. Or five. Maybe even ten.


12 thoughts on “The Case of the Lowing Cows”

  1. Thank you for revisiting, retouching, and resharing this post. I’m far more like those lowing cows than I care to admit. The Lord seems to ask of me the very things I believe I’m the least skilled to do and that sets me lowing something fierce. It took some time for me to realize and embrace that He asks those things of me because it keeps my prideful self very humble as I could only do what He asks with His help. It also keeps me from taking any credit for myself as I clearly know without a shadow of a doubt that what I do is only accomplished by the work of His hand not mine. G.W., your writing shines His light so clearly because you are His obedient servant listening to Him, responding to His inspiration, and sharing as He says to share. Thank you for your faithfulness to the Lord!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your very kind and gracious words of encouragement, Beth. I’m certainly glad to hear I’m not the only one like those cows. I grew more fond of them through their plight as I read and studied that passage, while writing and rewriting. I’m aware the words I write which are worth reading are the Lords doing. The chaff is all mine. And I thank Him for showing me the difference. Yes, I agree, a learned humility from the Lord is as a valued diamond in His hands. It needs polishing often despite any temporary discomfort it affords us. While He cares about our discomfort, it is but a labor of His great love for us! Thank you again, so much.

      Warm regards and richest of blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is beautiful. Thank you for posting. I love how you used a story from scripture to tell why you write. I’m sure many other writers can join me in agreement with you, I too write because I’m compelled. May God be glorified throughout our lives and in our writing. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

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