With much fear the Philistines prepare to send the Ark of the Covenant back to its place of origin (Israel), but they do so with much doubt. Thus, they ask for guidance from their leaders and the leaders give this guidance out of ignorance (6:1-9). The cart with the religious icon travels back to its homeland and the people receive it with much joy (6:10-16), but some were quite presumptuous (6:19-21).
Application: Out of much ignorance the Philistines tried to properly tend to the Ark of the Covenant and it brought them much heartache. Consequently, after much grief they send it back. The Israelites receive the ark (something they have not seen before because of its presence in the Tabernacle), and have enough good sense to have the Levites come and take the ark of the cart, sacrificing the animals to the Lord. However, curiosity and presumption is the disaster of the day. To him who is given much, much is expected. Things related to the Lord’s holy standard are not to be lightly treated. It did not matter how much there was in genuine motives; compromising the Lord’s will when one know better is bad news! Let us regard with the proper respect things that are considered holy.