Read 1 Samuel 4
Israel went to battle against the Philistines but they were defeated. The elders asked why and decided to bring the ark of the covenant so it may save them from the enemy.
The Philistines were scared, but still defeated Israel, captured the ark, and Eli’s two sons die that day. A man from the tribe of Benjamin fled from the battle and shared all that happened with Eli. When he mentioned the ark being captured Eli fell over backwards, broke his neck and died. Eli had judged Israel 40 years. Eli’s daughter-in-law beared a son, called him “Ichabod” saying the glory has departed Israel.
We see Israel went to battle without praying first. They actually depended on the ark – itself – to save them, rather than turning to God. As a result, the ark was captured. Eli’s sons died just as God said they would. The message came from the smallest tribe of Israel.
What is going on here? Israel is being judged to expose their heart. They had drifted from God into idolizing things and tradition over God. They are shown God’s Word is true by the things spoken before coming to pass before their eyes.
We can learn from Israel’s mistakes. We can choose not to seek victory on our own by first talking to God about the battles we face. God is to remain first in our life. If anything else takes first place, it’s an idol. God hates idols. He told us we are to have no other god before Him.
In this account we see how God uses conflict to reveal the very state of our heart. We also see God’s Word is true and accomplishes what it is sent to do.
A truth to live by depending on our own understanding results in poor decisions. Seeking the Lord’s counsel and acknowledging Him in all our ways, allows Him to direct our path.
Are we looking to things or God to solve our problems?
Are we relying on self to win the battle?
In what ways do we take God for granted?
Lord, lead us back to you. Deliverance is found only in you.Wisdom comes from you alone. Thank you for your forgivenessand grace. In Jesus’ name amen.