May 7, 2024 – 1 Samuel 4:1-11

May 7, 2024 – 1 Samuel 4:1-11


4 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines. They encamped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek.  2  The Philistines drew up in line against Israel, and

when the battle spread, Israel was defeated before the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the field of battle.  3  And when the people came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring

the ark of the covenant of the LORD here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.”  4  So the people sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, who is enthroned on the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. 5  As soon as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel gave a

mighty shout, so that the earth resounded.  6  And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, “What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” And when they learned that the ark of the LORD had come to the camp,  7  the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “A god has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before.  8  Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians

with every sort of plague in the wilderness.  9  Take courage, and be men, O

Philistines, lest you become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been to you; be men and fight.” 10  So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and they fled, every man to his home. And there was a very great slaughter, for thirty thousand foot soldiers of Israel fell.  11  And the ark of God was captured, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas,


Here we see Israel defeated in a battle against the Philistines.  Because of the defeat, the Elders suggest bringing the ark into camp might help spare future defeats.  The Philistines recognized the ark had come into camp and initially doubted their strength to wage another battle only to ‘dig in’ finding courage to fight harder, kill 30,000 more soldiers from Israel, capture the ark, and kill Hophni and Phinehas.  We might think it foolish to put trust in the physical ark rather than God.  However, how often do we find ourselves putting trust in worldly things rather than God?  How do we seek to do God’s will to do through Christ?


Heavenly Father, I know I am not alone in getting my eyes off of You, I know others struggle with the same issues I do, but I know I need to do better.  Just because it is a common issue, doesn’t mean I don’t need to make changes.  Help me see how I can better represent You daily.  How I want to be a good example, but it isn’t about what I do, as much as the heart I have while doing it.  I can obey all the rules with a smile on my face, but You know my heart and what my thoughts and intentions are, not just my actions.  Help me have an attitude that pleases You in all I do.  Thank You, Father, for loving me in spite of how I act.

In Jesus’ name.




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