Let us take to ourselves from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that it may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies.1 Samuel 4:3 NASB
As a nation, Israel had defied God and disobeyed His Word. But, when facing strong opposition from the Philistines, they seemed to forget these past mistakes.
They didn’t feel it was necessary to admit their sins, to repent, or to get their lives right with God. Instead, they concluded that they just needed to have the Ark with them when they went into battle. Then, they felt invincible.
Going into battle, they had complete confidence. They were so confident that they shouted so loudly that “the earth resounded” (v. 5). In the face of this superficial confidence, the Philistines initially reacted with fear but recovered to achieve victory in the ensuing battle. They realized that the Israelites just were operating on emotions.
And they experienced a horrible defeat. All the Israelites fled and “the slaughter was very great” (v. 10). Most devastating, the Ark itself was captured.
Israel had received an emotional boost from the presence of the Ark. But their lives hadn’t changed. They failed to realize that God was more concerned about their relationship with Him, their attitudes, the things they had done, and the condition of their heart.
Seek to be clean in God’s sight. Be honest with Him and allow Him to convict you of any sin. Humble yourself before Him, and accept His forgiveness. Faithfully seek to keep His Word to be sure that you have His blessing.
Father, give me a sensitivity to know Your Word. I focus on You. Help me to be clean and pure in Your sight. In Jesus’ name, amen.