Okay, I have to tell you, I'm digging 1 Samuel. There is so much good stuff in here. Yeah, I know it's God's Word, of course it's good, but for me and where I am at right now, it's really hitting home.
Take sometime and slowly read Chapter 4, you probably should get out a commentary or a study Bible, just so you don't miss anything.
Here's what struck me:
- Joshua was supposed to take out the Philistines, but he left a few and they became a thorn in the side of Israel for the entire 40 years Eli judged.
Ever left a few that still haunt you?
- 40 years is a long time for someone to rule and judge! Especially without God's hand on you.
- There is no indication that the Israelites sought the face of God before battle, result; tragic! Always seek the face of God before going into battle, always! Reminder: we are in a battle everyday!
- They just assumed He would be there. Need I say more?
- They believed God should fight for them no matter how they lived; they didn't humble themselves, turn from their wicked ways nor pray for mercy. Wake up call!
- 4,000 killed
- Okay, so now they go back and take a symbol of God's presence into battle, and who's carrying it? Eli's sons who had abused their duty as priest. We put our confidence in a form of religion while denying the God behind the form.
- Isn't that like us, we want a visible god to assure us of our safety.
- To the Philistines, the impression was that the the God of Israel was no better than there own God, who could only move when carried – he must not be that powerful! Do the people around you know how BIG your God is by the way you act?
- So the Philistines rally and kill 30,000 Israelites!