“And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies” (1 Samuel 4:3).TEXT — 1 Samuel 4:3-10
The media recently reported the death of a young woman after her parachute failed to open while skydiving, causing her to plunge head-on to the ground below. She was an experienced parachutist but when she jumped from the plane on that fateful day, her parachute failed to open for unknown reasons. Witnesses said she tried to carry out an emergency manoeuvre but was unable to do so, due to the height and speed of her fall that took only a few seconds.
In this passage, the elders of Israel, after their defeat at the hands of the Philistines concluded that they were vanquished because of the absence of the ark of the covenant in the battlefield. They completely failed to acknowledge that the defeat was the result of their backsliding and disobedience to God. They resolved to go and fetch the ark and rejoiced greatly at its arrival. Nevertheless, this did not change their situation, because they suffered more defeat.
Undoubtedly, God is mighty in battle; yet, He will only fight for those who maintain righteousness in their lives. Sin made the ark to become an ordinary religious relic to the Israelites in battle. Their failure to look inward, do a thorough heart searching to discover their backsliding and repent, is similar to what many do today.
Carrying the cross on the neck, bathing in the river with so-called special soap and sponge, drinking of holy water or “anointing oil”, putting the Bible under the pillow before sleeping, going to the mountain to fast and many such religious undertakings will not procure protection, deliverance and victory, except one repents from sin genuinely and opts to live a righteous life absolutely.
Thought for the day
You can’t be wrong and get by.
- in one year
- JOB 11 – 15