Week 3: Day 1

Read:1 Samuel 4

Explore:

The Israelites are at war with the Philistines, an aggressive adversary who will feature throughout the books of 1 Samuel.  Here we find an account of two battles.  After defeat in the first the Israelites are wondering what went wrong.  What is wrong with the conclusion they come to? 

For some background reading: Leviticus 26:14-17

The Israelites had carried the ark into battle before (see Joshua 3:1-5 )so why didn’t it work this time? 

Verses 12-22 paint a picture of what Eli and his daughter in law perceive as a hopeless situation for Israel.  They believe God’s glory has departed because of the capture of the ark. 

But had God’s glory departed?  Do you think God’s glory is confined to a human made box? 

Apply:

The ark of the covenant was supposed to act as a symbol of God’s presence with his people, the Israelites.  Instead, the Israelites treated it as a lucky charm and God as a genie whom they could summon and command.

Do you ever find yourself treating God this way?  Do you think if you pray, sing or act a certain way so God will give you what you want? 

Do you ever feel deserted by God?  How do you react?

Read Romans 8:22-28

Pray:

·         Thank God that his wisdom and power go beyond our understanding

·         Ask God that he will help you see Him as he is meant to be seen: creator and king of the universe and not beholden to anyone

·         Ask God for faith in him when situations seem unjust, impossible and hopeless  

Providence City