Wednesday, January 18, 2012
And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore. (1 Samuel 4:7 KJV)
The tribes of Israel and the Philistines were at war. The Israelites had lost the first skirmish and had sent for the Ark of the Lord. It was brought from its home in Shiloh in order to “save us out of the hand of our enemies.”
Solomon had not written about there being nothing new under the sun. If he had, perhaps the Philistines would have remembered Jericho and the ark being carried into battle. The Israelites remembered how powerful the Ark appeared to be:
And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again. (1 Samuel 4:5 KJV)
They were ready to battle! So, the second skirmish began, and was finished:
And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain. (1 Samuel 4:10-11 KJV)
Remember those guys?
Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. (1 Samuel 2:12 KJV)
Doesn’t sound right, does it? Eli was a priest – how could his children not know the Lord? They knew of Him, but they did not love, trust nor obey Him. They did not understand Him nor did they seek Him. They abused their privileges.
For me, it appears they placed great store in the physical connections to the Lord. They took offerings meant for Him, they placed confidence in the Ark instead of in His omniscience. They did not believe there was a God. Unfortunately, there are such today, abusing their position as ‘men of God’ yet not knowing the Lord.
There are church members, too, who place their faith in the physical, without knowing God. Non-believers seem to see them more than they do the faithful. I, on the other hand, am blessed by knowing so many of His servants who speak with Him daily, acknowledge His blessings, put Him first in their lives – and I pray to be more like the examples He has given us in His word and in His world.
As Jesus said:
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33a KJV)
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: (Isaiah 55:6 KJV)
We should never find ourselves replacing God.