1 Samuel 4

1 Samuel 4

Bible Passage:  1 Samuel 4

A grim period in the history of Israel.

The Philistines attacked.  The ark was brought out.

The sons of Eli killed.  The ark was taken.  Israel was defeated.

And Eli was so shocked to hear the news, he fell, broke his neck and died.

Eli’s daughter-in-law died while delivering son.  She called him Ichabod – meaning “no glory”.  Indeed, God’s glory had departed from Israel – not when the ark was captured – but the truth of the matter is – God’s presence had long been absent in Israel.

What do I see in today’s passage?

Three things – and they all centre around the responses of the people towards God.

And we should think whether we are like them today as well.

First, the Israelites acted callously as if God was their servant, rather than vice versa.

When they were losing the battle, they dragged out the ark – thinking that it was like a good luck charm.  But God is not a good luck charm.

Second was the fatalistic resignation of Eli.  God spoke to him at least twice through other people.  But in spite of repeated warnings, Eli did nothing.

Lastly, although we do not see Samuel in this chapter, the last few chapters showed us that Samuel responds in faith to God’s call.

Samuel did not take for granted the grace and sovereignty of God.  He listens to God.  His actions shows his faith.

Every Christian is called to faith in Christ and called to proclaim the Word of Christ to others.  May we respond as Samuel does – immediately, faithfully and continually.

Amen.

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One comment on “1 Samuel 4
  1. It is yet another Thursday.

    1 Samuel 4 : 19
    ” Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, due to be delivered; and when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and gave birth, for her labor pains came upon her. ”

    In my opinion, this particular verse really managed to capture the main lesson learnt behind the fourth chapter of 1 Samuel.

    I admit that there always is a lot of talk about relying on God whenever and wherever, and holding firm to the faith we have in Him, and allowing Him to reach out to us, and worrying about nothing because we have God on our side, coming from me.
    The world and everything in it, is not a marshmallow we can chew on.
    (So I do seek refuge in the Lord on a daily basis.)

    However, there are always and always will be many perspectives / many sides of a dice, to consider and try to understand.

    Over reliance on God and merely making use of Him simply as a tool to get what you want or what you desire is not the same as relying on Him. In fact, they are two completely different / opposing situations.

    When you are weak and you know that the intentions of your heart are pure, you can be sure that you are relying on God. However, when you are weak, but the intentions of your heart are rash and irrational, you will realize that you are only making use of God as a back-up plan, and never thought of Him in the first place.

    Before you begin anything, put God and Christianity first, because God is infinite; also definitely infinitely greater than a safety net.
    Let Him reach you, and allow Him to grab your hand.
    (You never know – what seems right may be wrong.)
    And I promise, something beautiful will come out of it.

    The older we grow, the more frequently we find ourselves seeking / searching for God.
    And I think it is something really admirable to know the extent of your fragility, and be so open and honest about it as you age, especially to God.
    We are all still His children after all.

    Don’t ever wait until the last minute, when everything around you is crumbling and everyone you know is, similarly, falling into pathetic desperation, to be ready to submit and “bow(ed) (your)self” down.

    As cliché as this sounds, it is true.
    Without God, we are nothing.

    There will eventually come a time when “It’s too late.” will become the harsh reality we all have to face, because God is very just, and He has His limits that should never be challenged.
    And I hope all of us will be able to catch the worm.

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