Desert Song – Hillsong
Give Us Clean Hands – Charlie Hall
Refiner’s Fire – Brian Doerksen
From The Inside Out – Hillsong
It Is Well – Traditional
This chapter is one of the saddest chapters in 1 Samuel. The Philistines encamped against Israel, and Israel decided to go to battle without first seeking the Lord. That was their first mistake. In this first military encounter, they are thoroughly routed by the Philistines. You would think that they learned their lesson from the first battle, but they didn’t. They go back home, and get the ingenious idea to bring out the Ark of the Covenant. They figured that since it had worked in the past to defeat enemies, it would work again. This thinking was false, and in addition to being crushed again, the ark was captured.
The biggest thing we can learn from this mistake is that God can never be put into a box. The Israelites figured that they could just take their magic genie with them and it would all work out in the end. They had superstition in God, not faith in God. The thing is, God really doesn’t like to do things our way. In fact, He delights in doing things the opposite of our way. He can’t be put into a box either. They learned this the hard way.
But really how different are we? What’s the difference between what they did, and confining God to church? God does not exist to be a last resort when things get rough for us. True, He is an ever-present help in trouble, but He should always be on the forefront of our minds. I know that I’m often guilty of only resorting to prayer for “big” things, but God wants to be in constant communication.
The point: God is not a lucky charm; He’s God.