Read: 1 Samuel 4:1-11
The people of Israel were wrong about the ark of the covenant. After losing a battle to the Philistines, Israel sent messengers to Shiloh to ask that the ark be moved to Ebenezer, the site of their army camp. When the ark arrived, the Israelites celebrated so loudly that the enemy heard them all the way over in Aphek. The arrival of the ark caused the Philistines to fear and the Israelites to have courage. Well, they were both wrong. The Israelites took the ark into battle and were again defeated by the Philistines, who captured the ark. Another mistake. The Philistines got sick and their false gods were destroyed.
The error of the Philistines was that they were idol-worshippers and they saw the ark as an idol. But the Israelites should have known better. They failed to seek God’s direction about using the ark. While they knew that the ark was earlier carried in battle (Josh. 6), they didn’t consider that God’s plan, and not the ark’s involvement, allowed Israel to defeat Jericho. This is a lesson for us also. No matter what our resources are, we will fail unless we use them according to God’s plan. Let’s study the Word, pray for the Lord’s direction, and trust His leading before we step out in any venture of faith. Let’s declare as the psalmist in Ps. 91:2, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”