March 27

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 3-7

Highlights:  God appears to Samuel  and tells him that He is going to perform  judgment against the family of Eli.  The Israelites are defeated by the Philistines. 30,000  Israelites die, including the sons of Eli, and the Ark is captured. Eli dies when he hears the Ark has been captured.  The Philistines cities that posses the Ark are cursed by God and they seek to return it to Israel. Samuel teaches the nation to repent, which they do and they are then able to subdue the Philistines.  Samuel serves Israel as a judge,  prophet, and priest.

After being defeated by the Philistines the first time, the Israelites tried a new tactic.  What did they bring to battle the second time? Why did they do this? Why were they still not successful? What could we learn from this?

Note: though not stated in 1 Samuel, according to 1 Chronicles 6:33, 34 Samuel was of the tribe of Levi. 1 Samuel 1:1 leaves the impression his family were Ephraimites but that may refer to where they lived.


Filed under Old Testament

4 Responses to March 27

  1. Sandy Steinman

    They decided to bring the ark of the Covenant with them into battle. They mistakenly thought that by taking the Ark which was never seen by the people other than the high priest into battle that God would be with them. Rather than repenting of their sins and asking God to save them, they simply tried to win the battle by relying on superstition. They almost tried to “force God to help them defeat the Philistines. The lesson is that you cannot put God in a box. God is reached through a right and contrite heart.

  2. Mary K

    It is interesting to me that the foreign countries remembered what God did for the Israelites in Egypt, but Israel seemed to have a hard time remembering. It’s also puzzling that with this faith in the power and majesty of God, the foreign countries continued to honor their own gods. I realize God was the god of the Israelites and I’m wondering if these foreign countries thought they had no choice but to settle for less. Perhaps. But what is most puzzling is the attraction of these foreign gods to the Iraelites who did not have to settle for less.

  3. I like ur line of thot thr, Mary K. Has anything really changed from then, I wonder. I think there is the capacity to always want more, want what others have and do while forgetting their own blessings. I want what I want now, regardless of all I have, and my attitude is worldly. I was appalled at the Israelites behavior coming out of Egypt. Complaining, idols, total unbelief.

    I think the ark was a symbol of God’s presence. They used it as a “lucky charm”, which I read somewhere and like the analogy. They were putting their faith in a symbol and not in God. Thot they could carry God with them thru the ark. Their understanding was more like the philistines, not a strong understanding of their God. Also, the word “it” was used several times in the early part of bringing out the ark , referring to the ark and not to God. “They brought it” etc.

    A few lines later it does say that God dwells between the cherubim, which I’ve been thinking about, too. Also, the ark was only approached once a year and then by the high priest.

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