Bringing the Ark

“Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.” from 1 Samuel 4

The Israelites had just come back from loosing a battle. They ask each other why God didn’t go with them or help them against the Philistines. So they decide to take the ark into battle next time so God will go with them. The ark of the covenant was a chest that had the ten commandments in it and often it represented God’s presence in the community or in battle. But the ark itself had no power.

So the Isaelites bring the ark into battle, along with their corrupt priests, Hophni and Phineas. They loose the battle, thirty thousand men die, and the ark is captured by the Philistine army.

I think the Israelites have good intentions but their plan is flawed. They are distraught from loosing and they don’t want to loose again. So they come up with a plan to make God go with them…except He doesn’t. What am I trying to make God do for me this week? How am I trying to manipulate Him instead of waiting on Him? Do I want a symbol of Him to go with me, or do I want Him to come with me?

Holy Spirit, Today I need you. It has been a long day and I already feel defeated. But i need you to come with me. I don’t want to try and manipulate you any longer. I want to wait on you. I want to ask you to help me, and believe that because you love me you will.

erikaDiving In is our online mid-week devotional. It jumps into the message from Sunday and takes us a little deeper. Take a moment to slow down from your busy day, and hear from the Holy Spirit. We re-post every week. You can follow along by clicking the +Follow button in the bottom-right corner of your screen. This week Diving In is written by Erika Thornton (Pastor Jonathan’s wife).