I’ve read through 1 Samuel 4 a couple of times and the one thing that I keep coming back to is the fact that the Hebrews thought bringing the Ark of the Covenant into battle would give them the victory. Instead, though, they were met with devastating ruin and that which was most treasured by them, the Ark, was taken as a spoil.
Now, I know that God is not surprised by anything. Nothing catches Him off guard and there’s nothing He cannot handle. If God had wanted the Israelites to win the battle, they would have won, no question.
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? ~ Jerimiah 32:27
I do wonder the reason for them losing. These are my two thoughts on the matter:
- God foretold that Eli’s sons would both die on the same day. In the loss of the battle, both of them were killed, thus bringing about what God foretold. That is a pretty easy conclusion to come to, the second is more of my pondering.
- What did God think that they just brought the Ark with them? There is no mention of them petitioning God Himself before the battle, but still they thought the presence of it would save them.
That second thought has just made me wonder how often I do that. How often do I think God will get me through something without actually reaching out to Him? Granted, He knows what’s going on, and yes, He can help us without our asking. Ultimately, as I said before, His will will be done, but I think I tend to take such things for granted, thinking that His will always matches with what I would like to happen. Sometimes it does, but often it doesn’t and who am I to say that’s wrong?
So, where’s the good news? Even when things seem darkest, God knows what is going on. He is not looking in the other direction. He is not taken by surprise. Perhaps He is using the darkness so that when the light comes you cannot help but be drawn to it. That you will have no doubt of its existence. The flame of a candle burning in a lit room may be hard to see. A flame in the darkness cannot be mistaken.
If you are experiencing darkness, keep your eyes upon the flame. I pray it becomes evident to you and that it grows so that the darkness flees.
Love & Blessings,