Friday, September 20, 2013

Journal Through the Bible: Week 37 Thursday

I Samuel chapter 4

The Children of Israel had lived such a bad testimony before their neighbors that the Philistines mistakenly thought when the Ark of the Covenant came into their enemy's camp that they had brought their "Gods in a box" with them. Unfortunately, the Children of Israel thought the same thing and that is why they had carried it there in the first place. But God cannot be contained in a box, nor can He be summoned like a genie in a lamp.
The glory is departed from Israel, said the dying mother of the newborn grandson of Eli.

Does God issue any commands in this chapter?

  • No, but because His commands were not being obeyed He let the Philistines take the Ark of the Covenant and defeat Israel just as He promised He would do if His people broke their covenant with Him.

Does God make any promises?

  • No, but God kept a few promises. Namely, He had promised the people that if they broke the covenant He would allow their enemies to defeat them in battle. He also had promised Eli that his sons would both die on the same day as a sign to Eli that God had rejected his descendants from high priestly duties. The grandson of Eli that was born that very day, Ichabod, was aptly named by his dying mother.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is God and He cannot be summoned or ordered around using the icons and symbols that represent Him. In this case the Hebrews had made the Ark of the Covenant to be their idol even though it was to be a holy representation of the covenant relationship between God and His people. Many emblems and icons of Christianity are wrongly used and have become idols. These include but are not limited to the cross, the baby Jesus, and even the ordinances of baptism and the Lord's Supper which were given to the Lord's churches as symbols of their covenant relationship with Him.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • Not that I identified.

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
Psalms 19:14 (KJV)