“Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent; and the defeat was very great.” (Samuel 4:10)
As they carried the Ark of the Covenant into battle, Israel thought they were invincible. Confident, they proclaimed that God would save them from their enemies. Yet they were defeated by the Philistines and the Ark itself was captured. How could this have happened?
They made a major mistake. They trusted in the Ark to save them. But they did not seek God. He had not called them to go into battle or blessed their efforts.
Many people are like these Israelites. They put their faith in all kinds of things and unfortunately politicize faith: organizations, experts, even people who seem to be religious. But we know that all people are imperfect — even the smartest and most spiritual. We all sin (Romans 3:23) and know only in part (1 Corinthians 13:9).
Only God never fails. We must start everything with Him. And we cannot take Him for granted.
David, who lived just years after this battle with the Philistines, once wrote, “Some praise their chariots and some their horses, but we will praise the name of the LORD, our God” (Psalm 20:7). We, too, need to trust completely in God and boast only in Him.
Temptations and distractions are all around you. But God remains the same. Don’t trust in the chariots and horses of this world. Don’t be overconfident or put your faith in the wrong things or the wrong people. Trust in God and Him alone.
Father, I place my hope in You. You are my rock, my fortress, my deliverer. People may fail, but I depend on You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.