By Aaron Luke Green

“When the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, “What does this great shouting in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” When they learned that the Ark of the LORD had come to the camp, the Philistines were afraid…” (1 Samuel 4:6-7)

The Israelites would go on to lose this battle immensely. I believe it was because at this time the Philistines were a more righteous people than the Israelites. One reads in the verses leading up to this verse that Eli, the high priest, sons were very corrupt, and nothing was being done. Israel was losing battle after battle; the people were not seeking the LORD. They asked that the ark of the LORD be brought to the battlefield in hopes that they would win. The Israelites did not humble themselves. They simply relied on their previous experiences being good enough. They wanted wanted the LORD for a victory not because they truly wanted to follow Him. The Philistines, however, were genuinely afraid for they had known of the works of the LORD. I believe God allowed them to defeat the Israelites because their fear of the LORD was greater than that of the Israelite people.

Since Jesus Christ fulfilled the law, died on the cross, and rose again His Spirit now serves as the ark of the LORD. The Israelites were never able to gain victory without that ark in the past because the presence of the LORD resided there. The Israelites lost the battle in 1 Samuel 4 because they valued the object more than the presence that resided there. The Holy Spirit is that ark of the Covenant, that presence of the LORD in our life, but do we want that presence for victory alone or do we want that presence because we want to know the LORD Jesus more closely?

As Americans we cannot deny our country’s foundation in Christ Jesus, but we cannot rely on that foundation to further us through without seeking Christ Jesus through it all. We cannot ask for God to bless America just because His name is on our money. There are many that want God in their lives and in their speeches only for victory. I assure you that victory will not come. We must seek the LORD for the presence that He brings not the victory we hope for.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then i will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14


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