In this week’s lesson, we see Israel at war with the Philistines. Initially when they had gone ahead to conquer Canaan, they did not follow instructions to remove everyone as they had been instructed by God. The Israelites had lost a war and wondered why they had been defeated. The spiritual fire of the Israelites had died down. They did not realise that they had sinned by not inquiring of the Lord before they went to war with the Philistines.
They took God for granted and they took the ark of the covenant back to the camp, together with Hophni and Phineas. They made spiritiual noise but they were spiritually dead. Philistines also recognized the power of God. The Philistines looked at the gods like some of their gods. Israelites were still defeated with the ark and it was captured by the Philistines.
The Israelites confused the symbol of God’s presence with the reality of God. In the recent times using items such as olive oil is used a symbol of God’s presence from the reality of God. We have put our hope in stuff that has been made by man. At the heart of all these things is idolatry. A challenge to us is where are we putting our trust?
Sin has far reaching consequences and therefore before we do something that is wrong we should think twice about the conquences. Our God is a jealous God and he will not mix with other gods.
Key Truth 1
God is soverign and he cannot be manipulated.
Both the Israelites and the Philistines tried to manipulate God.
Samuel intervened for the Israelites whenever they sinned against God.
Key Truth 2
True repentance involves a change of heart and a change of action.
Sinning is bondage and whenever we find ourselves in bondage we tend to runaway and reject God. But to be set free from the bondage, we need to repent through change of attitude and behavior that displeases God.
Key Truth 3
Sometimes God answers our prayers to teach us a lesson