1 Samuel 4:1-11
The Israelites were battling against the Philistines. Unfortunately the Philistines seemed to winning. They had already killed 4000 Israelites. When the Israelites returned to camp they were confused why God wasn’t helping them. They decided that bringing the Ark of the Covenant to the battle might help. The Ark was a special box that held remembrances of God’s miracles and the 10 commandments. The Lord’s presence was represented by and was with the Ark. Hophni and Phineas, who were the sons of the chief priest, Eli, brought the Ark to the battlefield. When they did, the Israelites sent up such a shout the ground shook!
When the Philistines found out that the Ark was in the Israelite camp, they became frightened. The power and miracles of God were well known and they knew God could defeat them. However, the Philistine leaders encouraged their men and they went out and fought. Not only did they win, but they captured the Ark and 30,000 Israelites died, including Eli’s sons.
But why did the Philistines win? Even they knew the power of God. But God wasn’t with Israel. Just because they had God’s symbols didn’t mean God was on thier side. The Israelites had been disobedient and ignoring God. God allowed the Philistines to win so that the Israelites would turn back to him and repent. Just looking good doesn’t make us godly. We have to be right in our hearts with God. The old saying is true, “you have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk!”
Have your child pretend to be a couple of farm animals. Talk about how quacking like a duck doesn’t make you one and being a Christian is the same!