Summary: Whatever happens do what God says!

Before we read Chapter 4 of 1 Samuel, open your Bibles for a moment to Exodus 13…. Page…. Remember that God saved His people Israel from Egypt; now look at Exodus 13:17…..

From the very beginning, God allowed a people called the Philistines to go against Israel, God’s Chosen People. Why? What did we learn last week from 1 Samuel 3??

God is always teaching! And sometimes things happen, that are painful, but God is still teaching! Now, jump ahead with me to 1 Samuel 17….

Read along with me v45-50….

God is always teaching, the question is, are we listening? David heard and listened to God and took the appropriate actions!

Before reading our passage, let us pray our commitment to God’s Word shall we….

Read along with me now starting with 1 Samuel 3:19 through 1 Samuel 4

Let us summarize the story.

Along with the truths at the end of 1 Samuel 3, v1a of 1 Samuel 4 tell us that Israel was listening to God!

And so, v1b: Israelites went to battle against the Philistines.

But, v2: Israel listened to God BUT they were defeated with 4000 killed!

Now what do we note in v4??

a. They questioned God!

b. “Let us…” - indicate no consultation with God!

The Israelites decided on their own to take to war the Ark of the Covenant (which held the tablets with the handwriting of God). Along with v5, what can we say about the Israelites in taking the Ark??

The Israelites were so excited when the Ark came that the ground shook! Why were they so excited?

v3-5: The Israelites knew the power of God!

Now, was it really that simple to take the Ark from the Temple? Who do we note guarding the Ark??

And what do we know about Eli’s sons?? Eli’s sons were known as wicked men and I bet they were paid off in getting the Ark!

And so, do you think God was pleased with them taking the Ark, not only without asking but handled by wicked men??

Let us note that there was no indication of God approving the taking of the Ark!

And what do we note from v6-8? God’s enemies, the Philistines also knew the power of God!

And so, even though the Philistines knew the power of God, they fought God’s people anyway; and what happened according to v9-11?? God’s enemies defeated God’s people and they took the Ark as a trophy!

Can God really be defeated by man? Stay tuned!!

But for now, look again at v18….

What’s significant about that verse??

Eli fell backwards and died not because he heard his sons died but …….. because the Ark of the covenant (basically the Word of God) was stolen!

I’m not sure whether we will see Eli in heaven or not; but, Eli’s life is lesson isn’t it? As we noted last week, we should learn from Eli’s life of what not to do!

But I believe God ended 1 Samuel 4 to sum up the lesson being taught.

What good happened in v19-22??

Godly women tried to encourage Phinehas’ wife!

But, what not so good thing happened in v19-22??

Phinehas’ wife lacked faith and she passed on her bitterness of God!!

Wow!! What a lesson! I believe the Biblical principle for us to grasp from this is this:

There will be times of troubles even when we follow God but we must never give up our faith in God!

Perhaps you’re going through some troubles right now; you know, because we live in a fallen world and we still have a tendency to sin, we will all face troubles in our lives! How will we handle them?

1. Do not question God, just do what He says!

I know this is easier said than done; but the first thing we must do is accept the truth that we must do what God says!

2. Always consult with God before making a major decision!

Remember the 7 P’s!

3. Encourage others to stay strong in faith!

The best way to do this is to pray for each other and let each other know you are praying.

4. Be an example of persevering faith and not pass on bitterness against God!

If you’re bitter with God, those close to you will also be bitter!

Be strong in your faith in Jesus Christ and those close to you will be encouraged!

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