1 Samuel 4 is the story of how the Israelites (who were living in sin) went to war without consulting God. The first battle (round 1), 4,000 Israelites died. They asked, “Why did Yahweh not let us win?” So they brought the Ark of the Covenant to the battle (round 2) and they cheered thinking the Ark of the Covenant would win them this time. On that day, 30,000 Israelites died, Eli (high priest) and his sons died, and worst, the Ark of the Covenant went into the hands of the Philistines – fulfilling the Lord’s prophecy. Losing the covenant meant that “God’s glory has departed.”
I was reminded of how many times I have used God as my “lucky charm”. The times when I had my own battles but instead of consulting God on what to do, I demand Him to bless me, protect me, win my battles. I have twisted God’s arm, and used Him as it deemed convenient to me.
Sometimes, we reduce God to a talisman and put Him in a dusty trunk, and ask Him to rescue us, just because. “Win me this battle,” instead of “Lord, I have sinned against heaven and against You, forgive me and deliver me.” It is important that we go down on our knees and repent so that our intimacy is restored.
Remember this, God isn’t our genie. God cannot be contained. He does as he pleases (Psalm 135:6). Unlike other gods we can appease with good works and sacrifices, He delights in obedience (Psalm 40:6). So stop trying to win God’s favor or making Him your lucky charm. Our God is the Lord of Lords, King of Kings. To reduce Him to such is an insult to His very being. Instead, let us learn to revere God and to worship Him as holy. We are to serve God not the other way around.