Defeated! But Why?

At first, the next story seem unrelated to the message that Samuel delivers to Eli. However, this story provides description of the ruin of Eli’s family line, just as Samuel had promised Eli. As He had done before, the Lord would bring judgment on the sins of his people through foreign army, in this case the Philistines. In so doing the Lord demonstrates his Promise, “I AM in control.” even of those outside the Promise Land.

The Philistines, had become a serious threat to the Israelites during the period of the Judges. We all remember the stories of the judge, Sampson. The Israelites engaged in a “fight against the Philistines”. The Philistines attacked and killed “about four thousand” Israelites.

The leaders were stunned at the defeat. Although the elders understood Israel’s defeat as a judgment from the Lord in other battles, (Judges 2:14; 3:8; 4:2; 1 Sam. 12:9), they conspired to find another solution. Their solution was to bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant into the battle arena.

We can’t be sure of the motivation of this solution. However, based upon the results, the conspired solution wasn’t God’s plan. Perhaps, the elders, under the leadership of Hophni and Phinehas, appear to twist God’s arm into helping them instead of trying to find out the reason for God’s judgment. Maybe the elders believed the ark’s presence among them would save them. There are examples of how the ark was present among Israel’s forces for leadership and protection at various times in Israel’s history (Numbers 10:33–36; Joshua 3:3–7; 4:1–18; 6:6–21).

The problem with Israel was not the bad theology of the elders—faith in things rather than faith in God—but the sins of “Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas,” who “were there with the ark of the covenant of God.” All of Israel would have to suffer because of the sins of a very few.

By | 2018-05-01T10:50:43+00:00 May 3rd, 2018|Categories: All, Promises|

About the Author:

Pastor Phil, his wife Carol, and their three children, started in Bixby over 23 years ago when New Beginnings was meeting in a downtown Bixby store front. As a result of God's blessings, New Beginnings has become one of the fastest growing churches in Oklahoma. Pastor Phil graduated from Tulsa East Central High School (1978), and Tulsa University (1982). After serving for 11 years as a Student Pastor, at the age of twenty-nine Phil began to pastor his first church in Edgewater, Colorado. Phil received a Master’s Degree from Denver Theological Seminary (1994) and completed his doctorate in Missions and Evangelism at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2012. Phil and Carol are honored to serve God in a Kingdom minded church, with joy and longevity.

Leave A Comment