Substituting for God
October 21, 2020

Today’s 333 Devotional: “Substituting for God”

Back in the days when Samuel was just a boy it says that the word of the Lord was rare in Israel, and there was no real divine revelations (1 Samuel 3:1). The reason was simple; they had departed from the Lord.

It was also during this time that the Philistines dealt Israel a resounding defeat and the people wondered why God would allow this to happen.

They said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines?” (1 Samuel 4:3a)

So they took the Ark of the Covenant into battle with them, thus making a serious mistake. The mistake was that they thought they could control God. Instead of humbling themselves and seeking God to find out what went wrong, they used their own reasoning.

As a result they substituted the Ark of the Covenant for God’s presence. The Ark was to represent God’s presence among His people, but the people thought that the power of God laid in the symbol. They shifted their trust from God to a symbol representing God. The substituted their relationship for a religion.

We see this in what they said.

“Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Shiloh to us, that when it comes among us it may save us from the hand of our enemies.” (1 Samuel 4:3b)

Notice, they took “it,” not God with them so that “it,” not God could save them.

Let’s not make the same mistake. It’s not about how many Bibles or religious books we own, nor is it about the type of Bible we carry. It also isn’t the Christian jewelry we wear, nor is it about the Christian stickers we put on our cars.

Rather it is about knowing and having that intimate relationship with God.

The Bible says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him (know Him intimately), and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

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