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“God--My Giant Vending Machine?”

“She named the child Ichabod (which means ‘Where is the glory?’) …

Then she said, ‘The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured.’”

1 Samuel 4:21-22

Yesterday we saw that because the Lord was with Samuel, the entire nation of Israel was blessed. So why did God’s presence depart from Israel?

The Israelites were at war, suffering defeat by the Philistines. So, their leaders decided to get the Ark of the Covenant. “If we carry it into battle with us, it will save us from our enemies.” Notice they did not say anything about trusting GOD to save them. It seems they were trusting the Ark instead of the One who dwelled in the Ark!

Also notice who accompanied the Ark into battle… Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli. (v.4) These priests had no respect for the Lord and showed contempt for HIS offerings! What a mockery…men trying to “use” a God they despised to win a victory for themselves!

God is not an “it” to be treated like some giant vending machine. He is a God of relationship who joyfully comes to live with those who welcome Him…and He brings to that relationship all His blessings! But, without relationship, there is no connection through which His power can flow.

God does not want the tokens I drop into a “HELP” machine…He wants me! If I make relationship my priority, I can be sure…God’s Presence will never depart!


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