1 Samuel 4:1-3
Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. 2 The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. 3 When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.”
Why did God allow them to be defeated? Asking the question was a good step, and they almost got it right. God didn’t bring them victory because they had turned away from him, not making him the centre of their lives. Unfortunately their response missed the mark, simply plonking a symbol of God in the midst of them didn’t make him truly central to them and the way they lives – just as going to church services doesn’t necessarily either, physical or online.
Help us, help me, to truly make you our centre.