When my dad played sports with my neighbour buddies and me, it was always Israelites vs. Philistines. Not good guys vs. bad guys; Israelites vs. Philistines. And he was always an Israelite. My buddies didn’t know what a Philistine was but they knew they didn’t want to be one especially when it seemed God was playing for the Israelites. The Philistines were the avowed enemy of the people of God for a time but in this story it looks like God has switched teams. It is staggering to see how far God will go in an effort to win back the hearts of His people.
Sermon Questions 1 Samuel 4
- Talk about a time when you thought God should be fighting for you but instead you felt He was fighting against you and your plan.
- God seemed willing for His people to lose what was precious to them (the Ark of the Covenant) so they would return to Him, the One who is truly Most Precious. Has that ever happened in your life? If you’re able, share that with the group.
- Phineas’ wife calls it the way she sees it when she names her newborn “Ichabod”. It was a moment in time when she wanted it marked: “This is the worst”. Have you ever had an Ichabod time in your life? Share that with group and also tell how God took it from there.
- When Jesus comes, Immanuel, “God with us,” the glory returns. What does it mean in your life to believe that ‘the Glory is here’ and God will never “Ichabod” (depart) again?