This morning I dove into the book of 1 Samuel. I believe God gave me an idea into his character, but also a stern warning against the way many of us live today. That warning was this; God is not our Lucky Rabbits foot. We don’t just get out of jail free whenever we “pull the God-card” and expect him to show up. The fact is that He does have great plans for our life, but that doesn’t mean we get to do whatever we want and it’s His responsibility to make it great.
Case in point, chapter 4. But first, let me set the stage. Eli is 98 years old and has ruled Israel as the High Priest for 40 years. During that time his 2 sons were placed in a leadership role and took advantage of the people at the expense of God. They proved over and over again that they did not care about correction or about what God’s plan was for the nation of Israel. So when we find ourselves getting to chapter 4 (yes, there is also passages that are actually about Samuel too) we see the Israelites heading out to battle against their archenemy, the Philistines. Usually God would help the Israelites win battles, but they didn’t realize that because they had turned their back on God, He wasn’t with them and they lost the battle and 4,000 men.
I wish I could say that they learned their lesson and sought God’s direction, but I can’t because, well, I’ve actually read the Old Testament and know the Israelites. Instead they did what is way to often still today, they played the God-card in a situation that God didn’t ordain! They went back and brought the Ark of the Covenant, the very presence of God, to the battlefield that they weren’t supposed to be on in the first place. The result? The Israelites once again lost the battle, this time loosing 30,000 soldiers, the Ark, both of Eli’s sons, and when Eli heard about it all he fell backwards off his chair and the weight of his hefty body snapped his neck and he died too.
Moral of the story? Just because you wear a cross around your neck does not give you the right to walk wherever you want. Instead, if that is a simple of the cross you have picked up daily, then your steps will be guided into the right places for the right reasons so you can give God glory when you see the right victories. If you live a life that is seeking God’s direction, you can rest in peace that his hand is on you even when you face struggles. But let’s not get our thought process twisted. We are on this earth to be a light, to point people to Christ, to do the work as a laborer for Him (Lk 10:2)! We are not here so that God bless us as we do whatever, wherever. God is our Lord, that means guidance, direction, rule, not our lucky rabbits foot.