Featured Passage: 1 Samuel 4-6
When Israel finally came into the land God promised them, under Joshua’s leadership each of the tribes were given different territories where they could build their homes and families. During their wanderings in the wilderness, God had led them with the ark of the covenant and the tabernacle to represent his presence. Upon entering the new land, Joshua and the people set up the tabernacle in Shiloh where the ark would stay for many years, long after Joshua was gone. For a long while the ark was undisturbed and kept by the Levites in the tabernacle, but the people were forgetting why it was important. One day, when the Israelites were desperately preparing to go out to battle against their enemies, they made a rash decision. If they were to bring the ark of the covenant into battle with them like in the days of Joshua, surely God would protect them, right?
- Why was the ark of the covenant so important? What did it represent?
- Why do you think the Israelites decided to bring the ark into battle with them? Why didn’t their plan work?
- What did the Philistines do with the ark when they first captured it? What happened to their idol when the ark was put in their pagan temple? What message do you think God was trying to send?
- Why did the Philistines decide to give the ark back to the Israelites? How did they do it?
- Where was the ark kept after the Philistines sent it back?
- The next person to move the ark of the covenant was King David (2 Samuel 6). Why did David move it? What happened when he tried?
1 Samuel 4:22
And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”