1 Samuel 4

“Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies" (v3).  The Israelites had faith in the symbol of God’s presence, which was the ark of the covenant, and they wanted God’s power to help them in battle.  But God can’t be manipulated.  The unrepentant sin of Israel’s wicked priests, Hophni and Phinehas, had to be judged before the nation could prosper (ch 2, 4:17). 

“The glory has departed from Israel!” (v21).  We can’t ignore God’s commands and then try to benefit from His power.  He calls us to walk in humble obedience so that His glory shines through us.