January 11, 2018
In the meantime, Israel was losing it’s faith in the LORD and slowly turning to the idolatrous gods of the heathens.
After a fierce struggle, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who slew about four thousand men on the battlefield. When the troops retired to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the LORD permitted us to be defeated today by the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the LORD from Shiloh that it may go into battle among us and save us from the grasp of our enemies.” . . . The Philistines fought (again) and Israel was defeated; every man fled to his own tent. It was a disastrous defeat, in which Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark of God was captured, 1_Sm_4:1-11
The Ark of God was not just another talisman, a good luck charm that would bring good fortune just by its presence. It was God Himself who would bring fortune to those who believed and trusted in His providence. And that was lost by the Israelites!
It’s a good reminder to us as well, beloved. Though we have statues of The blessed Virgin, Joseph and the saints. Though we have our rosaries and our precious Saint medals, they are not talismen either. They are not good luck charms. It is Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit, whom we worship and rely upon, who will strengthen us to accomplish whatever we need to accomplish – according to His will. We may use those sacramentals as reminders of our Lord and the saints, but it is not the sacramentals, it is the LORD who will help us defeat our enemies in the long run. Trust in Him, beloved. And never remove your heart from His love!
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