The Gospel of the Ark, part 1 (1 Samuel 4)

1 Samuel 4 describes the fall of Eli’s house. Samuel will take over as priest-judge in Israel, but Yahweh must first carry out his purpose of judgment against his corrupt priest-judge and a godless nation. This is why a new “character” takes center stage in chapters 4-6: the ark of the covenant. The ark was a symbol of God’s glorious presence among his covenant people. It was Yahweh’s earthly throne. It contained the two stone tablets (to remind Israel of his commands), a jar of manna (to remind Israel of his provision), and Aaron’s rod (to remind Israel of his salvation). But possession of the ark did not guarantee God’s favor.

In this sermon, pastor Matt reminds us that those who fail to give God the glory due his name will fall before him. But the good news is that despite judgment, loss, and apparent defeat, the God of Israel is at work to save his people from the power of their enemies.