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Daily Reading: 1 Samuel 4-5

Scripture Focus: When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines?” (1 Samuel 4:3)

Devotional Thought: Why did defeat come to the Israelites? Why does defeat come to the church?

We had a hint in the second chapter: “In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions” (v. 3). The people had lost sight of the Lord! Even Samuel, raised in the house of the Lord, "did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him" (v. 7). Should not this boy have been exposed to God's Word as he worked in the tabernacle?

In these days, the word of the Lord is rare, and it is becoming rarer as Christianity faces religious persecution as never seen in America before - and done in the name of tolerance! Christians are singled out for their beliefs, and punished for staying true to their convictions – from pastors to bakers to sisters of mercy. To make matters worse, many churches have watered down the gospel and compromised the truth, leaving their members either confused and unsatisfied, or worse – confident in an eternal security that will not belong to them.

I am grateful for the churches that remain true to God’s Word. There are still many of them, but I wonder: For how long? They face increasing pressure to conform to the world, rather than proclaim the truth of sin and the hope of the gospel. We need to stand firm in the truth, and most importantly, we need to pray. Without the Truth and without prayer, we go into the battle without the Ark of the Lord!


Prayer: Lord, we must remain faithful in these days of moral relativism, but we cannot do so without you, so help your church to be strong in Truth and vigilant in prayer. Amen.

Psalm of the Day Psalm 76.8-12

8 From the heavens you uttered judgment; the earth feared and was still, 9 when God arose to establish judgment, to save all the humble of the earth. Selah

10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise you; the remnant of wrath you will put on like a belt. 11 Make your vows to the Lord your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared, 12 who cuts off the spirit of princes, who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.

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