The Benjaminite answered, “Israel ran away from the Philistines, and the Israelite army has lost many soldiers. Your two sons are both dead, and the Philistines have taken the Ark of God.” When he mentioned the Ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair… (1 Samuel 4:17, 18 NCV)
I’ve read this passage before.
I read it again a couple of weeks ago.
The thing that always surprises me?
Eli’s responses to the 2 reports he received.
Eli was told his sons had died…
He didn’t fall out.
Elie was told the Ark was gone…
He fell out.
I understand that Eli was told a little before that his sons would pay for their past sins, but I would still have to think that it was upsetting to him to find out that his sons had died. After all, they were his sons.
As upset as he may have been about his sons, Eli didn’t fall over backwards and die until the report mentioned the Ark of God. You see, to Eli, the Ark of God (the presence of God) was the most important thing to him. To Eli, the presence of God for Israel and himself was so important, it trumped even his family.
I have to wonder…
is God’s presence something that means THAT much to me? Do I take moments throughout the day to recognize and just appreciate the presence of God in my life. It’s not that I deserve to have the Creator of the universe watch over me everyday. It’s only by His grace. It’s only by His love and effort. That should matter to me.
God’s presence should greatly change my life. His presence should change my days, my relationships, my time, and my joy.
God’s presence in me is important. I need to be more aware.