“And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.” 1 Samuel 4:3 (KJV, emphasis added)
Can you recall a time when you were engaged in position or belief that is superstitious? I’m sure that you can either relate to or at least be familiar with the following superstitious beliefs:
- Beginner's luck (why a novice wins)
- Find a penny, pick it up (it will bring good luck)
- Don't walk under that ladder! (because it brings bad luck)
- Black cats crossing your path (will invite misfortune or bad luck)
- A rabbit's foot will bring you luck
- Careful with that mirror (breaking a mirror will get you seven years of bad luck)
- Knock on wood (for good luck and protection)
- Make a wish on a wishbone (for good luck or to get what you want)
- Cross your fingers (for good luck)
There was a time when a lot of us tapped to a tune by Steve Wonder called Superstition.
Very superstitious, writings on the wall
Very superstitious, ladders bout' to fall
Thirteen month old baby, broke the lookin' glass
Seven years of bad luck, the good things in your past
When you believe in things that you don't understand
Then you suffer
Superstition ain't the way
Superstition is defined as a widely-held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event or a practice based on such belief.
From our text, we see God’s people displaying a superstitious spirit in where they placed their confidence for protection, provision and a position of victory. Under the spirit or influence of superstition, they sent men to Shiloh to bring the Ark of the Covenant to the battlefield, superstitiously supposing that just its presence, like a walking with a wishbone in their pocket, would turn the battle to their favor. They were soundly spanked with a serious beat down.
“And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.” 1 Samuel 4:10-11 (KJV)
Instead of following in faith, which would fix their heart on the Father, their fleshly feeling caused them to sink and be seduced into superstition. Subsequently, the Israelites’ superstitious beliefs caused them to be smitten with thirty thousand killed, the Ark being captured and a diminishing of the divine power of God as represented by the Ark of the covenant.
Superstition is not the way for the saint (child of God). I encourage you to evict any spirit, system or suggestion that will cause you to suspend the sovereignty of God in your life. We don’t knock on wood; we fall on the Rock (Jesus Christ).
For the Glory of God,