Would you consider yourself superstitious? Most of us would deny being superstitious. In our modern, scientific, and technologically driven world, we would see superstition as archaic and mythological.
Superstition takes a right concept (the idea that there is an unseen force which effects our lives positively or negatively) and links that right concept with a wrong connection (a certain object or sequence of events.)
In 1 Samuel chapter 4, the Israelites were superstitious, because they wrongly connected God’s favor with the physical Ark of the Covenant. They assumed that God’s favor was in holding onto the Ark of the Covenant, rather than holding onto the Covenant itself. The Israelites saw God’s presence and favor as the result of keeping the box that held God’s law, rather than keeping God’s law itself.
An initial reading might prompt us to say, “I can’t believe these ancients were superstitious enough to think that putting a golden chest in the middle of a battle would ensure their victory!”
But before we’re too hard on the Israelites, let’s be honest. Don’t we tend to think that the more we’re inside a church building the more God will like us? Don’t we tend to think that the more good things we do, the more God will bless us?
We can be just a superstitious as the Israelites.
How often do we feel we’re made right by visiting God’s house, rather than abiding in Him? How often do we feel better about ourselves because we carry and read God’s word, rather than obeying and living God’s word?
We need to turn from our religious superstition by finding our comfort, direction, and strength in God Himself, rather than in the things that symbolize Him.