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Lucky Boots

Today's Devotional

Read: 1 Samuel 4:1–11 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 50; Hebrews 8

I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another. Isaiah 42:8

Too late, Tom felt the chilling “click” beneath his combat boots. Instinctively, he bounded away in an adrenaline-fueled leap. The deadly device hidden underground didn’t detonate. Later, the explosive ordnance disposal team unearthed eighty pounds of high explosives from the spot. Tom wore those boots until they fell apart. “My lucky boots,” he calls them.

Tom may have clung to those boots simply to commemorate his close call. But people are often tempted to consider objects “lucky” or to even give them the more spiritual label “blessed.” Danger arrives when we credit an object—even a symbol—as a source of God’s blessing.

The Israelites learned this the hard way. The Philistine army had just routed them in battle. As Israel reviewed the debacle, someone thought of taking the “ark of the Lord’s covenant” into a rematch (1 Samuel 4:3). That seemed like a good idea (vv. 6–9). After all, the ark of the covenant was a holy object.

But the Israelites had the wrong perspective. By itself, the ark couldn’t bring them anything. Putting their faith in an object instead of in the presence of the one true God, the Israelites suffered an even worse defeat, and the enemy captured the ark (vv. 10–11).

Mementos that remind us to pray or to thank God for His goodness are fine. But they’re never the source of blessing. That is God—and God alone.

How do you show evidence of your faith in God? When you’re faced with a crisis, what do you focus on to help you?

Loving Father, forgive me when I’m tempted to put my faith in anything but You.


It’s not surprising the Philistines didn’t know much about God. But it is surprising that the Israelites also demonstrated little knowledge of Him (1 Samuel 4:1–11). The Philistines had heard of God’s greatness but misunderstood it. They recalled the plagues He used to free Israel from Egypt more than three hundred years earlier but remembered them as taking place in the wilderness, not in Egypt, and attributed God’s power to “mighty gods” (v. 8). Israel mistakenly thought the ark’s presence meant the presence of God Himself (v. 3). They were seeking military success instead of seeking the One who brings that success.

By |2023-11-11T01:33:40-05:00November 11th, 2023|
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