I Samuel 4:5 When the ark of the Lord’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. 6 Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?”
When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, 7 the Philistines were afraid. “A god has[a] come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. 8 We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. 9 Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!”
10 So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
If I would have only posted verses 5-8 I could have written “Bring God into your camp and you will conquer all your enemies”. The problem is, that is not the end of the story. The Israelites go on to be defeated. 30,000 die. Hophni and Phinehas die, Eli dies and Phinehas’ wife dies in childbirth, the ark of the covenant is captured.
Now, that’s a bad day.
Why? The ark was there. The power of God was there. What happened?
We can do everything right and things still turn out wrong – or so it seems.
The Philistines take the ark and everywhere it goes, the towns are cursed. Now they need to return it along with sacrifices.
Your story is not over. Stay with God and watch for His gifts to return to you.