Daily Bible Reading “Israel Goes to Battle” (1 Samuel 4:1-11)

Israel Goes to Battle

Today’s Daily Bible Reading is from 1 Samuel 4:1-11. In this Scripture we learn that Israel went to battle against the Philistines. Israel set up camp by Ebenezer and the Philistines made camp in Aphek. Israel was defeated by the Philistines. Four thousand men were killed.

The elders of Israel decided to get the Ark of the Covenant from Shiloh and bring it to their camp in hopes that it may save them from their enemies. When the Ark arrived at the camp all of the Israelites shouted. The Philistines wondered what all the noise was about. When they realized that the Ark of the LORD had arrived at the camp they were afraid.

When the Philistines gathered their wits they went to battle against the Israelites again. Thirty thousand men of Israel were killed. The Ark of God was taken and both of Eli’s sons were killed. What a terrible time for the people of Israel.

Psalm 78:59-62 tells us that the people of Israel made God angry with their sin and disobedience. He was so upset with them that He even forsook the Ark of the Covenant. Can you imagine?

Sometimes things happen in our lives and we don’t understand why God allows them to happen. Surely the people of Israel who were left wondered what in the world was going on. Sometimes we question why God allows things to happen in our lives. Maybe we need to search our hearts.


Daily Bible Reading:

1 Samuel 4:1-11

1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek.
2 And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men.
3 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.
4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
5 And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again.
6 And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the LORD was come into the camp.
7 And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore.
8 Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.
9 Be strong, and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.
10 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.
11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.


Things to think about:

  • Why did the Israelites want to bring the Ark of the Covenant with them?
  • What was the Philistines reaction when they first heard the Ark of the Covenant was in the camp of the Israelites?
  • What would make God allow the Ark of the Covenant to be taken?


Prayer of the Day:

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we read this Scripture in 1 Samuel our hearts are broken for what the people of Israel suffered. Help us as we read this story to realize that there are consequences for our sins. Forgive us, LORD, where we have failed You. Help us to walk in unison with You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

– This is an excerpt from our new release The Book of 1 Samuel: Prophets, Priests, and Kings


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Featured Book:

Samuel 1-25

The Book of 1 Samuel: Prophets, Priests, and Kings

by Deborah H. Bateman

About the Book:

The Book of 1 Samuel: Prophets, Priests, and Kings by Deborah H. Bateman is a Daily Bible Reading Study of the book of 1 Samuel. This is the 31st book in the Daily Bible Reading Series. The book of 1 Samuel is found in the Old Testament of the Bible.

The Book of 1 Samuel not only discusses the life and call of Samuel as prophet but also includes events that happened during his lifetime. The people of Israel insisted on having a king and even though Samuel tried to warn them of the dangers of appointing a king, they insisted. So God chose Saul to be their king. A good portion of the book includes the events during the reign of King Saul including the ongoing rivalry between King Saul and David.

The Book of 1 Samuel: Prophets, Priests, and Kings contains 71 Daily Bible Reading Lessons. Each lesson consists of a commentary by the author, the Daily Bible Reading Scripture, a few questions for contemplation or discussion, and a prayer to go along with the lesson. This Bible study is great as a personal daily devotional or a group Bible study.

For those of you interested in Bible journaling, pick your favorite Bible verse from each lesson and journal about it. This will be a great reminder of the lessons you learn as you read and study this book.

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