The ark of God had become a superstition for the Israelites. Yes, the ark represented God’s presence with His people, but they seem to have gone beyond that. They thought they could find victory in the ark instead of through the God of the ark. We should not be surprised to read of the defeat that followed. God is a jealous God, a consuming fire, and He will not allow His people to trust in anything but Him—for His glory and His people’s good.
God is no less jealous today. We may not have an ark to trust in, but we can make the same mistake in different ways. We have our own superstitions. We can place our trust in church attendance: If we miss a week, we fear God might chastise us, or we believe we can earn His blessing by our faithful attendance. Similarly, we can trust in our behavior, our theological acumen, our denominational allegiance, or a host of other psychological talismans.
There might not be anything inherently wrong with some of these things—they can be good things—but they are not the one thing upon which we are to place our trust. Our trust for ultimate salvation and daily sustenance is to rest on Christ and His completed work alone. All else is superstition, and it will not take our gracious God long to bring defeat into our lives so that victory—trusting in Him alone—may follow.
What might you be prone to trust in rather than in Christ alone?