Superstitions

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1 Samuel 4:3

“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.”

Superstitions are quite common to many people. They believe that if they have something like a ring, a little cross, a pendant (things they think have some magical power to help) it will mean deliverance, safety and blessing.

Superstitious beliefs are not new and examples can be found even in the Bible. There are several examples in God’s Word of people that believed in these things. Sadly, some of them were seen in the nation of Israel. There are instances in the Bible that God’s people held high the Ark of the Covenant and the Temple of God. The Ark and the Temple were not evil, but they became the replacement of God as the source of deliverance, safety, and blessing. They believed that as long as the Ark was with them, or the Temple still standing, they will be fine.

1 Samuel 4:3 is an example of that. The sons of Eli, together with other people, took the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, believing that the Ark would save them from the Philistines. In the book of Jeremiah, God’s people also believed the same thing about the Temple. (It is amazing how the things that are associated with God can become a replacement for God!) The people of God were so dependent on their superstitious beliefs that they thought it could bring God’s favour. Meanwhile, they lived in sin, oppressed the poor and widows, and practiced idolatry.

Christians today do not have the Ark or the Temple to replace God, but there are many other things that can replace God. Small objects like a cross, an angel pin, a necklace, pendants, etc. These things can be a reminder probably, but they should never be used to replace God as the source of deliverance, safety, and blessing.

Similarly, many Christians believe that as long as they keep up their church attendance, tithing, singing in the choir, and participation in ministries they will have God grant them material blessings in this life. Meanwhile, their heart is far from God and they live as if God is not the center of it. Again, church attendance, tithing, or singing in the choir are good things to do; they all please God. However, if it is not done by faith (Hebrews 11:6) and it is not motivated by love for God and others (1 Corinthians 13), it is worth nothing.

True faith and service for God never involves superstitious beliefs. God wants us to do His will according to His Word. Let us not misplace our faith. The object of our faith should be Christ and His Word. Let us worship and serve God with true faith and love.

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