Â Â Â Â Israel faced a dark time. To them, it seemed like God had abandon them. They had taken the Ark of the Covenant into battle, but they were still defeated by the Philistines. Even worse, both Eli and his sons, the effective rulers of Israel, were also dead.
Â Â Â Â But consider what really happened that day. Israel was losing in its war, so rather than appeal to God, they placed their faith in the Ark. What they failed to realize is that the Ark had no power of its own, but rather it was the God who had commanded that Ark to be built who gave them victory. Because of their misguided notions of power, the Israelites lost and were humiliated.
Â Â Â Â The same thing happens when we place our own trust in our works. When we rely on our works to save us, we are lost to God and the Salvation He won us by Jesusâ€™ death. The simple truth is that our works do not save us, rather it is our faith that saves us by Grace. Our works are simply an outgrowth of that faith, a faith we have because of the Holy Spirit through the Word and the Sacraments.