1 Sam 4:3

4:3 Why has the Lord defeated us. The elders’ question is appropriate insofar as it reflects the belief that “the battle is the Lord’s” (17:47). They do not wait for an answer, however, but immediately take matters into their own hands.

Let us bring the ark. The elders’ apparent conviction that the ark was a magical guarantee of the Lord’s presence is similar to that of the Philistines (vv. 7–9). Salvation depends on God’s free initiative and sovereign grace, not on human techniques or schemes (2 Sam. 15:25 and note).