1 Samuel 4:13
And when he came, see, Eli sat on a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God…
I. SOME REASONS WHY THE CAUSE OF RELIGION SHOULD BE VERY DEAR TO US, in other words, why we should care for the ark of God.
1. Because the cause of religion ensures the chief elements in the welfare of men. Eli was a patriot. He felt the loss of the ark would mean sorrow and shame to the family, the loss of glory to the village, the rushing, like sudden night, of ruin on the nation.
2. Because the cause of religion is identified with the glory of God. As a creature in the work of the Creator, a loyal subject in the designs of his Sovereign, a filial child in the purposes of his father, a good man is interested in the religion God has given to man.
II. SOME CONSIDERATIONS THAT SHOULD FILL US WITH ANXIETY ABOUT THE CAUSE OF RELIGION IN OUR MIDST, in other words, which shall make our hearts tremble for the ark of God. We may urgently inquire about religion in England, as Eli did about the ark, "What is there done, my son?" The reply will tell of:
1. Antagonism. Intellectual, moral.
2. Neglect. Recent census of church-goers reveals appalling indifferentism.
III. SOME OF THE WAYS IN WHICH WE MAY PROMOTE THE CAUSE OF RELIGION, in other words, do our part to ensure the safety and progress of the ark of God.
1. Never conceal your belief in religion. Opposition is blatant and noisy, shall not allegiance be distinct and pronounced.
2. Uphold the institutions and observe the rites of religion.
3. Diffuse its knowledge and extend its influence by example, prayer, gifts, work. Old Eli, blind and feeble, sat by the wayside waiting for news of the ark, who of us will be content to be found in such a posture of feebleness and ignorance about the progress of religion?
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out.