…the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark…here that it may…save us…”
1 Samuel 4:3 ESV
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; …yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.
John 5:39-40 ESV
In these two sections of Scripture, we have people identifying themselves as God’s children, God’s chosen, seeking to save themselves by doing religious looking things, but missing salvation altogether.
We recently read the story of the Israelites coming against the tribe of Benjamin. They are defeated in battle and inquire of the Lord with tears and fasting. They get salvation.
Here, they don’t actually inquire of the Lord, no looking to the Lord and waiting on an expected response. They just throw out a question and move on to their own decision about what to do.
The Pharisees knew the Scriptures. They searched them looking for eternal life. They missed it.
How did they miss it? It’s knowing the only true God and the Son that brings eternal life (John 17:3). The words aren’t the life. They point us to Life. Reading without the Holy Spirit illuminating it is just an intellectual exercise. The Word is a person.