In the first reading, the Israelite army is having a bad day. Defeated by the Philistines, they decide to force God's hand: carrying the Ark of the Covenant (understood to be God's throne--with God still seated on it!) onto the battlefield. They attempt to turn God into their servant, to wield his power like a tool in their own hands. (It didn't work out the way they intended.)
|Rembrandt: Christ heals the leper. http://www.rijksmuseum.nl|
St James wrote (scornfully) about people who complain that God does not hear their prayer, when the problem is they are praying "amiss" (Jas 4:2-3). Today's Morning Prayer today seemed to have the answer, starting with the first Psalm (57): "Have mercy on me, God...in you my soul has taken refuge."