A few thoughts from the passage today.
1) We need to make sure we continue to worship and obey the creator- with the honor and respect due Him....which includes following his commands.
In reading through the first part of chapter of 4, I was trying to figure out why God would allow the Israelites to be defeated once again. Typically in the past they had fallen away from God or worshiped other God's but in this case it does not directly mention that. Originally God had provided strict instructions around where the ark was to be kept and who was to be in close proximity with the ark. The Most Holy of the tabernacle was the location it was to be kept and only the High Priest (Eli) was supposed to enter in and be in proximity to the ark. Yet ...Hophni and Phinehas must have had access to it as they were with the ark when it was brought from Shiloh. Maybe trying to read too much into this and looking for a "reason" for the loss but perhaps once again Israel failed to follow God's commands.
2) It is somewhat interesting that even non-believers are often mindful of God's power....yet they continue on their current path...following false gods and relying on their own strength.
How often as believers do we forget the powerful God we serve, and the deliverance he has provided throughout history and will continue to provide.
3) Eli Fell backwards and died not as a result of hearing of his sons deaths, but rather in hearing of the capture of the Ark.The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.”
4) Man may have several "gods" but the one true God continues to reveal himself.
Imagine the Philistines having a temple dedicated to Dagon...and placing the Ark next their primary god whom they believed was responsible for weather and crops. Waking up not once but on two mornings to see their all powerful god toppled over and on his face in reverance before the Ark. God continues to show his power, even though we may try to compartmentalize him with many other important things in our lives (aka other gods like Dagon).