1 Samuel 4: Ichabod – Departed Glory

Good evening y’all :). Today we are continuing our study of 1 Samuel with Good Morning Girls. We will be looking at chapter 4.

I pray you are blessed as you read 🙂

And Samuel’s words went out to all the people of Israel. At that time Israel was at war with the Philistines. The Israelite army was camped near Ebenezer, and the Philistines were at Aphek. The Philistines attacked and defeated the army of Israel, killing 4,000 men. After the battle was over, the troops retreated to their camp, and the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord allow us to be defeated by the Philistines?” Then they said, “Let’s bring the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord from Shiloh. If we carry it into battle with us, it will save us from our enemies.” So they sent men to Shiloh to bring the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, who is enthroned between the cherubim. Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, were also there with the Ark of the Covenant of God. When all the Israelites saw the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord coming into the camp, their shout of joy was so loud it made the ground shake!” (V1-5 NLT)

The Ark of the covenant signified the presence of God in those days. The Israelites went into battle against the Philistines. They lost the battle and their next thought was to get the Ark of the covenant onto the battle field so they could defeat their enemies.

On the surface, there is nothing wrong with them wanting the presence of God with them but how they went about it was wrong. The Ark of God was meant to be in the Holies of Holies where only the High Priest has access to. Although the Ark has gone out in battle before, but only on the Instruction of God (Josh 6: 6-8 , Num 31:6). In today’s reading, the Israelite didn’t even seek God’s opinion on whether to take the Ark or not.  They just assumed it was okay to take it. Interestingly, Eli didn’t restrain them, he even sent his sons along with the Ark!

They took the Ark anyway and they were still defeated. Infact worse than when they didn’t have the Ark with them. I ask how come?  I believe this was due to the sin and lawlessness that was prominent amongst the Israelites in those days. Recall that in the previous chapters it is written that the voice of God was scarce and the people did whatever pleased them. Instead of them to repent and wait on God, they chose to continue in their sin and still expect God to come through for them. 

Their foolishness cost them a lot. The Ark was captured by the Philistines. Eli’s sons died and he died as well on the same day. His daughter-in-law gave birth to son she named Ichabod meaning ‘The glory has departed…’She died immediately after giving birth. Truly the glory did depart from Israel on that day.

This makes me understand that it is possible for us to claim we know God and yet our lives and actions won’t allow His presence and power be fully manifested in our lives: especially if we are medling with sin. I’m reminded of 2 Tim 3: 5 which says: “They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” (NLT)

This quote from Charles Spurgeon sums its up well…..”Instead of attempting to get right with God, these Israelites set about devising superstitious means of securing the victory over their foes. In this respect most of us have imitated them. We think of a thousand inventions; but we neglect the one thing needful … They forget the main matter, which is to enthrone God in the life, and to seek to do his will by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Spurgeon) 

I pray as we go about our daily lives, God will give us the grace to live holy before Him and may His presence never depart from our lives In Jesus’s Name. Amen.

I will leave us with the words of Jesus in John 15:5-6 

 Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire”. (MSG) 

Thanks for joining today. Pls feel free to leave your thots and comments on the chapter. 

Have a blessed evening 😘

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