Where is the Glory?
And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband. ~1 Samuel 4:21
The glory of God is the effulgence of His holiness and His presence. It is how God revealed Himself in a matchless way to His people after the blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat and at certain times in the temple. The Ark of God was a physical symbol that God gave Israel to constantly remind them that God was among them. However, our devotion this morning centers on what happens when the glory is no longer with us. Israel came to sad state when the glory was no longer with them.
We see the defeat.
“And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men.” Israel went to battle against the Philistines in their own power. They were sadly defeated. Whenever we try to engage in spiritual warfare, attempt to enter into new territory, or do the work of the Lord in our own energy and strength, we can never advance. We become our worst enemies when we do things in the flesh.
We see the delusion.
“And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.” They thought of the Ark of God as an afterthought. It’s interesting how we think of God only after there is a defeat or a loss. They thought of the Ark of God as a relic that would save them. Sadly, it was not a relic that they needed but repentance and a relationship with the Lord. They were delusional when they said, “When it cometh among us, it may save us.” God help us when we trust in relics and have no relationship with God.
We see the disaster.
“And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.” There were 30,000 soldiers who died, the Ark of God was taken, Hophni and Phinehas were slain, and Eli fell backwards and broke his neck. We face major disaster when we live in sin, pretension, and presumption that we are disaster-proof. There was pandemonium throughout the camp. We put ourselves and others at great risk when we try to live our life our way.