The Glory is
1 Samuel 4:21
“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.”
Pictured before us we have a young lady who has just given birth to a baby boy. After carrying the child in her womb as long as she has in anticipation of this day she is now completely oblivious to the fact that she has been granted this blessing of a baby boy. It isn’t even important to her now. Obviously there is something else on her mind of such importance that child-birth and motherhood seem to be nothing at all to her now. She is completely separated from the situation which is seen here by the mid-wives. So much separated from the joy of child-birth was she that the bible says “she answered not, neither did she regard it.” What is it that could so distress a young momma that the fruit of her own womb is simply dis-regarded? With all that has just happened to her it would seem that this new baby boy would be the only joy she had. It would seem that she could be happy for the fact that she did have this baby boy, but “neither did she regard it.” Something else and of far greater importance was on her mind. Her last words are recorded for us here in the word of God, in verse 22…
“The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.”
My friends, I have often heard the statement made in reference to certain churches that God has written Ichabod over the door and in some cases it is rightly said. There are some churches the God has withdrawn Himself from. It does not mean that there will never again be another manifestation of God’s presence but that He is not openly manifesting His presence presently.
If we will look now at the divine, inspired, word of God we will see just what it was that had this young woman so pre-occupied in verse 21. The Blessed Holy Spirit had it put in writing just for us to read.
“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.”
If you will notice “The glory is departed from Israel:” has a colon after it. This means that the statement which has just been made is a complete thought and can stand on it’s own. Yet, the colon is the stop sign in punctuation. It tells us to stop and look at what is going on, to consider what has just been said and notice what follows.
We need to stop and consider this. “The glory is departed,” This is not just a sudden outburst of a panic stricken individual who was kicking and screaming, fighting for her life. No! We have a very solemn scene pictured here in 1Samuel 4:19-22. The picture is one of this woman who has resigned herself to an expected end. She is not at all surprised by this calamity and has willingly accepted the will of God insomuch that she has quietly given in to divine judgment and let all those around her know it. She was on her death-bed saying “God has withdrawn Himself!” And this was no empty statement. She knew Israel was back-slid, she knew they were in a mess, and she had been expecting this. I believe she knew the Lord. I believe she knew the chastising hand of God when she saw it. I believe she was a child of God, unlike her husband who was a “son of belial” and “who knew not the Lord.” (2:12). I believe she was a child of God for only one who knows God can know that sweet presence of God and only one who knows God can know when that presence is gone. We already know that whom the Father loveth he chasteneth. I like the way I have heard it said, “My daddy never gave me a whipping that I didn’t know what it was for. And my Heavenly Father hasn’t either.” Looking at Hebrews chapter twelve we can actually find joy in the Father’s chastening because “if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons.” This woman knew that this was the judgment of Almighty God. The most part of professing Christendom in our day is filled with bastard children who can not discern the presence or the absence of the Holy Spirit of God and who don’t recognize the truth when it stares them in the face. This woman knew that this was the judgment of God.
Now let us look at why. I want us consider her statement, “the glory is departed from Israel:” and her reasons for making that statement. “because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.”
I. “because the ark of God was taken,”
There is nothing insignificant in the word of God. All these things are written down for our learning and it is important that we carefully examine and consider what has just taken place. There is no way to bring out all that is contained in these words but let’s look at some of the obvious truths. First of all, just look at the fact itself, “the ark of God was taken.” The ark of God was a visible symbol for all the world to see, of God’s presence in the midst of His people. God, through the high priest, communed and communicated with His people from above the Mercy Seat, between the Cherubim. This ark also contained the two tables of stone upon which were written the ten commandments or God’s Holy law. It contained Aaron’s rod that budded and bore fruit, which God had used to show all Israel His choice to be priest. It also contained a bowl of manna which reminded Israel that not only did He provide the Law, and Leadership but also Life and sustenance. The Ark of God was God’s throne upon earth and in that it was His throne here it signified His presence. The Ark had a lid which we know as the Mercy Seat. It is notable that it was the “Mercy Seat.” It was not the “Judgment Seat.” God was above it, not upon it. The only thing on the Mercy Seat was the blood of atonement and Almighty God was above the Mercy Seat, His law below the Mercy Seat. The only thing that could stand between a Holy God and execution of judgment of His Holy Law was, and still is, blood. Mercy was extended year after year because when God looked toward His Law, He saw the Blood and His wrath was stayed. The mercy seat is what concerns us here. This young lady saw that God was withdrawing Himself from Israel in judgment. And she knew why as well as Israel. “because of her father in law and her husband.”
The people had taken the ark from behind the veil. God had not led them to do this. Why had they done it? If you notice 1Samuel 4:1-11 you will see that there was a battle going on between God’s people and the Philistines.
4:1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out
against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and
the Philistines pitched in Aphek.
4:2 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.
4:3 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.
4:4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the
ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between
the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were
there with the ark of the covenant of God.
4:5 And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the
camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang
4:6 And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said,
What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the
Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the LORD was
come into the camp.
4:7 And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the
camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a
4:8 Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty
Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the
plagues in the wilderness.
4:9 Be strong and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be
not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit
yourselves like men, and fight.
4:10 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.
4:11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.
God’s chosen people, Israel, were in a battle with the Philistines and losing in a big way. We must remember, though, circumcision in the flesh does not necessarily mean there has been a circumcision of the heart. God’s people had been misled for so long that they had become blind idolaters. The Philistines had a statue that they worshipped and offered too. They prayed to a lifeless statue of stone. But Israel had “the ark of God.” The Philistines were way over here and they couldn’t even pray to their god because it was way over yonder at home but look here, Israel has the “Ark of God.”
“Oh my, we are losing the battle, what shall we do? Go quickly and fetch the ark of God, it will save us!”
Are you getting the picture here? Do you see the problem? Israel had become idolatrous themselves. They had gotten to the place that they worshipped the tabernacle and it’s furniture. They offered in the tabernacle, upon the altar, upon the ark, to the priests and God was never thought of any more by them in their religious service and offerings. They had lost sight of God and Who God is. Had they been in the faith then, no doubt, there would have been some understanding of their situation. Had they not forgotten God they would have remembered that if they were living right that one of them could chase a thousand. The same God that parted the waters, the same God that knocked down the wall of Jericho, fought alongside Joshua and Gideon! He could deliver them now if they would repent. They didn’t know. Why?
“And because of her father in law”…
This young lady knew that God had judged His people and why. She knew her family. She was the daughter in law of Eli, the high priest. She knew he wasn’t right in his own life. He even named his son “Phinehas,” or, “the serpent’s tongue.” She knew her family. She knew that her father in law had gotten fat, lazy and liberal and would not do right. It was obvious that he lacked discernment, convictions, grit. She knew that he was one of the reasons that God was judging His people. Let’s look at Eli.
We see in Eli a lack of wisdom in His approach to Hannah in 1:12.
1:12 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD,
that Eli marked her mouth.
He saw her lips moving, saw her weeping. If you look at the description given of her state in 1:10-12 it makes you wonder at once what Eli’s problem was. “She was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.” Eli looked at a woman weeping, probably convulsively, she was clean, well dressed, didn’t smell like liquor but boy he wasn’t used to this behavior, weeping and praying with a broken heart in the house of God. He thought she was drunk, and he said so. Shows how much things can change in a year because, according to 1:3 Hannah’s husband only went to the house of God once a year. Prayer became an unusual thing evidently, in that time. Eli should have been familiar enough with his people and his office that he knew she was praying. If you can’t recognize true, fervent prayer when you see it, then chances are, you haven’t done it yourself. Any preacher who doesn’t pray is lazy. He showed his lack of concern in his flippant response to her; Nothing but cold formality. Not one time did he speak in concern for her troubled soul. He never asked if she needed to talk, if she wanted to talk, if he could help. There is not one sign of concern for the people of God in what we see of him in. His daughter in law knew this and it is obvious in her lack of surprise that she was just waiting for this to come upon them.
His son’s saw their father’s attitude toward the priesthood. It was no more than a good, secure, clean job that paid well and had great benefits. Just go in, do this and that, read this and that and speak to some of the people once in a while. Daddy thought it was only a job and the boys thought it was only a job. They stole from God in 2:12-17;
2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.
2:13 And the priest’s custom with the people was, that, when any man
offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in
seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand;
2:14 And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.
2:15 Also before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said
to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he
will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.
2:16 And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat
presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he
would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I
will take it by force.
2:17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the
LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.
they committed adultery in 2:22-25,
2:22 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all
Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door
of the tabernacle of the congregation.
2:23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.
2:24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the
LORD’s people to transgress.
2:25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a
man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.
and Eli did nothing. He let them know that he was aware of what was going on but did nothing about it. Look at how he found out, he had to hear about from the people because he was so lazy that he didn’t stay at the house of God as he was supposed too. She knew he had settled into a hypocritical routine of just showing up at the house of God when he had too. He just practiced the work of the priest in the temple because he had to but he was not the father, the husband, the servant that he ought to have been. She knew Eli was a fat, lazy, liberal preacher who just did what he had to do to live!
“And her husband”…
She knew that God was going to judge His people because of the wickedness of her own husband. Who else but a man’s wife really knows what he is like at the house? My wife knows me better than any other human being I know. She knows when she has a need that she can come to me because I love her and want to see that her needs are met. She knows my temper and she knows what gets me riled up. My wife and I can be together and find ourselves in a situation and she knows when to brace herself because she knows me. She knows I would rather starve than see someone else hungry. She knows that I would rather lose what I have than steal anything. She knows that I will work hard, pray, read, study, visit, teach, preach, spend and be spent for the cause of Christ. My wife knows me. Well, this lady knew her husband. She knew that he was a thief and an adulterer, and she knew better than anyone in the world that he was not saved. If anyone suffers for a man’s wickedness, it is his wife. I can’t imagine how she must have felt when she prayed. “Oh God! We had to eat another meal today stolen from you. Phinehas is not home again tonight, I don’t know who he is with but God I know that he needs you! Oh God! Please help me!” She knew her husband was a thief, that he was an adulterer, she knew in her heart “this can’t go on!” That is why she was not surprised to hear when the ark was taken. She wasn’t surprised to hear of Eli’s death or the death of her husband. She had been expecting this. She knew that the glory had departed long before. It was just being manifested now because they no longer had a place to worship and no longer had a leader in worship. God had just confirmed something that she had known for a long time. That the glory was gone! GONE!
Jesus warned the churches in Revelation chapters 1-3 that He was being forced further and further away from them by their sins and failure to repent. We see a picture of the glory in departing in Revelation chapters 1-3. Jesus has been pushed so far back and so far aside that the church has now become it’s own god. People are involved now in idolatry just as was Israel with the ark of God. The difference, of course, is that now the church and religion are the objects of worship, instead of the ark. The priesthood is getting just the same too. Preachers are getting fat, lazy, and liberal. Unqualified and unregenerate men are standing before the churches across our country preaching a Godless message. Most preachers have gotten settled into a routine, the ministry has become a job, a profession, a living. Preaching is now something that you go to school to get into. Ministry is something that people like and are willing to compromise to keep doing it. Liberalism is creeping in because so many preachers are afraid of losing their “jobs.” And the truth of these statements shows in the character and actions of churches in our day. If you are saved, you know that this is true. Out time here is about over. The glory is departing.
How can we tell?
1. The lack of spiritual discernment among those that claim to be the ministers of God.
2. The lack of spiritual understanding among the professing church.
3. The lawlessness in the lives of those that claim to be the ministers of God in this world.
4. The total disregard for truth and right for the sake of the civil rights of those who are totally contrary to the biblical standard of good.
5. The establishment of laws to protect the rights of those who would destroy all that Christianity stands for while proclaiming their rights to do so.
And this is just to name a few.
We live in a country and at a time that the law of the land is becoming more and more defensive of what was, in a better day, considered immoral and offensive.
(Gambling, Homosexuality, Pornography, Alcohol, Sexual misconduct, Divorce, Profanity, Theft, Fornication, Illegal drugs, and the list goes on)
While Christianity is being defamed and criminally misrepresented in the public arena.
As Christians we are taught to abide by the laws of the land. We are taught to respect the rights and property of others. We are taught to be honest, just, generous, caring, loving, supportive of our fellow man, and to have concern for the well being of all. What kind of government could be so foolish as to want to destroy this type of teaching? America is doing that as we watch. Things that were once against the law are now being legalized, promoted and taxed. America is about as far from God as she can get. The glory is departed. Get ready America, judgment and justice are coming, and they are coming soon. God will judge America for forgetting Him and His statutes, just as He judged Israel for the same thing.
Right click link below and save as or save link as to download pdf…