Ichabod – “Departed Glory”

I Sam 4:1-22

Today, the warnings God has been giving to Eli came to pass. Israel was at war with the Philistines, and very surprisingly Israel was losing. Eli’s two sons were part of the army in this battle.

It was then decided that the ark of the covenant should be brought into the battle camp of the Israelites. When the ark arrived, there was a roar in the camp which intially terrified the Philistines. However, they made up their mind and strenghten themselves and still went into battle against Israel.

To everyone’s surprise, the Philistines defeated Israel despite the presence of the ark of God in camp. Both Hophni and Phinehas were killed in battle, and the ark of the covenant was taken by the Philistines. This was a very serious issue because the ark is the symbol of God’s presence and glory in Israel. It seemingly looked as if the glory has departed form Israel.

When Eli heard the message of the defeat of Israel, his sons, and the capture of the ark, he fell over from his seat, broke his neck and died.His daughter in-law (Phinehas’ wife) who was pregnant, also went immediately into labourwhen she heard all the tragic news. She gave birth in death and her son was named Ichabod – The glory has departed from Israel.

God’s judgment came upon Eli and his family, it was terrible to fall into the hands of God. It is dreary to have his presence and glory depart, if God is against us, the enemies will defeat us. May we abide under his glory always.

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