Text: 1 Samuel 4
Twelve times in this chapter the ark of God is mentioned. The ark is significant in that it was where God met with the high priest. The chapter starts off with God’s word coming to Samuel, but the people seem to have their own ideas.
Glory of God gone from the battle (vss 1-2)
- The title comes from 1 Samuel 4:21. The name Ichabod means the glory of God is gone. The glory of God is fully departed from Israel in this chapter. Israel is a nation of God’s people in name only. They have no resemblance to God’s people and haven’t for many years. When Samuel is called in chapter 3 it’s as if the Lord calls Samuel and promotes him right before the lights go out on the nation.
- Maybe you keep getting beat up by your sin and God’s strength is no where to be found in your fight?
- Endure hardness as a good soldier. Fight the good fight. Be not weary in well doing. Exhort one another daily.
Glory of God gone from leadership (vss 3-9)
- Panic sets in because there was great loss. People become superstitious, misguided, and cowardly. They can’t stomach another fight.
- A sanctified joke in verse 4.
- An emotional outpouring without any power in verses 5-7.
- Maybe you’ve lost your stomach to fight sin in your life? Like these Israelites you’re looking for a good luck charm to ward off evil. You just want to take the pill and make it go away. You just want to smoke your troubles away.
- God’s people won’t fight, but the devil’s people fight like their lives depend on it. Don’t let the devil have more fight in him than you do.
Glory of God gone from the priesthood (vss 10-11)
- These priests who were sanctified jokes let the enemy in spiritually and disregarded God for years. Now the enemy has showed up physically to remove them.
- The Lord was actively using an enemy to destroy those that made a mess of His house.
- 1 Corinthians 5
- 1 Corinthians 11:27-31 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.
Glory of God gone from all things dedicated to God (vss 12-18)
- How telling it is that Eli and his family are the ones responsible for the ark. But when it comes to spiritual matters Eli and his boys have become irrelevant. The messenger doesn’t even bother telling Eli what’s happened to the ark.
- Spiritual life of Israel has gone to the wayside (vs 13). Anyone remember a parable Jesus told about seed falling by the wayside? Here is what that looks like in all its tragedy
Glory of God gone from the nation (vss 19-22)
- So Phineah’s is not only fornicating with women who come into the tabernacle, but Phineahs, this priest of God so called, has a wife and a child. What a mess!
- It’s got to be really bad when a child is named after the hopeless estate the nation has come to find itself.
- We are in the midst of the gasping convulsions of a nation that talks about God, but whose heart is far from God. We love our sin. We love our pleasure. We don’t want to be bothered by God unless we’re desperate.
- God’s looking for a Samuel. Everyone in the priesthood died at the hands of the Philistines except one, Samuel. Where was Samuel when this happened? How come the Philistines didn’t take his life? He’s an easy prey as a boy. You know why he doesn’t die? Because God had plans for Samuel because Samuel has been faithful. But He no longer had plans for Eli or his boys.