The nation of Israel tried to force God’s hand by taking matters into their own hands. It did not turn out so well with them and the result was not only a great defeat in battle but the departure of the presence and glory of God.
We need to evaluate where we are as a nation, as a church, and as individuals to see how the lesson learned by Israel might apply to us today.
When The Glory Is Gone
She named the child Ichabod (which means “Where is the glory?”), for she said, “Israel’s glory is gone.” She named him this because the Ark of God had been captured and because her father-in-law and husband were dead. Then she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured.” 1 Samuel 4:21-22
1. First We Must Realize The Glory Is Gone
Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord. 17 …they treated the Lord’s offerings with contempt. 1 Samuel 2:12; 17
[Christ] …has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father… Revelation 1:6
2. We Must Recognize Who Left Who
…Why did the Lord allow us to be defeated by the Philistines?… 1 Samuel 4:3
…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.” 1 Samuel 4:3
3. Learn From Your Mistakes
…the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord allow us to be defeated by the Philistines? 1 Samuel 4:3
4. Seek Out God
The Ark remained in Kiriath-jearim for a long time—twenty years in all. During that time all Israel mourned because it seemed the Lord had abandoned them. Then Samuel said to all the people of Israel, “If you are really serious about wanting to return to the Lord, get rid of your foreign gods and your images of Ashtoreth. Determine to obey only the Lord; then he will rescue you from the Philistines.” So the Israelites got rid of their images of Baal and Ashtoreth and worshiped only the Lord. 1 Samuel 7:2-4