Sunday service, Detlef Stegen, 08 Jul 2018
19 And his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was with child and near the time when she would give birth; and when she had the news that the ark of God had been taken and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, her pains came on her suddenly and she gave birth.
20 And when she was very near death the women who were with her said, Have no fear, for you have given birth to a son. But she made no answer and gave no attention to it.
21 And she gave the child the name of Ichabod, saying, The glory has gone from Israel: because the ark of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband.
22 And she said, The glory is gone from Israel, for the ark of God has been taken.
Little Samuel just started hearing the voice of God. Eli’s two sons were also priests serving in the temple. But these sons did not know the Lord. And the prophet came to Eli the high priest and brought God’s word to him that he and his house will be judged if he does not discipline his sons thoroughly who lived such sexually immoral lives in the temple. Until it came to this time when they went into battle and these two sons were killed in battle. A messenger brought the news that they were killed and the ark of the Covenant had been captured. Eli fell over backwards, broke his neck and died.
The ark of the Covenant was a prepared article where the tablets of the law of Moses were kept. This ark was kept in the temple, the inner sanctuary, where the high priest was only allowed to enter once a year, to make atonement for the sins of the nation. Israel took the ark into battle and it was captured.
The wife of Phinehas understood the significance of the ark. This is why she gave her child the name, Ichabod, meaning the glory had departed from Israel. But her husband, though a priest, was busy with all manner of shameful things, while serving in the temple.
We read in 1Tim 1:8-11, “We are conscious that the law is good, if a man makes a right use of it.
With the knowledge that the law is made, not for the upright man, but for those who have no respect for law and order, for evil men and sinners, for the unholy and those who have no religion, for those who put their fathers or mothers to death, for takers of life,
For those who go after loose women, for those with unnatural desires, for those who take men prisoners, who make false statements and false oaths, and those who do any other things against the right teaching.
According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust”.
You experience the load of the law when you’re a law breaker. The law is not for those who keep the law, but for those who break it. Is the Gospel glorious to you? Or has the enemy captured the ark of the Covenant in your life.
What are you busy with here at the mission? Are there those like Hophni and Phinehas in our midst, who would not listen to their father? Beware lest your rebellion arouses God’s wrath to put you to death.
You cannot stand and appear before God according to your own verdict of your life. God has the final verdict.
God’s verdict about Eli was that he did not discipline his sons. He reprimanded them, but it wasn’t enough.
There was another mother, Hannah, who also brought her child to the Lord, to belong to Him. And she kept her promise, and brought him to the temple to serve the Lord as soon as he was weaned. Afterwards she brought him clothes and whatever he needed annually when she visited him. And Samuel grew in the Lord, heard His voice, and was chosen in Eli’s stead.
Abraham was another who also brought his family to God and even when God asked him to offer up Isaac, he obeyed. He could choose trustworthy servants who could go with him to where he needed them. When God stopped him from sacrificing Isaac, he obeyed.
God is marching on, are you matching with Him? Are you experiencing His glory, or has God’s glory departed from your life?
Your life should display some of the glory of God. This glory comes from fellowship with God. It’s glorious to bring the Gospel of God to your children – the glory of seeing God saving lost sinners and even your own children.
May his glory be ours, and that it may go forth in power and strength. May it grow in our lives.