“And she named the child Ichabod saying, the glory has departed from Israel because the Ark of God had been captured because of her father-in-law and her husband. And she said, the glory has departed from Israel for the Ark of God has been captured.”
-1 Samuel 4:21–22
What a phrase. The glory has departed. What happens here in 1 Samuel 4 is the Ark of the covenant that represents God’s presence among his people has been taken by the Philistines. It’s a part from the people of God. And this exclamation twice in 1 Samuel 4:21–22, the glory has departed from Israel. This is basically the worst thing possible for the people of God to be disconnected from the grid glory of God. We see a similar picture later in the Old Testament when the temple is destroyed and the glory of God departs from among his people.
The worst thing possible for the people of God is to be disconnected from the holiness of God.
1 Samuel 4:21–22 Shows Us the Grace of God
And when we see pictures like this in the Old Testament, it gives us greater understanding of the wonder of what we read in John chapter one, when Jesus is described, as the word of God made flesh and John writes, we have seen his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the father, full of grace and truth. They left to ourselves in our sin. The picture in the Bible is clear. We are separated from the glory of God. What does Romans three say? All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. And if we die in this state of separation from God and all of his glory, we will spend eternity separated from God and all of his glorious attributes. We will spend eternity in judgment due our sin.
1 Samuel 4:21–22 Reminds Us of the Good News of the Bible
But the good news of the Bible is that the God of glory has come to us in Jesus. He has lived the life we could not live. A life of no sin. Then even though he had no sin to die for, he chose to die on the cross for sinners, for all who would trust in him. And he rose from the dead three days later to give eternal life to all who know him, that we might experience his glory in unimaginable ways. The holy spirit of God dwelling in us. Our body’s a temple of his holy spirit as we live with his glorious presence in us, leading us, guiding us every day. And as we look forward to the day when we will see his face and behold him in all of his glory and enjoy him in all of glory for all of eternity.
1 Samuel 4:21–22 Reminds Us Jesus is the Glory of God
And so we pray. Jesus, you are the glory of God in the flesh and we worship you. We praise you. The only begotten and the father full of grace and truth. We praise you for revealing the glory of the father to us. For living the life we couldn’t live, dying the death we deserve to die. And for rising from the dead in victory over sin and the grave.
We praise you for saving us from our sins. In order that, we might know you and see you in all of your glory. That we might commune with you even right now. That we might walk with you and all of your glory, that your spirit might dwell inside of us. All glory, be to your name for making our bodies a temple of your holy spirit. So make us more like you today. We pray in a second Corinthians three kind of way, transform us from one degree of glory to another, make us more and more and more like Jesus, make us more and more and more like you, Jesus.
1 Samuel 4:21–22 Reminds Us of Our Hope
We pray until the day when we see your face. And in 1 John 3 kind of way, we will be like you for, we shall see you as you are. This is our hope. Philippians 3, that our bodies will be transformed to be like your body and all of your glory to enjoy your glory for all of eternity. And God, we pray that you would spend our lives here on this earth, making your glory known until that day, leading other people to see your glory.
God, we pray for the Muslim Yao people of Malawi, two Million of them. So few of them have even heard the good news of your glory. God, we pray the Muslim Yao of Malawi would come to know you. We pray that they would know your glory. God, we pray. Spend our lives making your glory known on this earth until we behold your glory in eternity. We pray all of this based on this picture in 1 Samuel 4:21–22. We pray all based on your word in Jesus’ name. Amen.
View the 2021 McLean Bible Church Reading Plan.