Summary: Story of Jennifer’s encounter with the Lord’s voice a short time after becoming a Christian. She had stopped drinking when she became a Christian,
(Where is the Glory / the Glory is Departed)
Story of Jennifer’s encounter with the Lord’s voice a short time after becoming a Christian. She had stopped drinking when she became a Christian, but would still go to clubs with friends if she was invited. However, one evening, while at a particular club, she heard what seemed like an audible voice saying to her, “Leave! You do not belong here!” She obeyed. Some time later, she was reading her bible and she came across the name of the bar that she had been at. It was “Ichabod’s,” which means, “The Glory of God has departed.”
She wonders to this day what horrible thing would have happened if she hadn’t obeyed. Today, we will learn what it means when the Glory of God has departed. I hope that you will see what happens when the Glory of God is absent from a nation, a church, or your life. And I hope you will do all that you can to ensure that you do not drive God away from your life!
1 Samuel 4:10-22(NIV)
So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died. That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh, his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry. Eli heard the outcry and asked, "What is the meaning of this uproar?" The man hurried over to Eli, who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes were set so that he could not see. He told Eli, "I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day." Eli asked, "What happened, my son?" The man who brought the news replied, "Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured." When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man and heavy. He had led Israel forty years. His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. As she was dying, the women attending her said, "Don’t despair; you have given birth to a son." But she did not respond or pay any attention. She named the boy Ichabod, saying, "The glory has departed from Israel"-because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. She said, "The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured."
Spiritual drift always begins with desire. The desire for a relationship with God was lost. Slowly the people lost their passion for the things of God. Little by little, spiritual things started to slip away. The change was so slow that the people didn’t even notice. Before long, the nation had turned its back on God but still believed that they were in a right relationship with Him.
People do not drift away from God suddenly, the process is gradual. The slow ongoing process of drifting happens over time. The days of Samuel were some of the darkest in Israel’s history because of ongoing problems. Drifting starts small with small things.
Israel had stepped away from their relationship with God. They were no longer faithful but expected God to be faithful. They were not behaving like believers but they wanted all the benefits of believing without commitment. Many churches want to have all of the blessings of God but no longer want to follow God.
How can we expect God to move in power, when we refuse to follow Him? Why should we expect the blessings of God when we are not faithful to God?
Can you imagine a mother naming her son Ichabod? Of course, this name is from the Hebrew language. It is made by taking the word for Glory (H KAHVOHD) and placing a negation in front of it. Literally Ichabod means the glory of the Lord is gone or departed. Why did this lady think the glory of the Lord was gone? We'll see today.