And she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 1 Sam. 4:21 ESV
When Israel started losing a battle against the Philistines, they did the foolish thing to fetch the ark from the tabernacle and put it onto the battlefield. With this, they tried to manipulate God to let them win. Of course, God cannot be manipulated so the unthinkable happened: the Philistines captured the ark, to which event the name Ichabod (“the glory is gone”) refers. For seven months it was with the Philistines and after that for fifty years in the house of an Israelite. Ironically enough, the ritual in the tabernacle continued uninterrupted but without the glory or the presence of God!
We can apply this in a sad way to the church of today: at many places the church’s ministry continues, its meetings and its planning, but without the presence or the glory of the Lord. Often there is little of the Spirit but much of the flesh. What is this “glory of God” that we are thinking of here? It is God's power and God's love: without that, it is Ichabod to the church!
Lord Jesus, I pray for the church – Your church and my church. I love Your church, Lord! Our greatest need, however, is to have more of You, less of ourselves. Fill us with Your Spirit, so that we can serve You in power and in truth. Give us Your love, so that we can show the world the heart of the Father. In Jesus’ Name, amen!
MEDITATE TODAY: Give me Your power and Your love.
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