1 Samuel 4:15 Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. 16 And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to day out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son? 17 And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken. 18 And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.
1 Samuel 4:19 ¶ And his daughter in law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her. 20 And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it. 21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed 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 departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.
The margin of the Oxford King James Bible states that “Ichabod” means, “Where is the glory?” or “There is no glory!” And his birth mother states, “The glory is departed.” And this is a most serious matter as God’s glory is his uniqueness. Therefore to have the glory to depart is to lose God’s attending presence. Our Lord Jesus – the fulness of the Godhead bodily – stated in John 1:18 “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” God is so unique in His glory that no man can look upon Him and live. Exodus 33:20 And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
And that which plunged mankind into the darkness of sin was “coming short of the glory!” Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; And we have multitudes of lost church members as they have never seen the glory of God, nor the glory of His cross. Ask the average church member to tell you what the gospel is and they will probably answer, “It is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.” Yet those are but facts about the gospel! Satan, and all his demons, and every lost person realize these historical facts. And these bare bits of information have no saving power. For the gospel is “the power of God unto salvation!” (Rom. 1:16)
Only those souls who “seek for glory” are granted eternal life! Carefully read these verses: Romans 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
The majority of self-proclaimed “Christians” today are like mates who married in order to benefit from their partner’s wealth. They do not seek to know the richness of their mate’s personality, but only of their bank account. But consider the communion from the Son to the Father as recorded in John 17. Take careful note that He begins his communion by clearly stating the upcoming crucifixion was about the glory of the Son, in order that the Father may be glorified! And notice that He understood that his earthly ministry was only finished when he had glorified the Father on earth!
John 17:1 ¶ These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
Then He prays for those of us who should believe on him through the proclamation of the gospel. And the unity of all believers throughout the world, no matter of what their nationality, would be given forth by the reception of that glory! But not only the oneness of the believers together with one another, but the oneness of all true believers with the Persons of the Trinity! For at the resurrection, that oneness would be proclaimed as “God, all in all!” 1 Corinthians 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
John 17:20 ¶ Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
John 17:24 ¶ Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
Dear Reader, we have been dumbed down to only narrowly consider salvation as keeping souls out of Hell. But this is far more than that! For God intends to make us to have that oneness with Him as the Father and Son have! Believe it! Read it again! That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one;
God could have prevented Satan from tempting Eve! I saw my grandad get a hoe out of the shed and chop a snakes head off in his garden! Sure God could have done the same! But He intended grace to much more abound to elevate his elect to a higher realm than just innocence! He intended them to come to the heights of glory, by his reigning grace! Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
It is only as that daughter comes back over to her mom’s house with her daughter on that quiet Saturday morning, and they both sit down for a cup of coffee, with the grandchild asleep in her ‘bucket’ on the dining room table that the daughter finally comes to really know her mother. Now the grandmother can let her daughter in on the reality of her experiences in her daughter’s life. But this could never have been revealed before. For now there is that oneness of motherhood that sets forth an understanding never before available.
And the same with the grandad, son and grandson out in the garage tuning up the car. As the grandfather witnesses his son teaching the toddler grandson the difference between a screwdriver and an end wrench, his mind’s eye sees that in yesteryear. And he relates that to his son, bringing the son’s heart to a sweeter understanding of his dad’s relation to himself. We have a lot to learn of our Father’s love in eternal glory that was not seen even in life’s grace!
Therefore in that light now consider these verses: 1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Therefore take notice of the relationships that were lost in our text. In order for there to be an Ichabod, an uncle, a dad, a grandad and then his mother all died. And the same can be seen in Noah’s ark. As our lord said the day of his coming would be like that day. There was not granddad, nor grandmother, no grandchild, no sons, only sons-in-law, no aunts or uncles. For the Lord started the whole new world with just husbands and wives. Truly the glory had departed!
And also take notice that Eli was not concerned with the glory, but only with the loss of a religious piece of furniture. His daughter-in-law was concerned with the loss of the glory. He was only concerned with the loss of an article of furniture he need to continue in his form of godliness!
Sad! The pandemic of this day only produced sorrow in the religionist’s hearts and minds concerning the loss of their opportunity to have their traditions continued. Very few saw no disruption in seeking the Lord, but even a strengthening of their personal fellowship with Him! For true worship is not a matter of location, but of the condition of the heart! John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
Matthew 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
Luke 17:20 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.
Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. 25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: 26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. 27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. 29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God. 30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
Proverbs 16:25 ¶ There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
May God have mercy on the religionists of this day!
Pastor Gene Breed
March 3, 2023