1 Sam 4:1 “And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek.”
Miracles aren’t based on feelings. God doesn’t play church. You don’t need to feel anything to praise the Lord! You can praise your way to a miracle!You can pray your way to a victory! All that is lacking is your faith. Do you believe what ‘thus sayeth the Lord’?
1 Sam 4:2-22 “And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men. And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the Lord smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies. So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again. And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp. And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore. Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness. Be strong and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight. And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain. And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head. And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out. And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What meaneth the noise of this tumult? And the man came in hastily, and told Eli. Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. 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? 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.”
The Spirit of the Lord had left King Saul and he couldn’t sleep unless someone came to worship to get the devil out.
Samson was strong and mighty supernaturally. Finally, in the lap of Delilah, the Spirit of the Lord left him and he didn’t even know it. He won battles so easily before, but now, there were enemies stronger.
Ichabod has a message for you. He was born on the day that the Spirit of the Lord left Israel.
Eli was a priest and his sons had very loose morals. They were greedy and messing around with prostitution. The prophet Samuel as a little boy had a word from the Lord for Eli saying that God would judge both Eli and his sons. The prophecy came to pass the day Ichabod was born.
Eli didn’t care so much for his sons, he cared more for the ark. The whole nation was judged. Eli’s daughter-in-law heard the story too and named her son Ichabod because he was born on the worst day of Israel. Why was he named Ichabod? Because Eli’s sons did what was evil and the whole nation was judged.
The glory of God left Israel because the priests regarded not the things of God. The priests worshipped idols and chased after things that to feed their carnal desires. The people followed and had groves where they worshipped false gods.
Ichabod wanted the glory to come back. Forty years passed and Ichabod yearned for a day when the glory would come back.
If Ichabod were a preacher, he would say, ‘Repent, bring back the glory.’
There was strange fire the priests brought. Instead of getting the fire from the altar of sacrifice (repentance), they took fire from somewhere else. They did it their way instead of God’s way.
People will follow their own feelings instead of God’s Word.
There is a doctrine of divine prosperity which says, ‘if you want it, claim it, and it will be yours, no sacrifice.’ Very deceptive. What if there was a movement with adults coming to service in diapers and they did their business in their diapers because it says in Scripture we should come as babies? What?!
There were witch doctors worshipping evil spirits. They tried to bring fear of their authority among the congregation saying they’d put a curse on anyone who didn’t give them money or whatever they wanted. The ‘head spirit’ would give them a great reward. The same thing is happening here in America. There are people who preach that God will bless you with a nice car if you give your money.
God wants His people to be holy! Ichabod’s message is ‘Bring back the glory!’
When Eli’s daughter-in-law heard the ark had been captured, she thought, ‘What is the use of living?’
The glory had been gone long before the battle, but Israel didn’t know it, just like Samson. Eventually, the results became visible.
God’s anointing might depart, but we only realize it when the enemy surrounds us. We don’t realize it until we need God. You must have the anointing, you must have God’s glory!
Everything looks normal, but is the glory still there?
What are you missing? It’s not about a new building or a better job, it’s the glory that you need. What you think you need is just strange fire. It’s the glory that you need.
Jer 7:12 “But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.”
Psa 78:58-64 “For they provoked him to anger with their high places, and moved him to jealousy with their graven images. When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, the tent which he placed among men; And delivered his strength into captivity, and his glory into the enemy’s hand. He gave his people over also unto the sword; and was wroth with his inheritance. The fire consumed their young men; and their maidens were not given to marriage. Their priests fell by the sword; and their widows made no lamentation.”
You’ve got to get the glory back!
Fast forward. Solomon was king and everything was good for a while, then bad kings came after and Israel got taken over and the ark taken and the temple was destroyed.
A new temple was built and the young men shouted and the old men wept. They wept because there was no glory!
If the glory leaves, it’s our fault. It’s not about what used to be. It’s about what is.
History does not have to repeat itself.
A couple of weird things happened when Jesus was on the cross. One was an earthquake. When Jesus died, the veil, a huge, thick veil, was ripped from top to bottom. The earth was shaking and it was like God ripped the cloth and got rid of the separation.
1 Corinthians 3:16 “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”
1 Corinthians 6:19 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?”
David tried to bring the ark home, but during the dancing and singing, the ark started to fall and a man died because they didn’t bring the ark back right. It wasn’t about David’s way, it was about God’s way. David studied the Bible and brought back the ark right.
Solomon built the temple.
2 Chron 7:1-3 “Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the Lord filled the house. And the priests could not enter into the house of the Lord, because the glory of the Lord had filled the Lord’s house. And when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the Lord upon the house, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.”
Five things had the glory of God—in the Ark of the Covenant:
- Pot of manna, bread that came down from heaven. It represents God’s sustaining ability. Jesus is that bread of life. Jesus gives us daily bread.
- Budded rod, an almond tree branch. This was a miracle, no roots, but it had almonds on it! This represented the authority of Aaron, the priest.
- The Ten Commandments, this was the doctrine.
- Angels wings that covered the box, protection, victory, angelic presence—Covering.
- Mercy seat—the blood of the sacrifice was placed there. When the wrath came down upon the mercy, it stopped. The wrath was turned to mercy.
Applying this today:
- We need that pot of manna—our daily bread. Do you want the glory in your house? You need daily devotion, daily Bible reading, daily prayer.
- Arron’s rod—symbolic of our Submission to the Authority God has placed over us—our pastors, teachers, and leaders.
- Tables of stone—God’s law governing our lives. Love His law. Know it. Obey it. The law tells us right from wrong. We need it!
- Angels—Protection This is what God does for us! He covers us.
- Sacrifice—That mercy seat is still there! Jesus died for you! His blood is still there for you!
The enemy will take the glory away if you don’t guard and keep everything in it.
Ichabod’s message: Bring the glory home!