Reading through the Bible together
When people refuse to repent and continue to go on in sin how far will they go? The tragic account of chapter four reveals that not just Hophni and Phinehas but the leaders of Israel would do anything to maintain their proud, sinful ways. They made no attempt to discern God’s will, they decided to go to war. Their actions indicated they believed that being “God’s chosen people,” they could do no wrong and would win.
Much of the wisdom of God’s word is brought to mind by these events: “The Lord is not slow about His promise…but is patient towards you, not wishing for any to perish, but for all to come to repentance.” “Because sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, therefore the hearts of the sons of men are given fully to evil.” A person who does not listen and remains stubborn, will be destroyed. ”Your own wickedness will come upon you.” 2 Pet. 3:9; Eccl. 8:11; Prov. 29:1; Jer. 2:19. Israel lost the war, the Philistines took the ark. When Eli heard that, he fell off his chair backward and died, being ninety-eight years old. And when his daughter-in-law heard this she went into labor and died. She had named her son, Ichabod, meaning, “The glory has departed from Israel.”
Later, Saul put his trust in Ahijah, the son of Ichabod’s brother, who wore a linen ephod and pretended to be a priest, rather than in Samuel the prophet.
We can never have, great faith, if we are not listening and obeying God’s prophets and remain faithful in the little things. May the meaning of Ichabod, “The glory has departed from Israel,” never apply to any of us.