1 Samuel 4 (NLT)
4 1 And Samuel’s words went out to all the people of Israel.
At that time Israel was at war with the Philistines. The Israelite army was camped near Ebenezer, and the Philistines were at Aphek. 2 The Philistines attacked and defeated the army of Israel, killing 4,000 men. 3 After the battle was over, the troops retreated to their camp, and the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord allow us to be defeated by the Philistines?” Then they said, “Let’s bring the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord from Shiloh. If we carry it into battle with us, it will save us from our enemies.”
4 So they sent men to Shiloh to bring the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, who is enthroned between the cherubim. Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, were also there with the Ark of the Covenant of God. 5 When all the Israelites saw the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord coming into the camp, their shout of joy was so loud it made the ground shake!
6 “What’s going on?” the Philistines asked. “What’s all the shouting about in the Hebrew camp?” When they were told it was because the Ark of the Lord had arrived, 7 they panicked. “The gods have come into their camp!” they cried. “This is a disaster! We have never had to face anything like this before! 8 Help! Who can save us from these mighty gods of Israel? They are the same gods who destroyed the Egyptians with plagues when Israel was in the wilderness. 9 Fight as never before, Philistines! If you don’t, we will become the Hebrews’ slaves just as they have been ours! Stand up like men and fight!”
10 So the Philistines fought desperately, and Israel was defeated again. The slaughter was great; 30,000 Israelite soldiers died that day. The survivors turned and fled to their tents. 11 The Ark of God was captured, and Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were killed.
12 A man from the tribe of Benjamin ran from the battlefield and arrived at Shiloh later that same day. He had torn his clothes and put dust on his head to show his grief. 13 Eli was waiting beside the road to hear the news of the battle, for his heart trembled for the safety of the Ark of God. When the messenger arrived and told what had happened, an outcry resounded throughout the town.
14 “What is all the noise about?” Eli asked.
The messenger rushed over to Eli, 15 who was ninety-eight years old and blind. 16 He said to Eli, “I have just come from the battlefield—I was there this very day.”
“What happened, my son?” Eli demanded.
17 “Israel has been defeated by the Philistines,” the messenger replied. “The people have been slaughtered, and your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were also killed. And the Ark of God has been captured.”
18 When the messenger mentioned what had happened to the Ark of God, Eli fell backward from his seat beside the gate. He broke his neck and died, for he was old and overweight. He had been Israel’s judge for forty years.
19 Eli’s daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near her time of delivery. When she heard that the Ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth. 20 She died in childbirth, but before she passed away the midwives tried to encourage her. “Don’t be afraid,” they said. “You have a baby boy!” But she did not answer or pay attention to them.
21 She named the child Ichabod (which means “Where is the glory?”), for she said, “Israel’s glory is gone.” She named him this because the Ark of God had been captured and because her father-in-law and husband were dead.
22 Then she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured.”
I felt like reading some scripture this morning and was led to begin reading in 1st Samuel. When I got to Chapter four and read the account of the fall of "Eli's reign, " I began to see some parallels to where America is right now.
You see, apparently judgment finally came to Israel for the passivity of a high Priest that really had no concern for maintaining 'Righteousness," within the "House of God."
For exactly "forty years," Eli reigned as a Judge over Israel, yet his most memorable characteristic was his total disregard for the sanctity of the Lord's house.
You see, he let his children run wild, and to profane all that was "Holy," in God's Priesthood.
As his "son's," just used the "Platform," of the ministry to financially prosper, the "office of the Priesthood," to only satisfy their flesh, it just became inevitable that eventually God would bring judgment upon the nation of Israel.
But, what did you expect after the "sins," had been practiced for a few generations, with no regard for the true "House of God?"
One of the first lessons that I was ever taught by God, and I have written about it in the past, was that you cannot, "Put one over on the Lord." Many times, we will interpret scripture to serve our needs, or to "pretend," to serve God on a "Holy," level, yet he knows our inner most motives and our deepest desires.
He knows whether you have made money, power or influence your God, or if you have just said to him, "Lord, I choose you as my God, just, 'Speak, your servant is listening.'"
Thus, eventually there will come a time in your life where "Your Chickens will come home to roost," and although, I have despised the "phrase," ever since it was used by the so called Rev Wright, it is still a truism that Kenneth Hagin used to quote on numerous occasions in his teachings.
Could it be that, perhaps, in the church by our abandonment of every thing "Holy," that finally "Our chickens are coming home to roost?"
Could it be that in one of the greatest nations in recorded human history we have allowed ourselves in the church to be in a similar situation as Israel was after the reign of Eli as judge?
Could it be that, "The Glory," has finally departed because we have failed to judge ourselves both as a Church and as a Nation?
Only time will tell!
Deuteronomy 28:15, 21, 25, 28 (NASB)
15 “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to be careful to follow all His commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:... 21 The Lord will make the plague cling to you until He has eliminated you from the land...25 “The Lord will cause you to be defeated by your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways from their presence, and you will be an example... 28 The Lord will strike you with insanity, blindness, and with confusion of mind... 33 A people whom you do not know will eat the produce of your ground and every product of your labor,...
Hey, I could've added a whole lot more, but I am hoping that you get the gist of Moses conversation here with the people?
You see, once these curses begin for a Nation, the only way out is total repentance and a sincere sorrow, else they continue.
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