1 Samuel 4: 12–25
12 That same day a man from the tribe of Benjamin ran from the front lines of the battle. He went to Shiloh. His clothes were torn. He had dust on his head. 13 When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair. He was by the side of the road. He was watching because his heart was really concerned about the ark of God. The man entered the town and told everyone what had happened. Then the whole town cried out. 14 Eli heard the people crying out. He asked, “What’s the meaning of all of this noise?” The man hurried over to Eli. 15 Eli was 98 years old. His eyes were so bad he couldn’t see. 16 The man told Eli, “I’ve just come from the front lines of the battle. I ran away from there this very day.” Eli asked, “What happened, son?” 17 The man who brought the news replied, “Israel ran away from the Philistines. Large numbers of men in the army were wounded or killed. Your two sons Hophni and Phinehas are also dead. And the ark of God has been captured.” 18 When the man spoke about the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair. He had been sitting by the side of the gate. When he fell, he broke his neck and died. He was old and fat. He had led Israel for 40 years. 19 The wife of Phinehas was pregnant. She was Eli’s daughter-in-law. It was near the time for her baby to be born. She heard the news that the ark of God had been captured. She heard that her father-in-law and her husband were dead. So she went into labor and had her baby. Her pain was so great that her life was slipping away. 20 As she was dying, the women who were helping her spoke up. They said, “Don’t be afraid. You have had a son.” But she didn’t reply. She didn’t pay any attention. 21 She named the boy Ichabod. She said, “The God of glory has left Israel.” She said it because the ark of God had been captured. She also said it because her father-in-law and her husband had died. 22 She said, “The God of glory has left Israel.” She said it because the ark of God had been captured.
The Ark of God represented God’s presence with the people. They presumptuously took it into battle thinking that that guaranteed their victory – trying to fit God into their plans instead of the people fitting into God’s plan for them. They literally put God in a box, something which we often do figuratively.
Despite his many faults Eli understood the danger of the leaders’ presumption. It was the loss of the Ark, rather than the loss of his sons which lead to Eli’s death.
Lord help us to hear you and do your will, not what just seems good to us. Please canada online pharmacy levitra alert us to danger if we try to put you in a box. May we honour and praise God as our LORD, not be tempted to see Him
as our servant.
Written by Megan Cornell