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.
This is a sad chapter. It is full of death and heartache, but the major concern is the people’s relationship to God. The one point of joy in this chapter should have been the birth of a son, but the mother calls his name Ichabod meaning, “the glory is departed”. Within that name is the message of the chapter.
In our relationship with God we must make sure that we have not misplaced our trust (v.3-5). Israel’s trust was in the ark, not the God of the ark. The ark had become a kind of holy rabbit’s foot. It was the symbol of the presence of the Lord in battle (Num.10:35; Josh.3:4,15-17, 6:6), but only when the people carried it in faith and by divine leading. If you look at the text you can tell their faith has deteriorated. It is also sad when the world has a better understanding of God than we do (v.6-8). When we live in rebellion the world feeds on our failures. The world looks at us and says mockingly, “The church is dead.” That’s just another way to say, “the glory is departed”. Has it?
Our task is to stay close to the Lord. How sad it would be to have it said of our lives “the glory is departed”. Now, that is something to fear! To say “fear not” when it is obvious there is a problem is not faith, but foolishness.