Read 1 Samuel 4

Highlights:

Shock!! Ninety-eight-year-old Eli the priest hears they lost the war; his sons are killed; the Ark of God is taken (I Sam. 4:17,22); God's judgment (2:27-34); God deals with the Philistines (5:1-12; 6:2-9).

And she named the child I-chabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband (I Sam. 4:21).

The mother of this newborn son had seen dark days come to Israel. The prophet, Eli, who had judged Israel for 40 years and was her father-in-law was dead. His sons, including her husband Phineas, were killed by the Philistines along with 30,000 other men. To make it all worse, the Philistines had taken the Ark of God. It is easy to see why this young woman would say that the glory of God had left the nation of Israel.

It was no doubt a time of great mourning in the nation. So many sons of Israel were lost, and then a leader of the people died immediately afterwards. The very symbol of their covenant with God had been stolen by a heathen army. To some would seem all hope was lost. However, God was not dead. He was very much alive and not at all done with His chosen people.

God had already established a prophet in Samuel who would be remembered as being a faithful servant to God. He would raise up great warriors like Saul and David to fight off their enemies and restore Israel to being a great world power. God was on the move even though they did not see it. However, God shows up according to His timing, not ours. All wept, and bewailed her: but He said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed Him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And He put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and He commanded to give her meat (Luke 8:52-55).

Many times throughout God's Word hard things come upon His people. Paul is a perfect example. He was beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked and ultimately martyred for the cause of Christ. However, even as death was upon him, he still believed in God. He knew a far better place awaited the believer after death. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing (II Tim. 4:8). Do these sound like the words of a man from whose life the glory of God had left?

Likewise, we may go through hard times. At times, the circumstances may seem like more than we can handle. However, in these times, it is all the more important to trust in God. He has been, is, and always will be just a true, heartfelt prayer away. It may seem like we are overcome by the enemy, but it only appears that way. The believer, whether in life or death, is victorious in Christ Jesus! Amen.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (I Cor. 10:13).

Thought for Today:

We can surely expect adversity when we neglect God in our lives.

Christ Revealed:

Through the rock called Ebenezer , which means the stone of help (I Sam. 7:12). Jesus is our Rock of salvation; our help comes from Him (Ps. 18:2; 121:2). I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Phil. 4:13).

Word Studies:

4:1 pitched, encamped; 4:9 quit yourselves like men, be courageous and exercise all the strength you have; 4:12 his clothes rent...earth upon his head, signs of great sorrow; 4:19 travailed, gave birth; 5:6 emerods tumors, hemorrhoids; 6:2 diviners, fortune-tellers; 6:6 had wrought wonderfully did mighty things; 6:7 milch kine, heifers, milk cows; 6:8 coffer, chest; 6:14 clave split; 7:3 strange, foreign, false; 7:10 discomfited them, confused them in a panic.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (GA) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME) • International Broadcasts: sponsored by Mrs. Elsie Roger • Country: Algeria (31.5 million) in North Africa • Major languages: : Arabic and French • Opposition to the Gospel is intense • 96.7% Muslim; 3.02% non-Religious; .29% Christian; .01% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Remember that it is by the blood of Christ that we have access to God in prayer (Heb. 10:19).

Optional Reading: Acts 3

Memory Verse for the Week: Revelation 15:3