The Philistines capture the Ark


Today we start in the book of Samuel, Chapter 4 of the New Living Translation

We see that Israel was camped out in the city of Ebenezer, facing a confrontation with  the Philistines at Aphek.  

Israel having lost 4,000 of their men retreat back to their camp, the elders began to question themselves, “Why did the LORD allow us to be defeated by the Philistines?” NLT

How many times in our lives, do we question God when something bad happens in our lives. We have to remember   it’s not about us it’s about God and what he has done, it’s not for us to get the Glory, but, give him the Glory!! Sometimes, we allow the flesh dictate instead of the Spirit.

They decided to bring the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD from Shiloh, in hopes of defeated the Philistines.,

  The Israelite’s I have heard by others were relying on the Ark instead of  relying on God. This is something that we like to do ourselves, relying on ourselves other then  God.  

We learn that men were sent to Shiloh to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant, followed by Hophni and Phinehas, the son’s of Eli the High Priest(who accompanied the Ark of the Covenant) . When the Israelite’s see the Ark of the Covenant  they shout with joy causing the ground to shake. NLT

The Philistines begin to ask what all the shouting is all about, and find out that the Ark of the LORD has arrived inside the camp, they become frightened. Fearing for their very own lives as they think back as when Egypt faced the many plagues from the same very gods (as they put it) that brought disastrous effects.

The Philistines fearing that they may become Hebrew slaves, decide to fight for their lives. In turn some 30,000 Israelite’s would die, those that were left would turn and and flee As before.

The Ark of God would be captured and Hophni along with Phinehas would be killed.

That same day a man from the the tribe of Benjamin comes running from the battlefield, arriving at Shiloh, he has ripped his cloths, and put dust on his head to show how grief stricken he is.

Eli waits by the roadside for any news of the battle as he is worried about the outcome for the Ark of God. The messenger arrives with the bad news, an outcry can be heard throughout the town, Eli inquires about the noise, who is 98 years old and blind.

Eli is told about the slaughter  of Israel by the Philistines and how Hophni,Phinehas were killed, to include the capture of the Ark of God. After hearing the news, Eli falls backward in his seat by the gate, breaks his neck and dies. “Eli was quite old and overweight, he served as Israel’s Judge for 40 years.”  NLT

Eli;’s daughter-in -law Phinehas’s wife is pregnant and is near her time of delivery upon hearing the news that her father in-law and Phinehas are dead, she goes into labor giving birth. She dies in childbirth, just as she was about to pass away, the mid-wives try to encourage her by telling her “Not to be afraid”  for they told her she has a baby boy but, she did not respond. NLT

Phinehas wife called the baby boy Ichabod meaning “”Where is the glory?” for she remarked “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. Her final words were “The glory has departed from Israel , for the Ark of God has been captured. NLT

GOD gets the Glory!!!