Lost the glory?

glorylostI visited Israel years ago and walked in ancient sites. What a thrill to stand in the ruins of Capernaum’s ancient synagogue and imagine Jesus declaring His Messianic mission to the men assembled there! The streets of old Jerusalem were an indescribable feast of smells, sights, and sounds. At the Western Wall, (sometimes called ‘the Wailing Wall’) the only part of the Temple that stands, I tried to imagine the glory of the ancient structure that stood on that foundation. There were models of its courts and structures that helped. However, the huge blocks of stone left there bear no resemblance of the glorious place that once was at that plot of ground. Pondering that, I am reminded that I am God’s temple, that His Spirit lives in me. And, I too can lose His Glory through neglect of the high calling of my faith!

Samuel was called into holy service as a child. He apprenticed under Eli. Tragically, the Lord removed His holy calling from Eli’s family because of the multiple sins of his sons. They abused their position with corruption and immorality.  At a battle with the perennial enemy of Israel the Ark of the Covenant, the symbolic place of God’s dwelling with His people, was captured and carried off. Eli’s sons were killed. When the old prophet heard of the loss of the Ark, he fell off his chair and died!

But, it was the exclamation of one of his daughters-in-law that is both dramatic and worthy of remembering. “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. 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. 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. Then she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured.” (1 Samuel 4:19-22, NLT)

“Ichabod!”  (ick-a-bod)  What an awful declaration. God’s glory, that which makes life beautiful, vital, and full of wonder, is gone. By willful disobedience as well as neglect of the pursuit of the holy, God’s glory can be lost to a church and to an individual. Only a ruin is left to remind us of what/who once was. We cannot take God’s precious Presence for granted.

There are daily disciplines that open up channels for His life to flow into us. Reading of the Word, prayer that engages both our mind and heart, confession of our utter dependence on Him, service that dethrones our ego and enthrones Christ, gathering with His people to worship, giving of ourselves and our resources:  these things are choices we make as the Spirit invites us to come near. When we do, there is a radiance that shines through us. This is His Glory!

Paul reminds that we will grow in that beautiful life. As we choose to live near to Him, we “reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” (2 Corinthians 3:18, NLT)  Like a temple tended with care, the Glory remains!

Ah, Christian, choose glory today!  Look up and take life. Don’t risk having the name, Ichabod, written over you, becoming a shell from which His glory is gone.

Here is a word from the Word, Jesus’ invitation to renewal.  “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.” (Revelation 2:2-5, NLT)
_________________

Oh The Glory Of His Presence

O the glory of Your presence
We Your temple give You rev’rence
Come and rise from Your rest
And be blessed by our praise
As we glory in Your embrace
As Your presence now fills this place

Jesus all-glorious
Create in us a temple
Called as living stones
Where You’re enthroned
As You rose from death in pow’r
So rise within our worship
Rise upon our praise
And let the hand that saw You raised
Clothe us in Your glory
Draw us by Your grace

Come and rise from Your rest
And be blessed by our praise
As we glory in Your embrace
As Your presence now fills this place

© 1983 Birdwing Music | BMG Songs, Inc. (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)ü(Admin. by BMG Music Publishing) | (Admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)ü(Admin. by BMG Music Publishing) Steve Fry

CCLI License No. 810055

1 Comment

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One response to “Lost the glory?

  1. Gloria Vetrano

    Alwaysassocite Icabod with Sleepy Hollow & the headless horseman. Could be confused.

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