1 Samuel 4:19-22
And his daughter in law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, near to be delivered…
The glory is departed' (ver. 22). Ichabod =
(1) Where is thy glory? (It is departed);
(2) The Inglorious; or,
(3) Alas! the glory. The last words of the wife of Phinehas. Her piety was -
1. Genuine. She called the ark the glory," and, doubtless, had regard not merely to the symbol, but also and chiefly to the Divine presence which it represented.
2. Peculiar. Living in corrupt times, the wife of an ungodly man, yet truly devout; a pearl among pebbles, a rose among thorns, a grain of wheat in a heap of chaff.
3. Eminent. Her grief at the loss of the ark surpassed her sorrow at the death of her husband and her father-in-law, and swallowed up her joy at the birth of a son.
4. Early perfected by death amidst the righteous judgments of Heaven. From her dying utterance learn that -
I. THE PRESENCE OF GOD IS THE TRUE GLORY OF A PEOPLE. It is the source of -
1. Their real dignity.
2. Their internal prosperity.
3. Their external influence.
In vain do we look elsewhere for these things. "Thy God" (shall be) "thy glory" (Isaiah 60:19; Isaiah 62:2).
II. THE TRUE GLORY OF A PEOPLE MAY DEPART. This takes place when the presence (i.e. the favour and protection) of God is withdrawn.
1. It is caused by human sin of various kinds. He is not desirous of leaving men, but they are unwilling to fulfil the conditions according to which alone he can dwell among them.
2. It is often held out as a warning.
3. It has actually occurred (Ezekiel 10:18). "Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner temple, as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that in the first place they felt a quaking and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, 'Let us depart hence.'" (Joseph., 'Wars,' 6:5, 3). The warnings given to the seven Churches of Asia (Revelation 2., 3.) were neglected, and the evils predicted came to pass. The candlestick was removed out of its place (Revelation 2:5), and darkness and desolation succeeded. "But though particular Churches may fall, our Lord's promise will never fail the Catholic Church: 'Lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world'" ('Sp. Com.'). Conclusion: -
1. The presence of God should be accounted by us the greatest blessing, and his departure dreaded as the greatest calamity.
2. Whatever contributes to his departure must be zealously renounced or corrected (Lamentations 3:40).
3. No condition is altogether hopeless. "If from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him," etc. (Deuteronomy 4:29). The glory of Israel, which, it was thought, had gone forever, was restored; and out of the night of sorrow a new day was born. - D.
Parallel VersesKJV: And his daughter in law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her.
WEB: His daughter-in-law, Phinehas' wife, was with child, near to be delivered. When she heard the news that the ark of God was taken, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and brought forth; for her pains came on her.