The Departed of the Diving Presence
I Samuel 4:19-22
One of the saddest events in the Old Testament is associated with the name Ichabod. Ichabod was born when his mother heard that her husband and father-in-law had died, which immediately caused her to give birth and subsequently die.
This sad event occurred because of the tragedy which took place in Israel, resulting indirectly in Eli's death when he was informed of the defeat of the Israelites by the Philistines, the capture of the Ark of the Covenant and the death of his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas.
Eli's son Phinehas' wife, after hearing a tragic report of the downfall of Israel, and in the same day losing her husband, her brother-in-law, Hophni, her father-in-law, Eli, and then learning that Israel's greatest possession, the Ark of the Covenant, had been captured by the enemy, declared: "The Glory Has Departed from Israel." Which is to say: The presence of God had abandoned them.
"The Glory of God has departed." These words are some of the most terrifying words in the entire Bible. They ought to motivate us to take an inventory on my own personal lives.
Here is one of the great questions of the Bible. We can argue about this subject but what does the Bible say?
Is it possible that the glory of God, or the
Presence of God can depart or be exiled from us? Could what happened to Israel, happen to us? And I had to conclude that, based on this powerful scripture God's presence can depart and can be withdrawn. Great preachers of yesteryear believe this tragedy could happen.
Ninety years ago C. H. Spurgeon described the wobblings he then saw among the Baptists on Scripture, atonement and human destiny as 'the down-grade'; could he survey Protestant thinking about God at the present time, I guess he would speak of 'the nose-dive'
I believe that if were to measure the spiritual condition of our nation, if we placed a spiritual thermometer in our nation, in ou ...
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