15 April 2013 |


1 Samuel 4
New Living Translation (NLT)

The Death of Eli
12 A man from the tribe of Benjamin ran from the battlefield and
arrived at Shiloh later that same day. He had torn his clothes and put
dust on his head to show his grief. 13 Eli was waiting beside the road
to hear the news of the battle, for his heart trembled for the safety
of the Ark of God. When the messenger arrived and told what had
happened, an outcry resounded throughout the town.

14 “What is all the noise about?” Eli asked.

The messenger rushed over to Eli, 15 who was ninety-eight years old
and blind. 16 He said to Eli, “I have just come from the
battlefield—I was there this very day.”

“What happened, my son?” Eli demanded.

17 “Israel has been defeated by the Philistines,” the messenger
replied. “The people have been slaughtered, and your two sons,
Hophni and Phinehas, were also killed. And the Ark of God has been

18 When the messenger mentioned what had happened to the Ark of God,
Eli fell backward from his seat beside the gate. He broke his neck and
died, for he was old and overweight. He had been Israel’s judge for
forty years.

19 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. 20 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.

21 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. 22 Then she said, “The glory
has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured.”

Remember what God instructed Samuel to tell Eli? That because of their
sin, his two sons would both die on the same day. And they did.
Because God is not a man that He should lie. He is a holy God.

What this means for you and I serving Him today is vital. It means
that everything God has said, will come to pass. The good, and the
bad. Where God promises favour – you will be blessed. Where God
promises that there will be consequences for your sin – there will be.
Because God is a holy God – he does not lie.

Eli, although not perfect, understood this. When he heard of the death
of his sons, he must have grieved. What father wouldn’t. But when he
heard that the ark of the covenant, that which represented the
presence of God, had been captured, the shock was so much for him that
he fell to his death. Eli understood that there would be a consequence
to the capturing of the ark, because God is a holy God.


We can never forget that. We can never forget that God is holy. He
does what is just; what is right. He keeps His promises. That means
that today, you can take comfort in the promises that have been spoken
over your life. (That’s why it is so important to write down prophetic
words that are given to you, or encouraging verses that God gives
people to share with you). It also means that you cannot play games
with God. A holy God deserves a holy people.


God thank you that you are Holy. Thank you that everything you say is
true, and that you keep your word. Thank you for blessing me in the
way you have, and for the promises that have been spoken over my life.
Please help me to serve you today in a way that reflects your holy
expectation for my life. Amen.

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