THE GLORY OF GOD
1 Samuel 4:1-22
THE GLORY OF GOD
1 Samuel 4:1-22
In Old Testament times, the Ark of the Covenant was synonymous with and symbolic of the glory of God. When the word “glory” is used of God it is an expression of His divine essence — His honor, praise, splendor, radiance, power, worthiness, likeness, beauty, and rank.
God told Moses, “If you make the tabernacle according to the pattern, my glory will dwell there” (Exodus 25:8-9). The Ark was created according to God’s pattern, His glory inhabited it, and it symbolized His presence in the midst of His people. The Ark preceded Israel as they travelled through the wilderness, it led the way as they crossed the Jordan River into Canaan, and it went before them in battle as a symbol of God’s presence.
In 1 Samuel chapters 4-7 there is a sad story about how the Ark was lost to the enemy. First Samuel chapter 4 opens with the nation of Israel encamped at a place called Ebenezer battling with the Philistine army. Israel was losing the fight because of sin in their midst, especially in their leadership (see 1 Samuel chapter 3).
When 4,000 men died in a single battle — instead of asking the Lord to reveal the true problem — the Israeli army decided to send the Ark before them into battle. In previous battles, at God’s command, the Ark had preceded their army and led them to victory.
Israel sent to Shiloh for the Ark and it was brought to Ebenezer. When it arrived in the camp, Israel gave a great shout of joy because they were sure that now they would be able to defeat the Philistines. But the Ark was only a symbol of God’s presence and this time — because of sin- the presence of God was not with His people so the symbol was meaningless. When the battle resumed, 30,000 Israeli soldiers were killed and the Philistines seized the Ark of God.
When a messenger came to tell Israel’s priest, Eli, he was so devastated that he fell off his chair, broke his neck, and died. The shock caused his pregnant daughter-in-law to go into labor and give birth to a son. She named the child “Ichabod” which means “the glory of God is departed” (1 Samuel 4:22).
In many instances, the Church has settled for symbols of the presence of God — crosses, doves, holy communion dishes, candles, and great church buildings. We have even had the emotion as Israel did when the Ark entered their camp. But whenever we settle for symbols, rituals, tradition, or mere emotion, the presence of God withdraws.
In a similar manner, man was originally created for the glory of God, but when Adam and Eve sinned, the pattern was changed and the glory was lost (Romans 3:23). The glory departs from God’s people when sin separates them from His presence.
“And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.”2 Corinthians 3:18 AMP
When Adam and Eve sinned, they were not only forced to leave paradise but they also fell short from God’s Glory. So the connection between God and the human race was cut-off until Jesus Christ came and restored us to the Glory of God through the price he paid on Calvary.
The Glory of God is the manifested presence of God; It is his manifested character, beauty, power, majesty, and weight. The glory of God is more than everything! Even if we don’t have any material to count as our property, if we have His glory we are the richest person in God’s sight. The bible tells us that the Holy Spirit increases our fullness in His Glory until we transform into the image of Jesus Christ as he is the ultimate expression of His Glory according to Hebrews 1:3 “The Son is the radiance and only expression of the glory of [our awesome] God [reflecting God’s Shekinah glory, the Light-being, the brilliant light of the divine], and the exact representation and perfect imprint of His [Father’s] essence…” –AMP.
It is illegal for a Christian to live without His Glory. If you don’t experience His Glory in your spirit, your soul will remain unsatisfied. But if you have His glory o in you and if you allow the Holy Spirit to usher his Glory in your life more and more, your resemblance with Jesus will increase and you will experience the life of God in your life.
“And his appearance changed dramatically in their presence; and His face shone [with heavenly glory, clear and bright] like the sun, and his clothing became as white as light.” ~Matthew 17:2 AMP.
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