Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 31, 2015

“For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Samuel Chapter 4.

“1 Thus the word of Samuel came to all Israel.  Now Israel went out to meet the Philistines in battle and camped beside Ebenezer while the Philistines camped in Aphek.  2 The Philistines drew up in battle array to meet Israel.  When the battle spread, Israel was defeated before the Philistines who killed about four thousand men on the battlefield.  3 When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines?  Let us take to ourselves from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that it may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies.”  4 So the people sent to Shiloh, and from there they carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts who sits above the cherubim;  and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

5 As the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth resounded.  6 When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?”  Then they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp.  7 The Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp.”  And they said, “Woe to us! For nothing like this has happened before.  8 Woe to us!  Who shall deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods?  These are the gods who smote the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness.  9 Take courage and be men, O Philistines, or you will become slaves to the Hebrews, as they have been slaves to you; therefore, be men and fight.”

10 So the Philistines fought and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent; and the slaughter was very great, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers.  11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

12 Now a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes torn and dust on his head.  13 When he came, behold, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road eagerly watching, because his heart was trembling for the ark of God.  So the man came to tell it in the city, and all the city cried out.  14 When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, “What does the noise of this commotion mean?”  Then the man came hurriedly and told Eli.  15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were set so that he could not see.  16 The man said to Eli, “I am the one who came from the battle line. Indeed, I escaped from the battle line today.”  And he said, “How did things go, my son?”  17 Then the one who brought the news replied, “Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has also been a great slaughter among the people, and your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been taken.”  18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell off the seat backward beside the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for he was old and heavy.  Thus he judged Israel forty years.

19 Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’s wife, was pregnant and about to give birth; and when she heard the news that the ark of God was taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she kneeled down and gave birth, for her pains came upon her.  20 And about the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.”  But she did not answer or pay attention.  21 And she called the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” because the ark of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband.  22 She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God was taken.”  1 Samuel Chapter 4.

———————-

Are we focused on the glory of God?  Or, like Phineas wife, are we focused on our own glory (maybe including the glory of our family, friends, and nation)? 

God showed his own glory in today’s Scripture by fulfilling His Word in 1 Samuel 2:21-24 concerning Hophni, Phineas, and Eli.

But, Phineas’ wife did not see the glory of God in the fulfillment of His word;  she only thought about the glory of Israel departing from Israel and the doom on her family and nation and attribute it to the taking of the ark by man.

We too can fail to see the glory of God in the fulfillment of His word.  We too can be more focused and concerned about our own glory or the actions of man.

But, there is hope!

Reformed Doctrine changes our focus from man to God.

Reformed Doctrine changes our focus from our glory to God’s glory.

Reformed Doctrine is not fearful or anxious about man taking the glory away from God.

Reformed Doctrine is not fearful or anxious about man taking away God from us.  “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”  Romans 8:29-30.

“Now behold, today I am going the way of all the earth, and you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one word of all the good words which the Lord your God spoke concerning you has failed;  all have been fulfilled for you, not one of them has failed.”  Joshua 23:14.

“Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other;  I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure‘;  Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken;  truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.”  Isaiah 46:9-11.

“O Lord, You are my God;  I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name;  For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.”  Isaiah 25:1.

The Rock!  His work is perfect,
For all His ways are just;
A God of faithfulness and without injustice,
Righteous and upright is He.”    Deuteronomy 32:1-4.

“I am the Lord, that is My name;  I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images.”  Isaiah 42:8.

For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act;
For how can My name be profaned?
And My glory I will not give to another.”  Isaiah 48:11.

“And I will set My glory among the nations;  and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them.”  Ezekiel 39:21.

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