When the Glory Is Gone
Scripture: 1 Samuel 4:12 - 8:22
"Then she said, ‘The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured.’" (1 Samuel 4:22 NLT)
I could tremble at the thought of the Ark of God being stolen! The horrific chain of events that led to its capture brings to my mind the specific guidelines the Lord gave the Israelites concerning His dwelling place. He instructed them how to precisely build and transport the Ark.
Yet the thieves were no respecters of any of God’s specific guidelines. They only cared about taking Israel’s power from them. The captor’s great disregard of the Lord showed in their placement of the Ark beside the pagan god of agriculture and grain, Dagon. The very image of it makes me cringe.
God repeats throughout Scripture that He is a jealous God and will not share His glory with another. He fulfilled those words when the Ark was captured—the glory of the Lord left. Perhaps more tragic than the Lord’s physical dwelling place being captured is the fact that His glory departed from Israel. This turn of events made me think about the many times I allow the glory of the Lord to depart from me.
We are asked in 1 Corinthians 6:19, “Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.” (NLT) You and I are the Holy Spirit’s temple, His physical dwelling place. He will not share His glory with another; therefore, we must guard His glory by ridding ourselves of any false gods: money, position, family, sleep, perfectionism, education, unfulfilled dreams, or unmet expectations. False gods come in many different forms and crowd out God’s rightful place as Lord of our life. The very thought of sharing God’s glory with false gods should make us cringe.
Let's commit to clean out our false gods and lay them at the feet of the One and Only God whose glory deserves to dwell in our heart.