Have you ever been in a situation or season in your life where you have questioned the goodness and glory of God? You’re not alone. Today’s scripture is tough. It’s hard for me even to put myself in the character’s shoes. From Eli hearing the news of his two sons being killed along with many other Israelites being slaughtered in the hands of the Philistines to the capture of the Ark of God. This news hit Eli so hard that he died. I’m not sure if it was his fall back as much as it was the pain he experienced hearing about his family and God’s people. However, the tragedy doesn’t end there. Eli’s daughter-in-law heard about her husband and father-in-law’s death along with the capture of the Ark of God. This news caused her to go into delivery and dying after giving birth. When the midwives tried to encourage her by telling her she gave birth to a beautiful boy. She responds by naming that boy “Ichabod” which means, “Where is the glory?” Her last words before passing were “The glory has departed from Israel, for the Ark of God has been captured.”
This is some really depressing stuff here. It’s hard not to question or ask where the glory of God is myself. By God’s grace we’re able to read the next chapter of God’s Word and see where His glory and purpose is in the midst of this tough trial. However you need to wait until tomorrow’s Jumpstart to see the fuller picture of God’s goodness and glory. Today, like many people in this world, we only have this picture of pain and tragedy. And when we only dwell on the hard times, we can question God’s glory as well. Let this be a reminder that we’re not alone in these trials and questions. Let’s learn how to empathize and give compassion to those who are suffering or in mourning. But let’s also not stay in that place because we serve a God who has given us hope and a promise for a fuller picture of His purpose and glory in Jesus. Eli and his daughter-in-law couldn’t see what God did in the next chapter like many of us can’t see the purpose or glory out of some of our tragedies. However, it doesn’t mean that a good God does not have a purpose for them. He didn’t leave the Israelites that day and He certainly hasn’t left us in our trials. Our God defeated death, Satan and sin once and for all in the cross and resurrection and like that tragedy, He can bring great triumph later.
By: Erik Koliser