Today’s Scripture: And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken. 1 Samuel 4:22

Eli was a godly man that spent his life in ministry as a priest and judge of Israel. However, he was not the father he should have been. His sons, Hophni and Phinehas, would become priests that “abhorred the offering of the Lord.” (1 Samuel 2:17) They also were wellknown for being immoral. (1 Samuel 2:22)

When Eli heard what his sons were doing, he rebuked them. He was against their lifestyle but only talked and reasoned with them. I believe that Eli never dealt with his sons’ rebellion correctly. They probably never received proper punishment as they were growing up.

Perhaps Eli spent too much time in the ministry and not enough time with his family. Whatever the reason, God expected Eli to have raised his children better, and Eli ended up paying horrible consequences. (1 Samuel 2:2734)

One day when Israel went to battle against the Philistines, Eli’s sons brought the Ark of God into the battleground. During the battle, Hophni and Phinehas were killed and the Ark of God was taken by the Philistines. (1 Samuel 4:11) A messenger was sent to Eli to relay the news of his sons’ death and the capture of the Ark. When Eli heard the message, he died.

Eli’s pregnant daughterinlaw began to deliver upon hearing that her husband and father-in-law were dead and the Ark of the Lord was taken. (1 Samuel 4:19) She would end up dying because of hard labor. Before she died, she named her new-born son Ichabod, which means “no glory.” This was because the glory of Israel departed that day.

What a terrible day! It all started with a father who did not discipline his kids. Are you willing to cause a little pain now to save your kids from a whole lot of pain later? Obeying God may not be easy, but the alternative always causes more pain.

Devotional by Jim Scudder Jr.