1 Samuel 4:21-22
21 She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The Glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”
This chapter ends very gloomily. The Ark has been captured and taken away. Eli’s sons have died in combat. Eli dies when he hears the news (if you read the chapter, he’s hit more by the fact that the Ark has been taken than his sons died) and his daughter in law dies after childbirth, but not before she names her son ‘The Glory has departed from Israel’. It is unlikely that we will know such coming together of tragedies, but we may all go through times when it feels like God has abandoned us. To believe this, however, is to be just as mistaken as the Israelites believing that God was with them just because they had the Ark present. God has covenanted himself to us; he is faithful even when we are not, and will never leave us or betray us, even if we might let him down. In the bleakest of moments he is with us – and the best proff I can offer for this is the Cross where Jesus hung with us and for us. No one can defeat him and nothing can separate us from his love.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.