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.”
Today’s reading didn’t go so well for the Israelites. They decided to go to battle against the Philistines and lost pretty bad. Normally, we will see God telling them to go to battle, but this one seems to be something they decided themselves. Then they brought God into their mess – they thought if they could bring the ark of the covenant to the battle, they would surely win. God apparently didn’t want to sign off on this venture, so they lost some more and the ark was stolen. Talk about a bad day. I imagine we probably make bad choices too and ask God to bless them. We pray ridiculous prayers like, “God bless this divorce.” It probably isn’t gonna happen. Just being real here people.
That’s not really what I want to talk about though. Today, I am really feeling bad for this poor boy Ichabod. Who would name their child, “the glory has departed from Israel?” Who does that? Imagine being little Ichabod in school. Think of the teasing and the shame. This guy’s name was an advertisement for God’s departure from His people. How do you live with a label like that? How does one go about his day with that kind of weight on his life? I wonder how that defined him; I wonder how it shaped who he was.
It also makes me think about the power of the things spoken over us. You see, there are often deposits made in our hearts at a young age that end up stifling us. They end up keeping us from discovering who we really are in Christ. At age 6, a teacher tells us we are stupid and we carry it with us, believing the lie. At age 8 we are the last one picked every time in PE and we believe the lie that we have no talent. At age 10 a boy tells a girl she is ugly and she spends her adolescence trying to prove him wrong by showing way more of her body than she ever should. At age 12 a dad tells his son that he is worthless and the boy shuts down, never becoming the man God created him to be.
We get all these labels slapped on us and actually begin to believe them. We believe we will never be smart enough, good looking enough, worthy enough, talented enough, or just plain old good enough. Enough, I say. ENOUGH! We have bought into all these lies. Our name doesn’t really mean, “the glory of the Lord has departed” or something like that. It doesn’t mean stupid or garbage. Yet we believe it all. And this is the filthy, puking lie of the enemy – to keep us from really discovering who we were made to be. Because if we really walked in who we were made to be, we would mess up all his plans. So you have a bunch of men walking around this planet pretending to be macho and refusing to “get in touch with their feelings” because Dad called them a girl for crying once.
It’s all robbery people. The enemy has held us at metaphorical gunpoint and stolen our identity right out from under us. I say it is time to stop believing the lies. It starts by taking these lies to the Lord. Start by asking Him, “where is the lie?” Ask him to show you when this was spoken over you in your life. Ask him to show you where you embraced this distortion of truth. He may bring you back to that 3rd grade PE class. He might bring your Father’s haunting words to your mind. When He does, ask Him where the lie is and ask Him for the truth. Then let Him set you free and show you who you really are. Let’s stop walking around like Ichabod and embrace our true identity in Christ Jesus.