The Dedication of the Temple
A Sermon on 1 Samuel 4:19-22
Now his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant, about to give birth. And when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she bowed and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women attending her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have borne a son.” But she did not answer or pay attention. And she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband. And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.” (ESV)
Compared to the past, the church is in a worse spot than it has been in before. In this sermon, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones draws parallels between the state of the church today with the spiritual condition following the capture of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines recorded in the Old Testament. As with the tabernacle, The Doctor says, the vital factor in the life of the church is the presence of the glory of the Lord. The greatest danger to the church today could very well be that it is content with nice buildings that are missing God’s glory. But as in the Old Testament, both man’s contribution and God’s glory are vital in working together to bring a church to a state of flourishing. How can churches guard against a separation of this? Lloyd-Jones proposes that it all begins with a church being sensitive to the glory of the Lord, and then asks some haunting questions: Are we aware of the glory of the Lord? Where do we start? The answers to these questions, and the fervor with which we apply the answers, will play a large part in the shape the church takes over the next several decades. Listen as Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on why the glory of the Lord is vital for a church to succeed.