Ei the priest had two sons who knew not the Lord. Phinehas, one of those sons, had a wife who conceived a child.
We’re told very little about Mrs. Phinehas, but we know her husband was an evil man who used his position to take advantage of other people. He and his brother began by stealing from the worshippers when they came to the temple to offer burnt offerings. As time passed, they grew more corrupt, raping and taking advantage of women who came to worship at the tabernacle. Did Mrs. Phinehas know what her husband was doing? Since all of Israel was talking about it, we have to assume she did.
Mrs. Phinehas, like many of the Israelites of her time, superstitiously believed that God’s power was in the ark. When the Israelites lost a battle with the Philistines, Phinehas and his brother Hophni carried it to the battle site, thinking it would help them defeat the enemy army. Instead, the ark was stolen by the Philistines, and Phinehas and Hophni were killed.
When word reached Eli that his sons were killed and the ark was stolen, he fell over backwards, broke his neck, and died.
When Mrs. Phinehas heard what happened, she went into labor. In her dying moments she named the child Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”
Like this poor wife and mother, we often place our trust in things rather than the Maker of those things. Our situations may look hopeless, but we serve the God of Hope.
Whatever happens in the days ahead, God is good, and his glory lives on. May we never forget that.
Read about the wife of Phinehas in Scripture: 1 Samuel 2:12-36.
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