ICHABOD (The Glory has Departed)
They think only in human terms and not in God's long-term plan of many thousands of years. An easy comparison can be made today. If we rely on what we know from the public media and the accepted wisdom, we have to think of the Christian Faith as an unpleasant aspect of America, one best left behind for the truly thoughtful.
I said, "The name gives it away. The owner uses a synonym for Marxist or Fascist - Progressive. The only way to know the truth about Christianity is to go to the source, not the majority opinion. We had access to the seminary library at Augustana, but it did me no good. I could find lots of books, but which ones were worthwhile?
The mainline professors were all rationalists and would have guided me away from Lenski. I saw those books, but wondered what kind of a Lutheran name was that? If we start with the words of Jesus, we have the answers. If we start with expert commentary on Jesus from the expert rationalists we know nothing. The difference is - the Source will tell us what we need to know and believe, and make us hunger and thirst for more.
That is the difference between the Word of God and the word of man.
What did John do? Go and talk to him and ask the question that is bothering you so much? This bothers some who comment today, because they do not understand faith - they have none - and they cannot grasp how one comes to have saving faith and the forgiveness of sin. Most of the messages today are wrong. The answers do not come from church structure and their little books. The answers do not come from who talk about everything except what matters.
John had faith in Jesus and knew as the last of the Old Testament prophets that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah. The best way to deal with the anguish of his down disciples was to send them to the One who would gave them proper faith, not faith in a great man who was a prophet, but only a mortal, but faith in the Son of God. John was warning people of the wrath to come. The oh-so-modern commentators say, "The prophets were not foretellers, but forth-tellers" - a lame and clumsy word-play, as if men appointed by God could not see beyond tomorrow's news. John properly warned the people against the Zealot Revolt, which led to starvation, cannibalism, death, and slavery, only a few decades later, around 70 AD.
In the midst of apocalyptic warning, John could only send his disciples to the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus answered their question in a concise, poem, hymn, or confession of faith, an elaboration on Yes: The blind can see, The lame can walk, The lepers are cleansed, The deaf hear, The poor have the Gospel preached to them. Blessed is he who does not fall into the death-trap of doubt. Attributes of God are found in threes, and here we see them again. Jesus has the divine power to perform these miracles and to preach the Gospel.
Those who believe and do not find human reason to doubt are blessed. Thousands heard Jesus and saw the miracles performed, but many doubted and hated. The Gospel of John shows with great clarity that the opposition began early and became murderous among the religious opponents. That was repeated later many times, when the Church of Rome answered dissent with burning people at the stake, a horrible death so agonizing that prisoners bribed executioners to make it happen faster.
The response of Jesus is to lay claim to His many miracles, which no one could reproduce, the efficacy of His preaching the Gospel, and a blessing on those who believed rather than being energized by doubt and falling away - as many did. The purpose of the Bible is to fill us with faith in God rather than in man's institutions. Luther spent a lot of time showing people that their human institutions were doubt-creating and faith denying. Praying for the dead, having masses said for the dead, all the repetition showed doubt in the mercy of God.
The Vatican developed institutions of doubt and fear to control the people and extract as much as possible from the rich. I noticed two recent efforts to solve denominational problems with the Law. One SP said, "Each person write down two names for the seminary recruiter. This is a purely rationalistic formula that works in sales but not in the Kingdom. The other one was "Every member needs to invite a neighbor or friend to church. Gospel results do not come from Law demands. There are so many wrong paths with similar characteristics that people overlook the one correct way - faith in the Son of God.
He is the ocean of grace that drowns our sins. He directs us to His loving, forgiving Father to cast our anxieties, fears, and needs upon Him. God is not the Angry Judge demanding we appease Him, but the radiant energy of Love, like a fireplace that warms us from a distance. Christ answered John also for the sake of his disciples. He answers in a twofold way: First, by his works; secondly, by his words.
If he were not the Christ, then he who finds no occasion of stumbling in him could not be blessed. For one can dispense with all the saints, but Christ is the only one that no man can dispense with. No saint can help us, none but Christ. The answer of his works is more convincing, first, because such works were never before accomplished either by John or by anyone else; and secondly, because these works were predicted by the prophets.
Therefore, when they saw that it came to pass just as the prophets had foretold, they could and should have been assured. For thus Isaiah had said of these works: But the kings and priests were usually anointed for the kingdom and priesthood. Thus he indeed preaches good tidings to the weak, gives sight to the blind, heals all kinds of sickness and proclaims the acceptable year, the time of grace, etc.
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. This is Jesus' two-fold way of saying John is unique, the greatest of all prophets. Are reeds shaken in the wind? Yes, all of them. Do not look for what was commonly expected in the last, great prophet. People expected greater glory and earthly power.
Instead, John pointed to an ordinary looking man and said, "This is the One. A true prophet points where God indicates, where man does not expect. Look up the articles in all the media. The honored "prophets" are saying "Do you want a Cadillac like mine? I must be IT! So the greatest prophet had the hardest task of all, to teach the truth in a hostile Roman Empire, preparing people in one sense and alarming the Pharisees in another. This was all God's preparation for His Son.
The purpose of this passage is to draw together all the prophecies of the Old Testament and show that Isaiah 40 was being fulfilled in John. Posted by Gregory Jackson at 9: Luther's Sermon about Matthew 2: Now when John heard in the prison the works of the Christ, he sent by his disciples and said unto him, Art thou he that cometh, or look we for another? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and tell John the things which ye hear and see: And blessed is he, whosoever shall find no occasion of stumbling in me.
And as these went their way, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to behold? But what went ye out to ace?
- What does the term “Ichabod” mean in the Bible?;
- Angel Dog (Beef Casserole for the Dogs Soul Book 1);
- The Glory Has Departed.
But wherefore went ye out? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, Who shall prepare thy way before thee. The most I find on this Gospel treats of whether John the Baptist knew that Jesus was the true Christ, although this question is unnecessary and of little import. Ambrose thinks John asked this question neither in ignorance nor in doubt; but in a Christian spirit. Why then did John ask this question? Answer- It was not done without good reasons In the first place, it is certain that John asked it for the sake of his disciples, as they did not yet hold Christ to be the one he really was.
And John did not come in order to make disciples and draw the people to himself, but to prepare the way for Christ, to lead everybody to Christ and to make all the people subject to him. Now the disciples of John had heard from him many excellent testimonies concerning Christ, namely, that he was the Lamb of God and the Son of God, and that Christ must increase while he must decrease.
All this his disciples and the people did not yet believe, nor could they understand it, as they themselves and all the people thought more of John than of Christ. For this reason they clung so strongly to John, even to the extent that they for his sake became jealous and dissatisfied with Christ when they saw that he also baptized, made disciples and drew the people to himself.
They complained to John about this because they feared that their master would grow less in esteem, as we read in John 8: To this error they were led by two reasons, first, because Christ was not yet known to the people, but only to John; neither had he as yet performed any miracle, and no one was held in high esteem but John.
Hence it appeared so strange to them that he should point them and everybody else away from himself and to some one else, inasmuch as there was no one living beside John who had gained a great name and enjoyed great fame. The other reason was because Christ appeared so very humble and common, being the son of a poor carpenter and of a poor widow. Neither did he belong to the priesthood, nor to the learned; but was only a layman and a common apprentice.
He had never studied, was brought up as a carpenter apprentice just like other lay-men; hence it seemed as though the excellent testimony of John concerning Christ and the common layman and apprentice, Jesus of Nazareth, did not at all harmonize with each other.
Therefore, though they believed that John told the truth, they still reasoned: Perhaps it will be some one else than this Jesus; and they looked for one who might appear among them in an imposing way, like a highly learned leader among the priests, or a mighty king. From such delusion John could not deliver them with his words.
They clung to him, and regarded Christ as being much inferior, meanwhile looking for the glorious appearing of the great person of whom John spoke. And should he really be Jesus, then he had to assume a different attitude; he must saddle a steed, put on bright spurs, and dash forward like a lord and king of Israel, just as the kings aforetime had done. Until he should do this they would cling to John. But when Jesus began to perform miracles and became famous, then John thought he would point his disciples away from himself and lead them to Christ, in order that they might not think of establishing a new sect and becoming Johnites; but that all might cling to Christ and become Christians, John sends them to Christ so that from now on they might learn not only from the witness he bore of Christ, but also from the words and deeds of Christ himself that he was the one of whom John had spoken.
It should not be expected that the works and coming of Christ would be attended by drums and bugles and like worldly pomp; but by spiritual power and grace, so that there would be no riding and walking on streets paved and carpeted; but that by virtue of such power and grace the dead would be raised up, the blind receive their sight, the deaf hear, and all kinds of bodily and spiritual evil be removed. That should be the glory and coming of this king, the least of whose works could not be performed by all the kings, all the learned and all the rich in the world.
This is the meaning of the text. As though John would say to his disciples: There you hear of his works, such as I never accomplished, nor anyone else before him. Now go to him and ask him, whether or not he is the one that cometh. Put away the gross worldly deception that he would ride on steeds in armor.
He is increasing, but I must now decrease; my work must cease, but his must continue; you must leave me and cling to him. How necessary it was for John to point his disciples away from himself to Christ is very clear. Without Christ there is no help or remedy, no matter how pious men may be. So at the present day what benefit is it to the monks and nuns to observe the rules of St. Augustine, if they do not embrace Christ and him only, and depart also from their John?
All Benedictines, Carthusians, Barefoot-Friars, Ecclesiasts, Augustinians, Carmelites, all monks and nuns are surely lost, as only Christians are saved. Whoever is not a Christian even John the Baptist cannot help, who indeed, according to Christ, was the greatest of all saints.
However, John deals kindly with his disciples, has patience with their weak faith till they shall have grown strong. He does not condemn them because they do not firmly believe him. Thus we should deal with the consciences of men ensnared by the examples and regulations of pious men, until they are freed from them. And blessed is he whosoever shall find no occasion of stumbling in me. Here we have it stated that where the works are absent, there is also no Christ.
Christ is a living, active and fruit-bearing character who does not rest, but works unceasingly wherever he is. Therefore, those bishops and teachers that are not doing the works of Christ, we should avoid and consider as wolves. But they say, Why it is not necessary for everyone to do these works of Christ. How can all the pious give sight to the blind, make the lame walk and do other miracles like those of Christ?
Christ did also other works, he exercised himself in patience, love, peace, meekness, etc. Do these works, and then we also shall know Christ by his works. Here Christ commanded to judge the doctrine, but not the life. What do I hear? Have you now become Pharisees and hypocrites, and confess it yourselves? If we would say this about you then you would indeed become angry. Be it so, if you are such hypocrites and apply these words of Christ to yourselves, then you must also apply to yourselves all the other words Christ speaks against the Pharisees.
However, as they wish to shield themselves by these words of Christ and put to silence the ignorant, we will further consider the same, inasmuch as the murderers of Christians at the Council of Constance also attacked John Huss with this passage, claiming that it granted them liberty for their tyranny, so that no one dared to oppose their doctrine.
It must, therefore, be observed that teaching is also a work, yea, even the chief work of Christ, because here among his works he mentions that to the poor the Gospel is preached. Therefore, just as the tyrants are known by their works, so are they known by their teachings. Where Christ is, there surely the Gospel will be preached; but where the Gospel is not preached, there Christ is not present. But our blockheads are idols, there is neither letting nor doing, neither life nor doctrine.
Hence this passage of Christ will not shield them, they must be wolves and murderers as Christ calls them, John In the same place Christ forbids to do according to their works he mentions their teachings among their works, saying: Observe here that Christ first of all forbids among their works their teachings grievous to be borne, as being of chief import, so that finally the meaning of the passage is: All that they teach according to Moses, you should keep and do; but whatever they teach and do besides, you should not observe.
Thus you perceive how skillfully the rude Papists made this passage the foundation of their doctrine, lies and tyranny, though no other passage is more strongly against them and more severely condemns their teachings than this one. They are a people exalted only to lie and to pervert the Scriptures. And a stranger will they not follow, but flee from him.
But what does it mean when Christ says: Again, why is the Gospel so great a thing, so great a blessing as Christ teaches, seeing that so many people despise and oppose it? Here we must know what Gospel really is, otherwise we can not understand this passage. We must, therefore, diligently observe that from the beginning God has sent into the world a two-fold word or message, the Law and the Gospel.
These two messages must be rightly distinguished one from the other and properly understood, for besides the Scriptures there never has been a book written to this day, not even by a saint, in which these two messages, the Law and the Gospel, have been properly explained and distinguished, and yet so very much depends on such an explanation. The Law is that word by which God teaches what we shall do, as for instance, the Ten Commandments.
For no one lives who does not prefer that there were no law, and everyone feels and knows in himself that it is difficult to lead a pious life and do good, and, on the other hand, that it is easy to lead a wicked life and to do evil. But this difficulty or unwillingness to do the good is the reason we do not keep the Law of God. For whatever is done with aversion and unwillingness is considered by God as not done at all. Thus the Law of God convicts us, even by our own experience, that by nature we are evil, disobedient, lovers of sin.
From all this either self-confidence or despair must follow. Selfconfidence follows when a man strives to fulfill the law by his own good works, by trying hard to do as the words of the law command, lie serves God, he swears not, he honors father and mother, he kills not, he does not commit adultery, etc. But meanwhile he does not look into his heart, does not realize with what motives he leads a good life, and conceals the old Adam in his heart. For if he would truly examine his heart, he would realize that he is doing all unwillingly and with compulsion, that he fears hell or seeks heaven, if he be not prompted by things of less importance, as honor, goods, health and fear of being humiliated, of being punished or of being visited by a plague.
In short, he would have to confess that he would rather lead a wicked life if it were not that he fears the consequences, for the law only restrains him. But because he does not realize his bad motives he lives securely, looks only at his outward works and not into his heart, prides himself on keeping the law of God perfectly, and thus the countenance of Moses remains covered to him, that is, he does not understand the meaning of the law, namely, that it must be kept with a happy, free and willing mind.
Just as an immoral person, if you should ask him why he commits adultery, can answer only that he is doing it for the sake of the carnal pleasure he finds in it. For he does not do it for reward or punishment, he expects no gain from it, nor does he hope to escape from the evil of it. Such willingness the law requires in us, so that if you should ask a virtuous man why he leads a chaste life, he would answer: Not for the sake of heaven or hell, honor or disgrace, but for the sole reason that he considers it honorable, and that it pleases him exceedingly, even if it were not commanded.
Such people love God and righteousness, they hate and fear naught but unrighteousness. However, no one is thus by nature. The unrighteous love reward and profit, fear and hate punishment and pain; therefore they also hate God and righteousness, love themselves and unrighteousness. They are hypocrites, disguisers, deceivers, liars and selfconceited.
So are all men without grace, but above all, the saints who rely on their good works. Despair follows when man becomes conscious of his evil motives, and realizes that it is impossible for him to love the law of God, finding nothing good in himself; but only hatred of the good and delight in doing evil. Now he realizes that the law can not be kept only by works hence he despairs of his works and does not rely upon them. He should have love; but he finds none, nor can have any through his own efforts or out of his own heart.
Now he must be a poor, miserable and humiliated spirit whose conscience is burdened and in anguish because of the law, commanding and demanding payment in full when he does not possess even a farthing with which to pay. Only to such persons is the law beneficial, because it has been given for the purpose of working such knowledge and humiliation; that is its real mission. These persons well know how to judge the works of hypocrites and fraudulent saints, namely, as nothing but lies and deception. Man, then, sees how desperately wicked his heart is, how great his sins are, even as to things he formerly considered good works and no sin.
Then there is only fear and trembling, all self-conceit vanishes, while fear and despair fill his heart. Thus man is crushed and put to naught, and truly humbled. Inasmuch as all this is caused only by the law, St. Paul truly says, that it is a law unto death and a letter that killeth, and that through the commandment sin becomes exceedingly sinful, Romans 7: For the law gives and helps us in no way whatever; it only demands and drives and shows us our misery and depravity.
The other word of God is neither law nor commandments, and demands nothing of us. But when that has been done by the first word, namely, the law, and has worked deep despair and wretchedness in our hearts, then God comes and offers us his blessed and life-giving word and promises; he pledges and obligates himself to grant grace and help in order to deliver us from misery, not only to pardon all our sins, but even to blot them out, and in addition to this to create in us love and delight in keeping his law.
Behold, this divine promise of grace and forgiveness of sin is rightly called the Gospel. They hold Christ to be a lawmaker, and the Gospel a mere doctrine of a new law. That is nothing else than locking up the Gospel and entirely concealing it. Now, the word Gospel is of Greek origin and signifies in German Frohliche Botschaft, that is glad tidings, because it proclaims the blessed doctrine of life eternal by divine promise, and offers grace and forgiveness of sin.
Therefore, works do not belong to the Gospel, as it is not a law; only faith belongs to it, as it is altogether a promise and an offer of divine grace. Whosoever now believes the Gospel will receive grace and the Holy Spirit. But all these promises from the beginning are founded on Christ, so that God promises no one this grace except through Christ, who is the messenger of the divine promise to the whole world. For this reason he came and through the Gospel brought these promises into all the world, which before this time had been proclaimed by the prophets.
It is, therefore, in vain if anyone, like the Jews, expects the fulfillment of the divine promises without Christ. All is centered and decreed in Christ. Whosoever will not hear him shall have no promises of God. For just as God acknowledges no law besides the law of Moses and the writings of the prophets, so he makes no promises, except through Christ alone.
What does the term “Ichabod” mean in the Bible?
But you may reply, is there not also much law in the Gospel and in the Epistles of Paul? And, again, many promises in the writings of Moses and the Prophets? There is no book in the Bible in which both are not found. God has always placed side by side both law and promise.
For he teaches by the law what we are to do, and by the promises whence we shall receive power to do it.
The Glory Has Departed
But the New Testament especially is called the Gospel above the other books of the Bible. Therefore, hold to this distinction, and no matter what books you have before you, be they of the Old or of the New Testament, read them with a discrimination so as to observe that when promises are made in a book, it is a Gospel-book; when commandments are given, it is a law-book. But because in the New Testament the promises are found so abundantly, and in the Old Testament so many laws, the former is called the Gospel, and the latter the Book of the Law. We now come back to our text.
From what has just been said it is easily understood that among the works of Christ none is greater than preaching the Gospel to the poor. This means nothing else than that to the poor the divine promise of grace and consolation in and through Christ is preached, offered and presented, so that to him who believes all his sins are forgiven, the law is fulfilled, conscience is appeased and at last life eternal is bestowed upon him. What more joyful tidings could a poor sorrowful heart and a troubled conscience hear than this?
How could the heart become more bold and courageous than by such consoling, blissful words of promise? Sin, death, hell, the world and the devil and every evil are scorned, when a poor heart receives and believes this consolation of the divine promise. To give sight to the blind and to raise up the dead are but insignificant deeds, compared with preaching the Gospel to the poor. Therefore Christ mentions it as the greatest and best among these works. But it must be observed that Christ says: Surely these poor are not the beggars and the bodily poor, but the spiritually poor, namely, those who do not covet and love earthly goods; yes, rather those poor, broken-hearted ones who in the agony of their conscience seek and desire help and consolation so ardently that they covet neither riches nor honor.
Nothing will be of help to them, unless they have a merciful God. Here is true spiritual weakness. They are those for whom such a message is intended, and in their hearts they are delighted with it. They feel that they have been delivered from hell and death. Therefore, though the Gospel is heard by all the world, yet it is not accepted but by the poor only. Moreover, it is to be preached and proclaimed to all the world, that it is a message only for the poor, and that the rich men can not receive it. Whosoever would receive it must first become poor, as Christ says, Matthew 9: But his calling was such that he desired to be accepted only by sinners, and all he called should become sinners.
In like manner all should become poor who heard the Gospel, that they might be worthy of the Gospel; but this they also resented. Therefore the Gospel remained only for the poor. Hence you see who are the greatest enemies of the Gospel, namely, the work-righteous saints, who are self-conceited, as has been said before. For the Gospel has not the least in common with them. They want to be rich in works, but the Gospel wills that they are to become poor. They will not yield, neither can the Gospel yield, as it is the unchangeable word of God. Again, they condemn the Gospel as being error and heresy; and we observe it comes to pass daily, as it has from the beginning of the world, that between the Gospel and the work-righteous saints there is no peace, no good will and no reconciliation.
Because the ark of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband. American Standard Version And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel; because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. Brenton Septuagint Translation And she called the child Uaebarchaboth, because of the ark of God, and because of her father-in-law, and because of her husband.
Douay-Rheims Bible And she called the child Ichabod, saying: The glory is gone from Israel, because the ark of God was taken, and for her father in law, and her husband: Darby Bible Translation And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel; because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband.
Because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. World English Bible She named the child Ichabod, saying, "The glory has departed from Israel;" because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. Young's Literal Translation and she calleth the youth I-Chabod, saying, 'Honour hath removed from Israel,' because of the taking of the ark of God, and because of her father-in-law and her husband.
But the troops did not know that Jonathan had left.