Bible Verse: 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. She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.” 1 Samuel 4:21-22
Scripture Reading: 1 Samuel 4
One of the more common and public ways we try to pass on our legacy is by naming our children after ourselves. After all, what better way to ensure our name continues on than to actually name the next generation with it?
The Old Testament has characters with some great names, many of which are not the top names chosen by modern families. And many of those names have deep meaning.
For example, look at “Ichabod.” Not a popular name today. And when you realize the meaning of it, it was probably not a popular name back then, either.
It means “no glory.”
In 1 Samuel 4, Israel is in serious trouble. The Philistines are attacking. The current priest, Eli, is a failure, and his priestly sons are not following the Lord.
In the end, the Philistines win the battle, capture the ark of the covenant, and Eli’s sons die. When Eli hears the news, he falls over and dies as well.
It’s all tragic.
But there is more. When Eli’s daughter-in-law hears the news, she goes into labour and dies in childbirth. Just as she is about to take her last breath, she names her son “Ichabod,” declaring that the glory of the Lord has departed from Israel.
Interestingly, in all the pain of that day, this woman’s thoughts were not on her own loss but rather on what Israel had lost. And in the end, Eli’s family legacy was left in the hands of a dying woman who didn’t want her husband’s name to carry on but instead chose to point Israel to the glory of God and how they had lost it.
When it comes to our own legacy, we must ask ourselves a significant question: Who is our legacy pointing others to? If it is to ensure people see us, then we are building the wrong legacy.
But if it is to make sure they see the glory of God, then we will be leaving something that others can truly follow.
Prayer: Lord, help me to surrender my legacy so that it is Your name and not mine that people remember. Amen.
Reflection: Ask yourself, “Who does my legacy point others to? Myself or Jesus?” and let the answer steer you in the right direction today.
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