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 (I Samuel 4:21).
Many people today give their children Biblical names, but few ever name a child Ichabod, which means no glory. We know little of Ichabod, but his name must have been a detriment to him all his life. The day he was born was a sad day for Israel, because the holy ark of Gods covenant was carried away by the conquering Philistines, and Israels judge, Eli, was dead, and his two evil sons, Hophni and Phinehas, Ichabods father, had been slain. Furthermore, Ichabods mother also died in childbirth, just after she named her son. It was indeed a tragic day.
God had met with His people in the Shekinah glory cloud, at the mercy seat on the ark each year, but now the glory had departed. God still cared for them, however, and had already raised up Samuel as His prophet and their judge.
Although neither babies nor institutions are named after Ichabod today, it would surely be an appropriate name for many a backslidden Christian or apostate church. What a tragedy to see believers once happy and fruitful set aside because of sin in their lives, or once-sound churches become cold and dead because of compromise, with the glory departed.
This is a real danger. Even Paul said: I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (I Corinthians 9:27). And Christ warned even such a fine church as that at Ephesus: I will . . . remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent (Revelation 2:5). May God keep each of us from ever becoming modern Ichabods! HMM