Ichabod: The Story of the Lost Glory

From Joseph: Ichabod is a lament from my book Even in the Well, a collection of Christian-theme poetry based largely on real life experiences written in narrative form. Ichabod has its foundation on 1 Samuel 4 and tells the story of Israel’s lost glory, which resulted from their departure from godly guidance. I pray we remain in God’s presence and experience divine redemption (and restoration) where necessary.

Ichabod: The Poem

Image courtesy of Prince Tayorski Photography

Image courtesy of Prince Tayorski Photography

Mothers running helter-skelter, children crying on the streets,

Fathers in battle and the land lay desolate;

There is a priest in the house, but no prophet in the land.

There are many subjects but no king to rule. But there was once a King who ruled

But the people disdained him. There was once a time when we had judges to make peace for us,

We once had prophets who spoke as oracles of God. But all we have now are dumb men who dare not speak truth, lest the people pick up stones. Alas, they are but fools!

The battle rages on, the ark is captured.

The men are slaughtered in war. No one is spared, it’s bloodshed everywhere.

Even in the Well 3DDead bodies parade the battle front, the priest sits still in his front yard.

What can he do? Priests don’t fight, priests don’t smite. If only there was a prophet in the land;

At least he would prophesy. And maybe, who knows, maybe there would be respite.

The people have waned in battle, they lay slain on the highway.

Defeat looms on every corner, the drums of retreat resonates closer.

No one to help, Ichabod is the cause.

Behind closed doors, mothers prayed for their husbands. Children cried in hope their tears bring father home.

But there is no sign of hope. There is no way to Zion’s Gate, the enemy has played his game and my people are now in chains,

Ichabod is the cause.

There goes a young man from the battle; He runs as fast as he can. He brings tidings, a ray of hope it seemed at first.

His heart pants faster than it pumps. He can barely speak.

He ignores everyone he sees and runs straight to the priest’s door and falls at his feet.

The people run after him to hear news of loved ones in war.

The priest with eyes dim, for age had caught up with him, hearing the sound of the swift legs, adjusts his cedar chair;

“What chases you my son,” he asked in his weary voice.
 
“The people have been murdered, the enemy has made a spoil of us. We were trodden. Ye, we were crushed!
Your sons, dead. O, it was mass slaughter!”
 

As with his last breath, the young, tired soldier mumbled;

“And… t-h-e… the ark was…
Captured!”
 

On hearing word of the ark, the priest slumped to the ground;

Who would bear such loss, it’s too much a cause but

Ichabod is the cause.

Across the neighbourhood a mother births amidst the sad tale

But child bearing brings no joy when the glory’s lost and though it’s a son, she called him Ichabod…

When the glory departs, heaven is shut; no answer to prayers, no cry is heard, no shouts herald;

Ichabod is the cause.

“But is there no pardon at such times? Is there no cure for Ichabod?”

Alas, there is mercy! There is cure for Ichabod;

We need no dumb prophets, we need no blind priests, we need no king, we need no empty ark.

“Is there any cure for Ichabod?”

Yes, Shammah is the cure!
 

We need Shammah (God’s presence) in the midst of the ark (our lives); for when the Lord is there, the lost glory returns.

Ichabod loses its power, then the land can rejoice,

Evermore.

What is your favorite narrative in the Bible? Share your answers in the comment box. I will write a poem on the winning Bible story.

P.S. Next weekend, I will be in Berlin to speak at a youth event. I deeply covet your prayers.

About Joseph Iregbu

I'm a writer, purpose guy, speaker and business consultant. My passion is to help people live with purpose and not waste their lives. I live in the UK with my wife, Temi and our gorgeous Isabel Juda. Let's connect on Twitter and Facebook.