Ichabod stay in attack mode, tearing down what God is building, because they have no glory revelation from which to edify, comfort and exhort the body. Beware Ichabod prophets.
I didn’t expect such a strong reaction when I penned that post on Facebook earlier this month. Some didn’t know what an Ichabod prophet was. Others offered a hearty “amen.” Still others manifested their Ichabod-ness.
What is an Ichabod prophet? We find mention of Ichabod in 1 Samuel 4:19-21.
“Phinehas’s wife, was pregnant and about to give birth; and when she heard the news that the ark of God was taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she kneeled down and gave birth, for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.’ But she did not answer or pay attention. And she called the boy 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.’
The translation of Ichabod is somewhat debated. Some theologians say it simply means “no glory.” Others say the name actually poses a question: “Where is the glory?” The question, of course, suggests the glory is nowhere to be found. Yet another translator offers the meaning, “Alas! The glory,” an expression of bitter sorrow that God’s glory is absent.
1. Ichabod prophets do not carry a strong revelation of the Father’s heart.
Ichabod prophets are missing a deep revelation of the glory of God—the goodness of God—so they prophesy harsh words, judgements with no room for repentance, curses on people and nations and celebrate when their witchcraft comes to pass. They may even trumpet an intimacy message, but bitterness supersedes a glory revelation.
2. Ichabod prophets hide in caves when Jezebel attacks because they fear man more than the fear God.
1 Kings 18:4 tells us, “When Jezebel destroyed the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave, and provided them with bread and water.” Glory dwellers don’t hide in caves. Ichabod prophets hide in caves to escape the persecution and whine on the Internet when people don’t accept their prophetic utterances.
3. Ichabod prophets are yes-men. They flatter people in authority with prophetic words that brings them personal advancement.
1 Kings 22:6-12, “Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said to them, ‘Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle or shall I refrain?’ And they said, ‘Go up, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.’ But Jehoshaphat said, ‘Is there not yet a prophet of the Lord here that we may inquire of him?’
The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the Lord, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.’ But Jehoshaphat said, ‘Let not the king say so.’ Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, ‘Bring quickly Micaiah son of Imlah.’
Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. Then Zedekiah the son of Chinana made horns of iron for himself and said, ‘Thus says the Lord, ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are consumed.’ All the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, ‘Go up to Ramoth-gilead and prosper, for the Lord will give it into the hand of the king.’”
Micaiah offered a true word of the Lord and went to prison for it. That’s the opposite of the Ichabod prophets Obadiah hid in a cave, hiding from Jezebel.
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4. They prophesy what the party line wants to hear.
Ichabod prophets deal falsely and are greedy. They prophesy unto popularity. Jeremiah 6:13-14, “For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is greedy for gain, and from the prophet even to the priest everyone deals falsely. ‘They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.’”
5. Ichabod prophets prophesy without an unction.
Jeremiah 23:21, “I did not send these prophets, but they ran. I did not speak to them, but they prophesied.” If God is not speaking, prophets should not be talking in His name. Ichabod prophets speak anyway, often plagiarizing prophetic words.
Jennifer LeClaire former editor of Charisma magazine, senior leader of Awakening House of Prayer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, founder of the Ignite Network and founder of the Awakening Blaze prayer movement. She is author of over 25 books. Find her online at jenniferleclaire.org or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.