Year 2 Day 182
Read - 1 Samuel 2:12-17 and 1 John 3:4-6
Message - Alan Burke
As we begin I want you to notice is where verse 11 ends, how “the boy (Samuel) minister before the LORD under Eli the Priest”. Samuel the son that Hannah, that she had so longed for, that she had given to the son to serve the Lord at Shiloh ministered before the Lord, immediately after which we are told of Eli’s sons. This isn’t our first introduction to them, we are told of how Eli’s sons were also priests in 1:3 and that’s not really that surprising, they are following in their Da’s footsteps. We may not know many ministers of the Gospel who’s sons have followed them in service but we know plenty of farmers who are the sons of farmers. Among God’s people the house of Arron were to be priests, Eli was a descendant of Aaron and continued the task set for that house and Eli’s sons did likewise.
But everything up to this point in the book of Samuel has been in a sense preparing us for what we read now, how we are told that Eli’s sons were wicked men who had no regard for the LORD. These men, who were brought up in the household of faith, in a covenant family, they knew lots about God, they know off him, they even knew what was expected of God’s people, but they were wicked men, they had no regard for the LORD. They had a privileged position but their sin ruled their lives. The language that is used here to describe Eli’s sons is the language that is used of those who are idolatrous, sexually immoral, liars. We may be unfamiliar with the sacrificial system, but if you take the time to compare what is laid out in Leviticus (7:31-36) to what is going on here it’s clear that what they were doing had little in common of what the Lord had commanded the share that was to be given to the priest. They treated the Lord’s offering with contempt, showing their contempt to God, they rob him of what is his and sin agains him and the people.
It wasn’t that they were quare fella’s one day, and the next morning they were reprobates. No this happened over time. That’s what sin does, we ignore the wee thing, excuse it, say it doesn’t matter, excuse our actions because sure everyone else does it. What happens over time is like a Callus forming, starts off small and grows. Well the effect of a callus on the heart is that as we ignoring sin, excusing it it grows and before we realise we are hardened to it, we don’t see it as sin, we are blinded to it. These men were not the Lord’s, for the believer 1 John 3 gives this warning; “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. (1 Jn 3:4-6 ESV).
John has already made the point that “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves (1 Jn 1:8), In chapter 3 he is not teaching that we can be sinless, rather lawlessness should not define the life of the believer. Hophni and Phinehas they practiced lawlessness, we are at the same time justified and also sinners, we will struggle with sin but that is no excuse to let it go unchecked, or let it go unchecked in others, we should seek to submit to the sanctifying work of the Spirit, being obedient to Jesus Christ (1 Pet 1:2)
Q65 What is forbidden in the fifth commandment?
The fifth commandment forbiddeth the neglecting of, or doing any thing against, the honor and duty which belongeth to every one in their several places and relations. (Matt. 15:4–6, Ezek. 34:2–4, Rom. 13:8)