Year 2 Day 193
Read - 1 Samuel 2:34-36
Message - Alan Burke
Remember Matt Hancock, the one who broke the covid restrictions that marked the end to his role as health secretary. Maybe you watched that unfold and were left scratching your heads wondering ‘really?’, ‘does nobody see the damage that has been done here to two families by their selfish actions?’. In truth our society doesn’t see adultery or divorce as a big deal. If you look back to verse 22 you will see how Eli heard about what his sons were up to with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and Eli says “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. Then in this prophecy against the house of Eli we learn that the Lord is brining judgement upon Eli for honouring his sons more that Him.
To many in our society the Lord telling Eli that his sons Hophni and Phinehas will both die, that the Lord was putting them to death would seem extreme, what’s the big deal after all. I hope you perceive the issue with their moral failures, but it wasn’t their moral failures that were the issue it was their treatment of the worship of the Lord. Ultimately in doing what they did they treated God with scorn (29), with contempt, distain, their sin was great because they led the people of God, and the Lord God will hold all of us responsible for our sin, whether that is in this life or the next. Yet the Lord has shown us his amazing grace, in and though the Lord Jesus, that even though we deserve the same fate as Eli’s sons we are redeemed from our sin and rescued from its eternal consequences.
The judgment that comes to Eli was not one of hopelessness, for in this judgment there is also the promise of what God was going to do. Every man did what was right in his own eyes but the Lord was raising up a faithful priest (35). By bringing judgment upon the house of Eli, in removing them from office, the Lord was in fact protecting his people. In judgement God was bringing salvation to his people. No longer will Eli be enjoying the best of the sacrifices of the Lord, instead he will be begging for bread, Eli’s position allowed him comfort and ease but he had abused his position of privilege and trust, and he was removed from it for the protection of the people of God.
Here we learn an incredibly important lesson that we must not loose sight of, God was still at work, he still had his godly remnant and Samuel was ministering before the Lord. God was preparing to tear down, but God was also preparing to raise up, he was going to provide a faithful priest. He was doing something better for his people, he was providing them with a leader who was indeed a faithful priest as the Lord was at work bringing things back to himself. The Lord was using ordinary people, who weren’t doing the amazing but were faithfully living for God worshiping him, what we need is not the amazing, but the faithful every day in every way service to the Lord.
For all of us, this passage gives us the opportunity to ask are we being faithful, are we honouring the Lord God, are we living in such a way that we are giving Christ the Glory or are we just happy with the hour on a Sunday, and what we long for is not his word that we want but really a bit of entertainment. Do we want to have our cake and eat it, we want the benefits of Christ but none of the cost. The Lord has not left us without guidance in how we are to worship him, in how we are to glorify him, are we looking to do that even when their is a cost? Paraphrasing Paul in Galatians… ‘Are we seeking the approval of man, or of God? Are we trying to please man? If we are trying to please man, we would not be a servant of Christ’ (1:10).
Q75 What is forbidden in the eighth commandment?
The eighth commandment forbiddeth whatsoever doth or may unjustly hinder our own or our neighbour’ s wealth or outward estate. (Prov. 21:17, Prov. 23:20–21, Prov. 28:19, Eph. 4:28)