So it’s like 1.30am London time and I’m not very sleepy lol, so I thought to post a quick bible study from 1 Samuel…
If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.
1 Samuel 2:25
Eli posed a difficult question to his sons. In life, when a person commits a crime, they are able to make representations, either independently or with the help of an advocate. This ensures fairness, justice and equality before the law, regardless of standing.
But when one sins against God, who can help him, given that our Father is the ultimate Judge. This is just another illustration of the works-based dispensation that was rampant in the Old Testament and really scared many of our well-known Bible characters.
“But what really were Hophni and Phineas’ sins?” I hear you ask.
Disrespecting their old father?
Sleeping with prostitutes?
Or dare I say it, thinking themselves equal with God?
Newsflash to the undisciplined or the undiscipled – God has no equal. Don’t get that twisted for a minute. The Bible illustrates that throughout each book, and we have numerous depictions of characters who fell by their own sword for thinking that they were on the same level as Jehovah (see Herod, Uzzah, or Saul for further reference…)
But thank God for grace, the Mediator we have in Christ and the Advocate called the Holy Spirit. It’s 2018, and believe me when I say some of us have fallen short in this area, but for God’s grace…
But we’re not finshed there…
27 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house?
28 And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel?
29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?
30 Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.
I Samuel 2:27-30
Wait a second, hold up – what about Eli? What was his sin? I hear you ask again.
Well quite simply, he was ineffective.
Is that a sin? Er, yes. I know this may seem like a reach, but let me land this….
Eli’s ineffectiveness to me was a sin because he chose to treat his sons indifferently, and rather than reject their sin, he rebuked it. Maybeeee I’m being a bit harsh right? I’m sure a more kind reader would say that he could be accused of mollycuddling his children, or pandering to their deficiencies. But God wanted more.
And I would say that today God wants more. He doesn’t call us to accept and tolerate sin. He calls us to stand up, stamp it out, cut it out, uproot it and separate from it.
He wants what He says in verse 35 of the same chapter – a person, a people who will be faithful and will do His will:
And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.
The question is, will He find that in you, us and me? My prayer is that He will ❤
PS – God doesn’t forget things and His words are never spoken in vain. Check out 1 Kings 2:25-27 to see what happened to the last priest in the family of Eli…