-For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world- (1Cor 11:30)
Today’s Lesson is a reminder that As Leaders in our homes, on Our jobs, in Our schools, and in Our churches, etc., we have a responsibility to Judge Ourselves or better yet to Check Ourselves or Be Checked by God!!
In Today’s Bible Story, We Meet the High Priest, Eli in 1 Samuel 2:12 and his Two wicked sons, Hophni and Phinehas who served as priests in the tabernacle at Shiloh. Now Eli also Served as Israel’s Judge, however, he failed to judge or check himself and his boys, so eventually, God Checked Eli.
The Result was the death of Eli and both of his two son – all in one day…in addition to the eventual death of the Church at Shiloh.
Today, We Will begin Our Lesson with the introduction of Samuel, who was also like a son to Eli, into the priesthood at Shiloh.
(To Read More about Samuel’s Birth, Read the Lesson titled,’Bible Trivia Answer: Hannah’s Prayer.’)
Here is Part I of Our Lesson….
Now, Samuel was only about 3 years old when he was weened by his mother, Hannah who had dedicated the boy to the Lord’s service in the Tabernacle at Shiloh, before the High Priest and Judge of Israel, Eli. Now Eli was very old and had two adult sons of his own. These two sons were named Hophni and Phinehas and they were both worthless and wicked priests. Verse 2:29 tells Us that they treated God’s sacrifices with contempt, as they greedily fattened themselves by taking the choicest portion of every offering from the offerer – by force.
Verse 2:12 tells us that although Hophni and Phinehas were priests in the church and ministered before the Lord, they did not ‘know’ or regard the Lord – but Young Samuel – who did not yet know the Lord, was both faithful and obedient to the Lord and also to Eli.
Eli loved Samuel. He accepted Samuel into his home and raised him up in the priestly order. In essence, Eli was blessed with another son…a son that would adhere to both God’s laws and to Eli’s instructions. Samuel also loved Eli. He cared for his elderly, adopted dad and catered to his every need. Whenever Eli called, Samuel came running! Chapter 3- Verse 4 tells Us about and evening when Samuel came running to Answer Eli’s Call, only to learn that it was not Eli calling Samuel…but God was calling Samuel.
It was shortly after both Eli and Samuel had retired for the night and had gone to bed, when Samuel heard his name, “Samuel!” He hurried to Eli to see how he could help, but Eli sent him back to bed, telling the boy that he was mistaken, because he had not called for Samuel. Again the young boy hears his name again, as he lies upon his bed, “Samuel!” So again, he returns to Eli, only to be sent back to bed, because, once again, Eli had not called the boy. So after a third round of this, Eli finally perceives that it is The Lord Who is Calling Samuel, so Eli instructs Samuel to go back to bed a third time, but this time, with instructions. Eli instructs Samuel how to respond to Lord, telling him, if he hears the Voice calling his name again…answer, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant is Listening.”
Now Verse 3:10 Tells Us when the Lord called Samuel the fourth time, He called Samuel’s name twice, “Samuel! Samuel!” As He, The Lord comes and stands before Samuel lying in his bed. So Finally, Samuel answers God… Just like Eli instructed him and God began to give Samuel an earful. Can You imagine this Young boy lying there, probably terrified, afraid to look up at the Vision of the Lord standing about his bed…as he is getting a full download from God- and it was all about Eli and his two wicked sons.
How interesting that Verse 15 tells Us that Samuel laid there until Morning…I wouldn’t have moved a muscle until daybreak either and I’m pretty sure Samuel didn’t get his 40 winks on that night! Lol!!
God was delivering a Message to Eli through the young prophet, Samuel. God had previously checked Eli, putting him on Notice about His Son’s Behavior in the church, but Now God was Sending Forth Judgement. We will Discuss God’s Judgement of Eli’s Family in Part II.
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