Prophet Samuel

1 Samuel 3:11-21

11And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.

14Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’” 15Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.” Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

17“What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”

19The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.

Introduction

Most often, pastors, church leaders and Christian parents are torn between protecting their image as responsible parents and as Christians. Ephesians 6:4 teaches us, 4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

The term translated ‘training’ means ‘discipline.’ Most often, when ‘training’ is mentioned, sports or military discipline comes to mind. Trainers of military and sports in the previous generation were very harsh and demanding. Young people and adults resist and defy such behavior. How do we train or discipline children?

Is it advisable to use military or sports disciplinary training for children? The instruction to train children comes from the Lord, and there are disciplinary methods that the Lord may wants parents to use, but which one?

Parents would agree that disciplinary method used for one child is not applicable to the other child. Although parents would try to show fair parenting to children, still, there are children who would accuse their parents of unfairness.

In the case of Eli the Priest, he tried to rebuke his children but they ignored him, but why did the Lord tell Samuel that Eli failed to restrain his children?

1. Restrain

11And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. 14Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”

It’s their privilege as priests of the Lord to have a rightful share in the sacrificial offering but the manner Eli’s sons took their share was not what the Lord has instructed. When the Lord told Samuel that He will punish Eli’s family because he failed to restrain his sons, maybe, it served as warning for Samuel.

Eli’s sons took their priestly share from the offering forcefully. Probably, they gave Eli some of it. Indirectly, Eli was conspirator to the wickedness of his sons. There were other unlawful activities of his sons that were disgraceful to their office as priests of the Lord. So, when the Lord said that ‘the guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for,’ their sin was similar to unforgivable blasphemy.

The Lord forgives the repentant person except for blasphemers. Christ declares in Matthew 12:31, 31And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

Blasphemy is speaking evil against the Lord. It also applies to “switches” right for wrong (wrong for right), or calls what God disapproves, “right” which “exchanges the truth of God for a lie.”

That was exactly what the sons of Aaron did, and the Lord punished them.

It narrated in Leviticus 10:1-2, 1Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. 2So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.

They may have thought they were serving God but they were punished. Even so, Aaron was spared. In comparison, when the Lord punished Eli’s sons, his household including his descendants were included in the punishment, why?

Eli tried to restrain the malpractices of his sons but he was not consistent. Eli rebuked his sons only when people gossiped about their wickedness.

In comparison, Aaron was not aware when his sons Nadab and Abihu made unauthorized fire before the Lord, and the Lord punished them instantly.

15Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.” Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 17“What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”

If you were Samuel, do you have the courage to tell the priest Eli about the tragic punishment of his house? Eli may have been very kind to Samuel so that Samuel may have felt terrible of what the Lord has revealed to him.

2. Reveal

19The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.

The first message of the Lord to Samuel was about the punishment for the house of Eli. The Lord revealed that He was about to execute not just for the sons of Eli but to the entire household that includes Eli’s descendants. Why?

It is possible that the Lord used the household of Eli as practical warning of the seriousness of defying His commands. God raised Samuel as His prophet to reveal His message to the Israelites. In those days, the Lord rarely spoke to His people so that when He called Samuel, Samuel did not recognize God’s voice.

Samuel was God’s prophet, and he was also Israel’s leader before kings.

Samuel proclaimed the Lord’s message not just for one time. As long as Samuel was leader of Israel, the Lord continued to appear in Shiloh. Since the time of Joshua, the Tabernacle was set up in Shiloh. All Israelites recognized Samuel as prophet of the Lord because the prophecies he told them came true.

Right before the Christ was taken into heaven, He commanded the disciples to wait for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. And, after they received power when the Holy Spirit came upon them, they had boldness and witnessed for Christ just as He has commanded. All believers are expected to witness as a result of the empowerment of the Spirit of Christ. No one is exempted.

The Lord told the disciples in Luke 21:15, 15For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.

The Lord who gave Prophet Samuel messages he prophesied is the same Lord who will give us word and wisdom so that we may testify of Him. All we need is to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. It says in 1 Corinthians 2:9-12,

9As it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him—10these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.

We understand and we obey when the Spirit of Christ prevails in our life. We have to keep reminding ourselves that we can only obey the Lord if we are empowered by the Lord. When we practice our faith in the Lord, we desire to obey Him. What is instruction have heard from God lately.

The punishment of the house of Eli should be a reminder for us that God is real serious about disobedience to His commands.

If we cannot decide whether to obey or disobey, doubt has persisted.

Do we resist the will of the Lord when we doubt?

Can God’s grace overpower doubts? Certainly!

A practical proof that God’ grace is at work in our life is obedience to Him.

><((‘> .. ><(((‘> … tmec\2019 … <‘)))>< .. <‘))><

 

 

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.