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2. The House of Eli

December 17, 2009

Text:    I Samuel 2:12-36

Key Verse:    I Samuel 2:30b

Outline:            I. Eli’s Sons are Wicked      I Samuel 2:12-17

II. Elkanah’s Family is Blessed      I Samuel 2:18-21

III. Eli’s Family is Despised      I Samuel 2:22-26

IV. Eli’s Family is Judged      I Samuel 2:27-36

Context/Discussion/Comments:

Eli, Israel’s High Priest, had two wicked sons who served as priests. They did not obey the protocol God gave in Leviticus 7 concerning the offerings made to the Lord. They took their portion first before making the sacrifice to the Lord. In fact they demanded their portion first and threatened those who came to worship. Eli’s two sons had contempt for the offerings to the Lord. This gives us information as to how far Israel had slipped into apostasy concerning the commands of the Lord God. It even affected the priesthood.

Samuel, a young boy, was ministering at the tabernacle. Each year his parents brought him a new robe when they made their annual pilgrimage to worship. Eli would bless the family asking God to grant them more children. God did, blessing them with three sons and two daughters. But Samuel remained at the tabernacle serving the Lord as his mother had promised.

Eli was getting old and people were expressing their concerns to Eli about his sons wicked behavior, including the fact that they were sleeping with the women serving at the entrance to the tabernacle, because they were in line to be Israel’s next High Priests. Eli confronts his sons about their wicked behavior but his sons hearts and minds refused to hear. Eli’s rebuke comes too late to change God’s mind that they must die.

But Samuel continues to grow in stature with man and God. He reveres the Lord and has respect for the office of the priesthood. Note the contrast between Eli’s sons and Samuel.

Next a “man of God” [prophet] visits Eli and scolds him for the wicked practices taking place at the tabernacle. He even accuses Eli of being responsible for the practices by condoning them. Eli loves his sons more than God. Eli is taking advantage of God and the people coming to worship for his own benefit.

The prophet declares Eli and his descendents will be removed from the priesthood because they despised the Lord and did not honor Him. None of Eli’s family will live a long life. Eli’s two sons will die on the same day and God will anoint a priest who is faithful [Samuel now and later Zadok]. Then Eli’s remaining descendents will beg to be accepted back into the priesthood.

Lessons/Applications:

1. God requires that we serve Him faithfully and obediently. We who hold an office of responsibility and/or leadership are SERVANTS; serving others and not ourselves; selfless and not selfish.

2. Giving to the Lord always brings greater blessing from God.

3. Always confront and correct wicked behavior early so sin does not get a foot-hold in life. Failure to confront evil is the same as condoning evil. God hates evil and loves good. [See Romans 12:9-12:21]

4. God does not tolerate sin but destroys it. Let God cleanse you of sin before He lets it destroy you.

5. God warns us of sin through His Word, through our friends, and through His special servants. Heed His warnings. Repent, seek His forgiveness lest we die physically and spiritually.

This Lesson reminded me of the prayer given by Pastor Joe Wright as an invocation to the Kansas State Legislature. It asks forgiveness from God for condoning sin in our society.

“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to

seek Your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, “Woe on those

who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we have done. We have lost

our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We confess that:

We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it

pluralism.

We have worshiped other gods and called it multiculturalism.

We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn children and called it a choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it

building self-esteem.

We have abused power and called it political savvy.

We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it

freedom of expression

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called

it enlightenment

Search us, O God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every

sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been

sent to direct us to the center of Your will. I ask it in the name of

Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.”

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With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep our nation.

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