Monday January 21, 2024
Scripture: 1 Samuel 2 12 Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord. 13 Now it was the practice of the priests that, whenever any of the people offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being boiled 14 and would plunge the fork into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. 15 But even before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the person who was sacrificing, “Give the priest some meat to roast; he won’t accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.” 16 If the person said to him, “Let the fat be burned first, and then take whatever you want,” the servant would answer, “No, hand it over now; if you don’t, I’ll take it by force.”
17 This sin of the young men was very great in the Lord’s sight, for they were treating the Lord’s offering with contempt. 18 But Samuel was ministering before the Lord—a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord.” Then they would go home. 21 And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
Meditation: There is an intentional juxtaposition in scripture between those who merely attempt to adhere to religious duty and those who wholeheartedly endeavor to walk by faith with the Lord.
– God’s Word informs us in 1 Samuel 15: 22To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
– When we live to please the sinful nature, we actively choose to live in rebellion against the Lord regardless of our station or title in life. Eli was a priest in Israel and his sons were performing priestly duties while harboring contempt for the priestly office and more so for the sacrifices being made to the Lord.
– Samuel, on the other hand actively sought to serve the Lord. His worship of the Lord was authentic and from the heart. His desire was to honor and to glorify God.
– Eli’s sons may have held a position of status as “servants of the Lord” but their hearts were far from God. Christian brother or sister, our calling is so much more than to go through the motions of religious ceremony; we are called into an intimate relationship with God.
– Samuel may have only been a child at this time but his walk with God was genuine, his devotion and service were from the heart. It is not adherence to religious ritual that transforms a person, it is faithful obedience out of love for God wherein the Holy Spirit is surely evident to effect change! If you are struggling with a lack of zeal or even spiritual apathy, draw near to the Lord and you have His assurance that He will draw near to you!