1 Samuel 2:12-36 - Eli’s Son’s Contrasted With Samuel

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A.     The Sin of Eli’s Son’s (v.12-17)

1.       Their character of the sons of Eli (v.12)

a)        They were corrupt—Literally this means they were sons of Belial.  Belial is used of Satan in (2Cor.6:15).  The phrase sons of Belial refer to evil, worthless, wicked men. 

q         Here is the problem: because they were sons of Eli, they were to succeed him in as high priest & they were already functioning in the priesthood.

b)        They did not know the Lord—here they are priest-serving God and they did not even know the Lord.  The things that they were doing were not glorifying God (Rom.1:21,28-30)

(a)      Even though their father Eli knew the Lord, that knowledge was not passed on genetically. 

1.         These Boys Had To Know God In A Personal Way Themselves.  Growing up in a Christian home is a great thing!  If your mom and dad know God and love Him that is great and you are a blessed person to have parents who love God.  But, do not think that because your parent know God that this will guarantee your salvation, you must trust & commit your life to Jesus yourself, your parents cannot do this for you. 

Note: Having An Active Ministry Does Not Guarantee Your Salvation (Matthew 7:21-24)

1)        A Person Must Profess That Jesus Christ Is Lord (Romans 10:9-10)

Not all those who call Him Lord will enter His Kingdom either (Matthew 7:21; Luke 6:46).  If you are calling Him Lord but living in rebellion & disobeying God you are on shaky ground!

(a)      Saying The Right Thing Is Not Enough

q         1 John 1:6 those who say they have fellowship with God yet walk in darkness

q         1 John 2:4 those who say they know Him but do not keep His commandments

q         1 John 4:20 those who say they love God yet hate their brother

q         Matthew 7:21 cf. John 3:36 those who say ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not obey

(b)      Many People Think They Know Him Because They:

q         Believe the right things about Him, pray, witness, teach

q         Dress appropriately, do rituals, faithful church attendance, dad is a Pastor

q         Even confessed Jesus as Lord at a Harvest Crusade

2)        A Person Must do more than Profess Jesus as Lord. 

(a)      We need to have a “born again” relationship with Jesus – “God imparts to us a new life from above (2 Cor. 5:17)” John 3:1-7 cf. Ezek. 36:25-27… Titus 3:5

q         It is instantaneous – just as a child is born from his mothers womb

q         It is not the result of human effort – it’s not what you do but what God does to you.

q         It is not based on human effort John 1:12-13 – it is an act of God.

(b)      The Result of Regeneration is:

q         A new nature        divine nature (2 Peter 1:4); new self (Eph. 4:24); a capacity for righteous living

q         A new Life    A new mind that you might now God (1 Cor. 2:16)

                                                          A new heart that you may love God (Romans 5:5; 1 John 4:9)

                                                          A new will that you may obey God (Romans 6:13)

3)        There Will Come A Day When Every Knee Will Bow & Confess Jesus As Lord (Phil.2:5-11).

(a)      People may not want to confess or ever yield to His Lordship in their lifetime, but will one day.

(b)      Because they confess His name as Lord of all, that doesn't mean they will enter His kingdom (Matt. 7:21).

(c)      OBEDIENCE, CHARACTER, LIFESTYLE, CONDUCT is the deciding factor.

We must Examine Ourselves 2 Corinthians 13:5

1.    Doctrinal Test – I must have the right doctrine

2.    His Spirit bears witness with my spirit saying, “Yes, you are a child of God” (Romans 8:16)

a.   God leads & directs my life by His Spirit (Romans 8:14)

b.   God leads me in my prayer life by crying out “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15)

c.   Never give anyone a false sense of assurance  

d.   My job is not to convince someone they are saved

e.  The Holy Spirit convicts a person of his or her sin (John 16:8-9).

3.    Works—Fruit of the Spirit—Lifestyle—Conduct—Godly Conduct—Obedience From the Heart

a.  God wants us to reflect His Character (1 Peter 1:15-16; Matthew 5:48).

b.  Only the Spirit can produce a life of Holiness

2.       Their Offense – They Stole what was offered to God (v.13-17)

a)        The Priest’s Custom With the People (v.13-14)—Many of the sacrifices that were brought to the tabernacle, a portion was given to God, a portion was given to the priest, and a portion was kept by the one bringing the offering. According to other passages in the Old Testament, the priest was supposed to receive a portion of the breast and the shoulder. But now, some four hundred years after the law of Moses was given, the priestly custom had changed – they would not take the prescribed portion of the breast and shoulder, but take whatever the fork brought up out of the pot. 

q         “Not contented with the breast and shoulder which were allotted to them by God, Exodus 29:27-28; Leviticus 7:31, they took also part of the offerer’s share.” (Poole).

q         It was bad enough for the priesthood in general to change their practice from what God had said in His word. But the sons of Eli went even beyond this!

b)        Before they burned the fat (v.15)—the fat was thought of being the best part of the animal & that was to be given to God!  God is to always get the best & God is to get His portion first.  Eli’s sons did not do this:

q         We must give God the best in everything: worship, devotion, our money, etc.

q         Paul wrote about people like this in Philippians he said, For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame— who set their mind on earthly things (18-19).

c)         They took raw meat &took it by force (v.15-16)—Why did they take raw meat?  Maybe to prepare it anyway they pleased or (2) more likely because raw meat was easier to sell so they could make a profit.  Either way this was a great offense to God.  

q         We cannot give worship to God anyway we want we must come to God on His terms.

q         Jesus drove out the money changers for making a profit as well (Matt.21:12-13).

d)        Because of this men abhorred the offering of the Lord (v.17)—this sin was very great before God’s eyes.  Their greed, violence, & intimidation lead to others not even wanting to come to bring offerings to the Lord.

q         Jesus said that whoever offends one of His little ones, it would be better for that one if a millstone (a very heavy stone) were tied around his neck and he were cast into the ocean (Matthew 18:6-7). Our self-destructive sins are bad enough; it is even worse when we destroy someone else.

B.     Samuel Ministered Before the Lord (v.18-21)

1.       The purity & service of Samuel

a)        Samuel ministered before the Lord as a child—God knew that Eli’s son’s were corrupt, & therefore this is why God guided this whole series of events in order to raise up Samuel.

q         God’s Work Will Not Stop When His Ministers Become Corrupt. 

q         Why Was Samuel Godly And Eli’s Sons Were Not? It might be easy to say it was because Samuel grew up in a godly home and Eli’s sons did not. But Eli does not seem to have been a particularly bad parent, though he obviously did some things wrong (as stated in the rest of the chapter). No, it would be wrong to give Eli all the blame for his sons, or to give Hannah all the credit for Samuel. There is a significant measure that, after all the parenting, is left up to the free will of the child (2000 David Guzik).

b)        Wearing a linen ephod.  The ephod was a vest that was worn by the high priest when he presided at the altar (Ex.28:4-14; 39:2-7).  Hannah would make a little robe & bring it to him year by year. 

q         The Lord blessed Hannah with more three more sons & two daughters children & the boy Samuel grew before the Lord.

C.     Eli’s Compromise As a Father & the Consequences of It (v.22- 36)

1.       The second offense of Eli’s sons & Eli’s ineffective Rebuke (v.22-26)

a)        Eli was old and he heard everything his sons did (v.22)—what did he do about it?  All he did was just talk & never took action as a parent (Deut.13:12).

q         Eli’s sons committed sexual immorality with the women who came to worship at the tabernacle. 

q         So here we see the two great sins of Eli’s sons: (1) they stole from God’s people and they (2) committed sexual immorality with woman who came to worship at the tabernacle.  This woman could have even been workers at the house of the Lord (Ex.38:8)

1.         These men were hirelings (Jn.10:12-13; Ezek.34:1-10), caring more about what they can get from God’s people more that what they can give to God’s people.  They abused their power as a priest.

2.         The Application (1Pet.5:1-4; Jn.21:15)

b)        Why do you do such things…   You make the Lords people transgress (v.23-25)—who cares why they did these things.  Eli did not take the necessary action as a parent in dealing with this matter to correct the problem. 

q         Because of their corrupt behavior this made people hate to worship God with their offerings at their tabernacle (1Sam.2:17).  Never be a stumbling block (Rom.14:13)

Jesus said “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes (Matt.18:6-7)

c)         If a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him (v.25)—Praise God that we sin we have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous (1Jn.2:1) who is our mediator (1Tim.2:5) who lives to make intercession for us (Heb.7:25).

They did not heed the voice of their father because the Lord desired to kill them (v.25)—This striking statement may seem unfair to some. They picture Eli’s sons wanting to repent, wanting to heed the voice of their father, but God preventing them. This is not the case at all.

q         Repentance Is A Gift From God (2Tim.2:25), and if God chooses not to grant the gift, people will never want to repent. God can punish persistent, willful sin by taking away the power to repent (Josh. 11:20; Rom. 1:24, 26, 28).  God judged Eli’s sons this way:

q         God Gave Them Exactly What They Wanted. Just like Pharaoh hardened his heart over & over (Ex.8:15); then God hardened his heart (Ex.4:21; Rom.9:17-18).  He confirmed what they wanted.  They did not want to repent, they willfully were defiant & refused to repent. 

q         But What About The Words, the LORD desired to kill them?  God saw they were corrupt men and wanted to judge them.  All God did was right and just. Is it wrong to desire justice?  When the LORD desired to kill them, it simply means that God desired justice towards Eli’s sons.

q         The case of Eli’s sons demonstrates the need for firm parental instruction and supervision, especially in the home of one who ministers in the name of the Lord (v. 29; cf. 3:13; 1 Tim. 3:4, 5).

d)        Samuel grew in stature & in favor both with the Lord & men (v.26)—Samuel grew in stature like the Lord Jesus (Luke 2:22). 

q         The Application (Proverbs 3:1ff)

Read vv.27-36 & comment

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