Welcome as we walk through the book of 1 Samuel. I encourage you to follow along with me every Wednesday and Friday. Read 1 Samuel for yourself, take notes, and compare what you shear from God with what I see and hear. God’s Word is alive and active. We don’t need to see the same things!
If you are new to reading the Bible, I encourage you to read my post, How to Understand the Bible. It gives you 5 tools to read the Bible, so you understand it. So take a few moments to read that post, and then take a little more times to read 1 Samuel 2.
A Nation Out of Control
Throughout scripture (Old Testament and New Testament) God has valued the gifts and offering. He expects it to be given and received, so that it remains holy. In the beginning, Cain gave less than his best, and God reprimanded him. In Acts (the beginning of the church), Ananias and Saphira lied about the gift they gave, and God struck them dead.
Here we see the priests acting more like gangsters than the holy men of God as they took the gifts and offerings from the people. Even worse, their father, who by all other accounts is holy and pure, looks the other way. The author is painting a picture of a family out of control. But this one family is a window into the entire country.
It’s a nation out of control.
God is ready to reign things back in. This chapter foreshadows how God will use the little boy Samuel as the instrument to restore justice to the nation. First, God must deal with the current corrupt priests, so through a prophet, God tells the father, Eli,
“So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel!”1 Samuel 2:29 NLT
Worship: Giver or Gifts?
A quick warning, I’m about to get in your space. The sin Eli struggled with continues to be a problem today. As parents, we continue to place our children – specifically their own gifts and talents – ahead of God. It’s a simple shift. I realize my child can dance, sing, swing a bat, throw a ball, calculate problems at an above average pace, and I honor that.
I bow to the gift and forget the Giver.
Our priorities, birthed out of a desire for our children to excel in academics, sports and the arts, become twisted and skewed. We are now dragging our offering to the gift instead of God. The sports, arts and academic achievement industries and billion dollar endeavors. The church and other non-profits struggle to keep their doors open.
We are a nation out of control.
Let this be a warning! Those activities fade. Your kids will outgrow them. They will find new interests and passions. Don’t let them grow up not knowing and worshipping the Giver of the gift they’ve been given.