Summary: Today we are going to survey chapters 2 through 7 of I Samuel. And as we do we will uncover several lessons for the family, the church and the world.
DEFEAT, SHAME AND VICTORY
TEXT: I SAMUEL CHAPTERS 2-7
As we continue our study in the book of I Samuel I want to again emphasize that even though we are under the New Covenant that the Old Testament is still relevant for Christians today. Paul in I Corinthians chapter 10 was writing about Israel’s History and in these verses he gives us one of the most practical uses for the Old Testament today. Paul said,
"NOW THESE THINGS OCCURRED AS EXAMPLES TO KEEP US FROM SETTING OUR HEARTS ON EVIL THINGS, AS THEY DID."
"THESE THINGS HAPPENED TO THEM AS EXAMPLES AND WERE WRITTEN DOWN AS A WARNING FOR US, ON WHOM THE FULFILLMENT OF THE AGES HAS COME. SO, IF YOU THINK YOU ARE STANDING FIRM, BE CAREFUL THAT YOU DON’T FALL!"
Paul is telling us that one of the reasons God gave us the Old Testament was so that we could learn from it.... Learn, what to do and what not to do.... These warnings are helpful because they illustrate with real people Biblical principles that apply to us as Christians... And we should study these people because by doing so we may see that even though we think we are standing (as many OT people did), we amy in fact being falling or ready to fall (as many of them did).
Today we are going to survey chapters 2 through 7 of I Samuel. And as we do we will uncover several lessons for us today... We will discover in these 6 chapters a message for THE FAMILY, THE CHURCH AND THE WORLD.
But before we get to the lessons we need to tell the story...
We will begin at chapter 2 and unfold this drama from God’s Word scene by scene.
I. A DRAMA TO UNFOLD
A. TWO WICKED SONS (2:12-25)
In chapter 2 we are introduced to the 2 sons of Eli the high priest....Their names are Hophni and Phinehas. Hophni and Phinehas served as priests in the Tabernacle at Shiloh.
To be a priest was a special privilege and responsibility and these 2 men took advantage of their position. According to the Law the priests were allowed to take only the breast and right thigh as their share of the sacrifice. And then only after the meat and fat had been properly sacrificed to God... ensuring that the best portions of the sacrifices were given to God.
Well to Hophni and Phinehas rules and laws didn’t mean too much... after all they lived in the final years of the period of Judges when everyone did what was right in their own eyes... and besides they were priests and their father was the high priest -- Therefore, They felt they were above the Law, they wanted the best for themselves, they wanted to do what they wanted to do.
So whenever sacrifices were being offered Hophni and Phinehas walked around with a plate, a fork and A1 sauce in their hands and snagged whatever piece of meat they wanted... and if someone protested because that portion was to be the Lords, they would take the meat by force, meat meant for God -- to satisfy their own sinful appetites.
And not only did they do this but they also had sex with the women who served in the tabernacle... These guys had power and position and they used both to satisfy their own sinful desires. They were not ashamed and did not even try to hide these sins -- all the people in the land saw and heard about what these 2 wicked priests were doing.
You might be wondering, "WHERE WAS ELI WHILE ALL OF THIS WAS GOING ON?" We’re going to get to that right now...
B. BAD NEWS FROM A MAN OF GOD (2:27-36)
Towards the end of chapter 2 an anonymous man from God comes to pay Eli a visit. AND He didn’t come hear on a social call he came bringing a message of judgment from God.
The man of God first reminded Eli of the great privilege his family had been given, to be part of the Aaronic priesthood -- to have the honor of serving the Lord in His place of dwelling (The Tabernacle) was no small thing... Only the high priest, was able to enter the Holy of Holies where the ark of God was. And where the presence of God dwelt between the 2 cherubim on top of the ark. What an honor Eli and his family had been given.
Then the man of God says the following to El,
"THIS IS WHAT THE LORD SAYS, WHY DO YOU SCORN MY SACRIFICE AND OFFERING THAT I PRESCRIBED FOR MY DWELLING? WHY DO YOU HONOR YOUR SONS MORE THAN ME, BY FATTENING YOURSELVES ON THE CHOICE PARTS OF EVERY OFFERING MADE BY MY PEOPLE ISRAEL?"