Summary: We often hear excuses why people do not make it to worship services. How do our excuses stack up against Elkanah's?


Text: 1 Samuel 1:3-5

Scripture Reading: Hebrews 10:19-25


1. "God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth" John 4:24

2. Since Genesis 4 God has desired man's worship

a. Doing it wrong got Cain in trouble

b. Seth was the first to "call on His name" in Genesis 4:26

3. At times in history worship to God caused hardships and in reality has never been the easiest course for man to follow

4. Now we have it easier than most previous generations

5. Elkanah would not let difficulties stop him from worshiping God

6. Read text

7. Here we see:

a. He did what he was told

b. He saw hypocrisy there

c. He did what he could

8. In asking us to come together and worship Him God is not really asking for all that much from us


I. He did what he was told (v.3)

A. Ex. 24:23, "Three times a year men shall appear before the LORD God of Israel"

1. They were to make it up to worship God during the year

2. He was told to go up so he went

B. Shiloh was the place of worship before Jerusalem

1. Israelites came to Shiloh for sacrifices and worship to God

2. The Levites prepared and the Priests offered sacrifices to God

3. Elkanah heard God's command and obeyed it

a. He did not try to make his sacrifice at the altar of box springs

b. He did not let others sway his thoughts away from worship

c. He saw the real place of worship and accepted no substitutes, instead he went to Shiloh and worshiped God in the manner God expected

4. Elkanah realized a fact we each need to see, God is in control and capable of making the rules we follow

C. Look at the example of Jesus

1. Luke 4:16, "So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read"

2. It was His custom or habit to be part of the services that took place at the Synagogue, Jesus went to worship

a. It would have been out of character for Jesus' seat to be empty

b. Some seats in here are a surprise to see empty, some are not

D. Hebrews 10:25, "…Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching"

1. We have an obligation to God and to each other to be here

2. Attendance to worship fulfills God's demand of us

3. It also encourages fellow-Christians in the faith

4. Elkanah went to worship God

TRANSITION: When he went there:

II. He did see hypocrisy there (v. 4)

A. Hophni and Phinehas were there

1. They were the sons of Eli the priest

2. According to 1 Samuel 2:22 they committed adultery with the women who worked in the doorway of the tabernacle

3. These are men who are preparing and offering sacrifices acting in a sinful way

4. Even after rebuking and chastisement from their father they continued this despicable action

5. But Elkanah did not stop worshipping just because he found imperfect people in Shiloh

B. Two lessons we learn from this point:

1. Understand that people will disappoint you

a. There are no perfect people on earth anymore, even in the church

b. You will find hypocrites in the church, do not let that hinder your worship to God

2. Try to live so that you are not that negative one

a. Do not set the example of hypocrisy that gives someone else and excuse

b. Be an example for Christ not of hypocrisy

C. Elkanah did not let hypocrisy stop his worship to God, neither should we


III. He did what he could

A. You think you drive a long way to services

1. Elkanah went 20-30 miles, not too far you may say

2. But he took his family, servants, and animals to offer, with these it would have taken him the better part of two days to travel to Shiloh

3. A 10-20 minute trip is not so bad when you compare it to 2-3 days

B. You think gas is expensive driving to church

1. Elkanah had to pack provisions for all his entourage

2. He had to prepare for them through the nights of travel and the time in Shiloh

3. He had to make provisions for the animals until their sacrifice

4. Going to worship for Elkanah would have been quite expensive and difficult

5. $5.00 gas might not seem so bad when compared to the expense of Elkanah

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