Summary: God is loving but there are always consequences to sin!
We have noted so far from the beginning of the Book of 1 Samuel that there was a High Priest at God’s Temple in Shiloh; his name was Eli, who came from the priestly line on Moses and Aaron. (show diagram)
Eli had 2 sons who grew up in the Temple and were also priests but they were wicked men. Eli knew his sons were wicked but still allowed them to be priests in God’s Temple. And as we will read today, there are consequences to sin but God is loving!
Before reading our passage this morning, let us together pray our commitment to God and His Word…
Read along with me now 1 Samuel 2:27-36…..
We note in the beginning of the passage, “a man of God came to Eli and said to him, "This is what the LORD says….” So let us note that, God spoke to Eli!
And Eli was reminded who God was and what God has done. You see, v27-28 tell us that Eli for some reason had short term memory about God!
In v30 we note this very important Bible word “therefore”. What should we do when we see the word therefore in the bible? – we need to ask “What is therefore there for?” – v30
Again, the word therefore in the Bible is a hinge word; on one side there are truths and on the other side responses or results.
What were the truths before v30? There are at least 5 truths in v29:
1. God gave specific instructions about worship. God speaks!
You know if one believes in a God who does not speak, it is blind faith! Blind faith is really not believing in a god at all, because you can actually make any god you like, since it does not speak.
2. Eli scorned God’s instructions; i.e. Eli thought proper worship was worthless!
The One and Only True God speaks! – the question is, are people listening and doing what God says?
3. Eli honored sons by going along with their sins. – why did he do this?
4. Eli honored his sons for his own self-gratification!
5. The priests Eli and his sons robbed the people of their worship of God.
And so basically, Eli and his sons sinned against God and God’s people.
In v30-34 & 36, God states the consequences to sin:
- Eli’s descendants will no longer be able to minister for God.
- All of Eli’s descendants will die young!
- Instead of joy, Eli will experience hurts in God’s Temple.
- Eli will witness his sons die on the same day
- All of Eli’s descendants will be beggars! – They will die young and die slowly!
Eli was the High Priest and his sons were priests for God, but they made a joke of God and His Temple! What a mess!! - and they did it in God’s church and in public! Do you think God was grieved at what happened in His Temple, to His Chosen People, and what the public witnessed??
God could have said, “I am done with people, even My chosen People!” God was certainly grieved and He could have wiped out the entire world after His priest made a fool of Him!! Let us never forget, God does not need anyone; God created us out of love, not out of need!
And so, what do we read in v35?
v35: In spite of grievous sins, God promised to continue a relationship with people!
Basically, in spite of people directly mocking God in His own Temple, it was not yet time to completely destroy mankind during Eli’s time! Why??
God Jesus Christ had to be born on earth to provide God’s final expression of love!
God knows that all people are sinners and because He loves people, God had to provide a final solution, a final gift of forgiveness through the death of God Himself. God loves people and desires to have an eternal relationship with people and now this relationship is available once and for all through belief in God Jesus Christ! God tells Christians in 1 Peter 2:10, Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Let us note back again to 1 Samuel 2:35, until the final Priest Jesus Christ came, God called on faithful priests to do what is in God’s heart and mind!
Let us apply biblical principles from 1 Samuel 2:27-36.
First of all God had to remind Eli of what God had done in his life because Eli forgot about God even though he worked in God’s Temple! Can people actually work in church and forget about who they are truly working for??? Yes, sadly this happens all the time, doesn’t it!