Summary: Distortions in our lives and in the Bible. Inspired from Frazee and Lucado.
The Story - Chapter 10
November 14, 2010
As we move into chapter 10, I want to give you a one word theme for today’s message. Isn’t it frustrating when something does not look like we thought it should? Normally, the title slide is nice and easy to read, but not today, because today our theme is the word DISTORTION. If you look up the word distortion, it is defined this way — “to twist something out of its original state.” Now I want to illustrate that for you.
I am so strong, that when I hit a baseball this is what happens to it. Isn’t that amazing? Look at the bat as well.
The same thing happens when I hit a golf ball, it gets twisted and changed.
But I thought you may want something a little more personal, so here’s what the Deutsch boys look like when we wake up in the morning. Here’s dad . . .
(I made distortions by morphing pictures of the family to look funny and very different)
Chapter 10 is a book about distortions. It’s about taking the perfect plan of God and distorting it. There are 3 major distortions which we will see as we move through this chapter, and I think the application will be right before our eyes.
We’re in 1 Samuel 1. The Israelites have now moved into the land God promised them. God is ruling over them as He promised. God is ruling over them in the presence in the ark of the covenant which resides in the tabernacle, which is located in a town 18 miles north of Jerusalem in a city called Shiloh.
1 Samuel 1:1 opens with these words — 1 There was a certain man from the hill country of Ephraim (in the promised land), whose name was Elkanah. 2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
Hannah couldn’t have children, the other wife, her rival kept rubbing it in her face and provoking her that she had children and Hannah didn’t. This went on year after year and Hannah was so provoked, so upset, that 1 Samuel 1:7 tells us she wept and would not eat.
Once a year she would make the journey with her husband to Shiloh and she would weep and pray for a child and she prayed that if God gave her a child, she would give the child back to God and the priest would raise that child.
We see that God grants Hannah’s desire and she becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son, who is named Samuel. After Samuel was weaned from Hannah, she took him to the priest, Eli, in Shiloh.
It’s a great story, but it doesn’t end there. Samuel was born during a time when there was unrest in the land. He was raised to be a good and righteous man, and he would deal with some distortions in Israel, as he calls them out by name.
The first distortion is this . . . Things are not as they appear with the priests. Particularly with the Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phineas, who were also priests. They were abusing the sacrifices which were brought to them and were taking advantage of the people who brought the sacrifices. On top of that, we read that they were engaged in immoral sexual activity in the tabernacle. God said this was blasphemy because they were distorting the sacrificial system. You see, the sacrificial system that was set up in the OT was to provide a picture of what was to come in the sacrifice of Christ. However, Eli’s sons were distorting that picture of what was to occur through the sacrifice of Christ.
So God spoke to Samuel and in 1 Samuel 3:13, God said, See I’m about to do something in Israel which will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. For I told Eli I would judge his family forever, because of the sin he knew about, his sons blaspheming God, and he failed to restrain them.
The sons were doing wrong, the dad knew it, but he didn’t do anything about it. The question becomes, ‘what is God going to do that is going to cause the people of Israel and the surrounding nations ears’ tingle?’ Let me tell you.
The Israelites were at war with the Philistines. In one of the battles they were badly defeated. So they decided they were going to pull out their big gun, their top weapon. They were going to bring in the Ark of the Covenant. The ark is a box that contains the 10 commandments. It was a symbol of the presence of God. And whenever they had the ark of the covenant leading them into battle, with the priests in front of the soldiers, the Israelites would ALWAYS soundly defeat their enemies.