Turning a Blind-Eye?
Men and women of God, where do you walk, on what path do you truly live, to whom are you “in truth” devoted?
I sat with the Lord this morning, in prayer, reading from the book of 1 Samuel chapters 2 and 3 when the Lord in His mercy and kindness deigned to touched my heart and soul. I’ll tell you what He revealed to me in a minute.
I read about Eli the Priest, a man committed to serving the LORD; however, Eli let his feelings for his sons cloud his judgment and take precedence over his love and duty for God. Though many may think so or have forgotten such behavior is not acceptable then or now for men and women of God.
Well, Eli at that time had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, who lived selfishly and contrary to the Laws of God. They were sons of a Priest of the lineage of Aaron, men who might possibly one day become Priests themselves.
Sadly, Eli for years watched as his sons took advantage of their positions and status as the sons of a Priest.
Because they were Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas were able to sorely abuse that which was holy, the sacrifices and offerings given to the Lord, and disdain God and His Temple defiantly, not smart.
Too often when we do not see or experience the power of God for a long period of time we tend to forget God is real and hands on and always has plans and purposes we will not be allowed to defy or interrupt. God sets a limit for His children. Just check God’s Word.
To make matters worse, Eli’s sons openly behaved immorally in and around the Temple, bedding the women of Israel who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting, then and now it is unacceptable and shameful behavior. Our bills always come due as God raises us up and trains into the family of God. Those whom the Lord loves He chastises. (Hebrew 12:3-6, better to read all of Hebrews 12:1 thru 18.) Those whom He loves and has predestined for His purposes He does not allow to travel too far off His path; yet, we still have free will.
Hophni’s and Phinehas’ behavior was and is tantamount to a pastor today bedding the women of their congregation, women whose souls and lives are supposed to matter more to the pastor than the simple gratification of their own physical needs or wants.
Unfortunately, Eli only watched and even spoke to his sons but no more. Eli failed to take more serious measures in order to deal with the problems his sons were creating. Eli did not STOP his sons from bringing dishonor and shame on the House of the Lord and the overall Priesthood. At the very least he could have thrown his sons out of the Temple and its service.
Here’s what is written:
27 Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself to your ancestor’s family when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh? 28 I chose your ancestor out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your ancestor’s family all the food offerings presented by the Israelites. 29 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?’
Eli’s love for his sons overshadowed his duty to the service of the Temple and his God.
30 “Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ But now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me! [Not happening!] Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. 31 The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age, 32 and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, no one in your family line will ever reach old age. 33 Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.
34 “ ‘And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day. 35 I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always. 36 Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and plead, “Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat.” ’ ” (1 Samuel 2:27-36 NKJV)
Here’s why, among other reasons, I believe the Lord chose to share this revelation with me?
Years ago I too had an errant child whose life was heading down a very wrong path.
She was/is so dear to my heart of hearts. I have two children whom I’ve had the privilege of raising from sprouts. I was for all practical purposes a full time dad spending most of my time at home with the kids. What a living joy it was raising my children.
Well, as God does within our lives and our children’s lives, He causes us to grow and live and experience life according to His will and purposes so that we can grow into the “Christ in me the hope of glory” people we are to become during each stage and development of our lives.
Only by such methods will most people ever come to full understanding of the suffering of others. Genuine suffering teaches us to have compassion for others as we endure in like fashion even as Jesus Christ did who was born and lived as a man among men so He too could know firsthand the suffering of the human condition.
I had received prophecy and shared such with my daughter. This prophecy the Lord had given me specifically detailed future event she would someday soon suffer. Regardless of the fact she/we knew many of the terrible details that would be coming her way in just a few years, she still could not stop herself or circumstances which God revealed through the prophecy.
The end result… my little Princess, now a full grown woman would live and suffer through indignities of her own choosing; however, we knew she would also come out the other side of these calamities with a deeper understanding of what others also go through who suffer in similar circumstances. Unfortunately and very sadly, she would first be required to live through a very dark period in her life before she could recover; this period of darkness required several years of suffering before she could heal and then spanned a little more three years for her recovery.
During these dark years she would be tempted as all men and women are and fall into an abyss far from her years of walking upright with and before the Lord. I know my daughter loved and loves the Lord, but some things take us to dark places when we cannot see God’s hand of mercy in the midst of the storm. Sad to say, but I too – in my youth – indulged in such foolishness and folly.
Thank God for His longsuffering, mercy and forgiveness, thank You Jesus.
Her mother and I were heart-broke as we watched our little girl go through these calamities and suffer and pull away from the things of the Lord. She had been deeply wounded and did not know how to deal with her deep loss. Oh, outwardly she acted like our Christian daughter ought to, but we, her parents whose love knows no bounds, could still see the cracks in her Armor and honor.
Praise the Lord she has recovered from much of these ordeals; and yet, some scars require many and long years to fully heal.
At her lowest point, as she walked terribly close to the abyss of no return, I felt compelled in all good conscience to warn her that she was going to a place her mother and I could not go as servants of the Lord. We could not socialize with anyone whose life choices reflected the antithesis of a walk with God. The biblical expression is shunning. I hate the very concept as it would relate to my family and yet I would have no choice as a man of God. You can love someone enough to hand them over to the Lord for correction; leastwise, if you know and trust the Lord.
Well, that is as explicit as I’m willing to get on the subject of my Doodlebug. She is doing quite well now and has climbed out of most of the pain. Thank You, Lord!
The primary point…
As I read through 1 Samuel chapters 1 and 2 the Lord spoke to my spirit and mind confirming what I did and believed was the correct action to take with my little girl. Her mother and I cannot tell you how difficult even the threat of shunning our little girl was. Thankfully our Princess, that full-grown woman today, turned from that terrible path and returned to the things of the Lord. She is much happier and healthier than a few years ago. It was a difficult return to the land of the Living, but, Our God Reigns both then and now!
We cannot walk with God while we are living grossly in sin. We all sin! All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; yet, that is not the same thing as willfully walking in a life of sin.
Though God is merciful He is also a righteous God.
He understands when one of His little Princesses or Princes suffers great loss and travels the wrong way because of their pain; nevertheless, as with Hophni and Phinehas, there is a standard, a line we should never cross; leastwise, not for long.
Being a sinner is one thing, knowingly living in sin is quite another.
I often evaluate my life to ask, where am I in my relationship to the Lord and those lines? Ask yourself, where are you?
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16 KJV)
Blessed be the Name of the Lord!
By the way, that name is Jesus, the Son of God, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Lamb who was slain from the foundations of the earth.
I just call Him, Jesus. 🙂
I wonder if God sometimes thinks it sucks to be Dad?