1st Samuel 3:1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
This passage of scripture represents one of the darkest periods of the history of the children of Israel, for the once vibrant communication of God to His people had gradually ebbed to a faint whisper. There are several reasons given for this sad state of affairs, one of them being that the duly ordained clergy had departed from the counsels of God, and thus, everyone did that which was right in their own eyes.
At this time in Israel's history, Eli and his sons were officiating at the sanctuary, but their example cast a shadow deeper than the pall of death over the entire nation, for by their actions they manifested a callous disregard for all of God's commandments, principles, statutes, and warnings.
Prominent among their heaven-daring sins was sexual immorality of the darkest hue, and the office of the priesthood had become a lucrative business, causing the inhabitants of the land to abhor all religious services. This lamentable state of affairs was clearly delineated by God to those in authority, but His warnings and entreaties seemed to fall on deaf ears. Let's read:
1st Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord. 13 And the priest's custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; 15 Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. 16 And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force. 17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for men abhorred the offering of the Lord. 22 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. 24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord's people to transgress. 25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.
One of the baleful effects of their actions is that by their example, they set in motion a deadly precedent, in which sin was regarded very lightly in the minds of the people, and grave evils were looked upon as being acts that can be committed with impunity. However, God was about to take the matter into His own hand, and by stern judgments and severe rebuke, He showed that premeditated sin, when harbored and practiced will eventually separate the wrong-doer from the presence of God on a permanent basis. Let's read:
1st Samuel 3:11 And the Lord said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.
This passage of scripture is fraught with instruction and warning for clergy and lay-people alike in our day. There are gross sexual sins being committed by numerous priests and prominent clergy men in high office, sins that are not even committed by many who now sit in prisons for far less grievous offenses, and yet these ministries and churches are left to continue on without the stern rebuke of those who wield the sceptre of political power. Most of those who have been found guilty are set free by those in religious and secular authority, while ordinary felons with minor infractions are sitting in jails across the land.
However, this dire state of things will not be allowed to continue for much longer, for the God of Heaven is about to rise up out of His habitation to render to all their just dues. Even though The Lord delights in mercy, yet He is a God of justice too, and when the rulers of this earth fail to take the necessary remedial steps to contain and eradicate these grievous evils, then, as in the case of Eli and his sons, God will personally take the matter in hand. This sacred truth is recorded for the benefit and instruction of all those who have an ear to hear. Let's read:
Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 12 Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: 13 But it shall not be well with the wicked, neither shall he prolong his days, which are as a shadow; because he feareth not before God.
Isaiah 28:21 For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. 22 Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth. 23 Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.
It behooves us then on an individual basis to make certain that we do not partake in the current spirit of lawlessness, where everyone does what is right in their own eyes. And it is also important that as a nation we do all in our power to mitigate the evils that are opening the floodgates of calamity and woe on the populace, for sin does pay wages that always end in death. We therefore end with an urgent call to reformation and change on an individual basis, and also on a national level, lest the moral bankruptcy which is currently taking deep root in our society, inevitably push us over the brink into the abyss of eternal night. Let's read:
Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people
Isaiah 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
We hope and pray that the reproofs of God's word will be taken in the right light, for God is merciful and is very reluctant to permit the natural results of sin to take its toll on those whom He died to redeem. Let us therefore seek God in sincerity and in truth so that the much needed changes can take place by His grace. God Bless!