So for some time now I have been reading THE RESOLUTION FOR MEN. I have been reading for some time because 1. I am a very so reader and 2. It is the best book I have read in a very long time and I am digging into every bit that I can in scripture. I recently finished the chapter titled RESOLVE TO LIVE WITH HONOR. I tried to explain my passion to Kristy why I felt I must write this post on this chapter. She told me that the passion I had would be hard to convey without people knowing the context. I married such a smart woman! So please let me try and set the context for you! In this particular section discipline is being discussed in relation to being a disciple. “But disciplining your children takes discipline.”
“So a father’s job is to take the long view, not the short one. Discipline withheld may seem momentarily pleasant to the child and the parent. But many fathers-even good men like Eli in the Old Testament, the wise, priestly mentor to the young prophet Samuel-are failing to heed God’s warning not to “withheld discipline from a child”(Proverbs 23:13). God said of Eli, “I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because he sons brought on themselves and he did not rebuke them“. (ISamuel 1:13)” (p.124)
While I have been reading this book, I have tried to stop and read each bit of scripture that I come to. The point of this post is not for me to tell you that we need to discipline our children. The point of this post is not for me to try and give a bunch of props for a book I am reading. The point of this post is not for me to be funny or cute. Honestly the point of this post is for me to give God some major praise in what I feel he has revealed to me. The point, I pray, Is that you who reads this, will celebrate with me that fact that there is some really awesome points to scripture, and if we do listen, then GOD DOES SPEAK. So if you are going to read this…..I mean really read this, I am going to ask you to do me one favor. STOP! Get your Bible right now! Follow along with me! Like Lamar Burton used to say “don’t take my word for it” I know right here I have lost a majority of readers but if your still with me lets roll…..
I wanted to understand the whole picture of what 1Samuel 3:13 was about. While the sins of Eli’s sons are recorded in 1Samuel 2 I wanted to know more about chapter 3.
Warning: I am about to get excited! Excited, like if you could see me I would be wanting some Amen’s, Sweating, and Stomping all over the place….
1 Samuel 3
New International Version (NIV)
The Lord Calls Samuel
3 The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions.
Right there! Do you see it? IN THOSE DAYS THE WORD OF THE LORD WAS RARE AND THERE WERE NOT MANY VISIONS…..Sounds a whole lot like these days….(that would be the que for the first of many Amens people!) Why do we not Hear God, why do we not See God? Take it back to the history of the Israelite’s…..It’s the circle of we screw up and seek other things, God lets us have our selfish desires, we realize that we are completly lost without God, we ask for God to save us, God comes in like a super hero…Sorry not “like” a super hero, Hello, GOD IS THE SUPER HERO! (AMEN). Anyone like to take a guess where we are a nation in that circle? YUP…we as a nation are seeking what ever makes us feel good. So no wonder we do not see God as much or hear God as much. Thats right! WE DO STILL SEE GOD AND HEAR GOD but we have to have eyes open and ears open!
2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was.4 Then the Lord called Samuel.
Eli could barely see….I would be scared if I was Eli! This is warned of in 1Samuel2:35
“The Lamp of God had not yet gone out” This tells us that it is still night because it was a violation for this flame to go out before the morning.
Yeah those two points are not that cool….But check it out….Dude Samuel was sleeping in the presence of the Lord! Not sure about you, but talk about feeling safe while you sleep! The CRAZY part is that he did not even know God yet….Think about that….I mean I can not even give you a good analogy…but you know I am going to try. It would be like waking up next to your new best friend, that had the mega bucks lotto ticket, that…yeah I got no good comparison……..
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
Do you think that Eli, knowing that Samuel was sleeping in the presence of the Lord, should have known it was God calling Samuel? Do you think that this show Eli’s “unfamiliarity” with the Lord? Think about that…..
6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord: The word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
The Lord reveals himself in some pretty earth shaking, radical, awesome ways! From a Burning Bush, to a Pillar of Smoke and Fire, to a Ram in the thorns. The list goes on but catch what is about to happen…….
8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
THEN….Hello….How many times does GOD do something so obvious that it could only be him and what are we doing? Yep that’s right SLEEPING!!!! THEN Eli realized. Not sure about you but that is a good word for my lack of getting it the first time!
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
WHOOOOAAAAA there it is dude…you see that….I got goose bumps! The LORD CAME and STOOD THERE, CALLING as at the other times, Samuel! Samuel! Do you think that Samuel knew something was getting ready to go down? God called him twice. Perhaps Samuel knew the history of all the people God called twice and that something big was about to happen.
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
BOOMSHAKALAKA….come on people…you see this right? God said Samuel, Samuel, and then the boy that did not know the Lord yet became his servent in less that 5.4 seconds. This is real stuff people! How awesome is to have faith like that! God revealed himself and Samuel was ready! Eli knew the Lord but was going blind and could not even realize that God was calling the boy. Samuel got it the first time after God had revealed himself to him! (AMEN?)
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.
Just for the record. I have never been to seminary and people may say I do not know what I am talking about. But….FYI….on the scale of ear tingling I am pretty sure this is on the side of something bad is about to go down!
12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God,[a] and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”
Eli’s sons messed up big time. Eli did NOTHING ABOUT IT. How many times do we not correct our children when we know we should? It is not just the children who are accoutable, its the parents too, if not more so! ” Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it”-proverbs 22:6
15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
See, Samuel is the man! I would have faked sleeping or something. I would not have been looking forward to telling Eli that guilt of his house caused by his sons, and not punished by himself, was not going to be able to be atoned for.
17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.”
Eli knew what he had coming to him. See me, myself, I would have felt out the vibe a little. Kinda ask Samuel, “oh, morning, how did you sleep? Anything cool happen? Oh, you have to tell me something, man you don’t sound to happy about it….ummm let me hit you up later I really need to go and wash these sandles…..”
18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
Eli knew what was said. Still he knew that the Lord knew best for him. Even if he may not like it he was ready to accept it!
19 The Lord was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.
I think that is a beautiful way to think about God hearing Samuel’s words…..He let NONE of Samuel’s words FALL to the GROUND.
So my point is not some big revelation from this scripture. If you take the time and listen that God will show you come pretty cool stuff. How awesome would it be to dig into every bit of scripture?! And what I get out of this may be completely different from what someone else may get. The word of God is alive man! Read it, pray about it, ask God to show you things you have never seen before!