Saturday, December 05, 2015

Devotional Thought : 1 Samuel 4:18

When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led Israel forty years. 1 Samuel 4:18

In the Message we read, "Eli was an old man, and very fat." The reason Eli was fat is found in the Lord's words in 1 Samuel 2:29: "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 sons were eating far more of the sacrifice than they were entitled to, as they were eating the meat before the fat was burnt away (v. 13-16). It seems Eli shared in this as well.

Eli was more interested in himself than honouring the Lord. His sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them (3:13). In Eli's role as a priest his weight gain must have made it obvious that he was a glutton. Actions speak louder than words.

God didn't act immediately but gave Eli and his sons time to repent but they mistook God's patience for indulgence. God sent a prophet to warn them (2:27-36) but the punishments didn't seem real. They expected life to continue as it had always done.

Likewise today many have heard God's word but it doesn't seem real to them. Even as Christians, we are more influenced by our senses – what we see, hear, smell, taste and touch as theses seems more enduring than an invisible kingdom in an unspecified time frame.

Paul would exhort us to: "…fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18).

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