Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | March 29, 2015

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. … Let us not lose heart in doing good”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Samuel 2:12-36.  Here is a link to this Scripture –  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+2&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“18 Now Samuel was ministering before the Lord, as a boy wearing a linen ephod.  19 And his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.  20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you children from this woman in place of the one she dedicated to the Lord.”  And they went to their own home.

21 The Lord visited Hannah;  and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters.  And the boy Samuel grew before the Lord.

22 Now Eli was very old;  and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting.  23 He said to them, “Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people?  24 No, my sons;  for the report is not good which I hear the Lord’s people circulating.  25 If one man sins against another, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?”  But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for the Lord desired to put them to death.

26 Now the boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men.

27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Did I not indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh’s house?  28 Did I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My priests, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to carry an ephod before Me;  and did I not give to the house of your father all the fire offerings of the sons of Israel?  29 Why do you kick at My sacrifice and at My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel?’  30 Therefore the Lord God of Israel declares, ‘I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever’;  but now the Lord declares, ‘Far be it from Me—for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed.  31 Behold, the days are coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your father’s house so that there will not be an old man in your house.  32 You will see the distress of My dwelling, in spite of all the good that I do for Israel; and an old man will not be in your house forever.  33 Yet I will not cut off every man of yours from My altar so that your eyes will fail from weeping and your soul grieve, and all the increase of your house will die in the prime of life.  34 This will be the sign to you which will come concerning your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas:  on the same day both of them will die.  35 But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul;  and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always.”    1 Samuel 2:18-35.

——————-

There is a sharp contrast between Samuel on the one hand and Hophni and Phinehas on the other hand. 

“Now Samuel was ministering before the Lord, as a boy wearing a linen ephod.”  Verse 18.  “Now the boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men.”  Verse 26.

But, Hophni and Phinehas sometimes took by force more of the meat offering than they were entitled.  “Thus the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for the men despised the offering of the Lord.”  Verse 17.  Moreover, they lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting.  “He (Eli, their own father) said to them, “Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people?  No, my sons;  for the report is not good which I hear the Lord’s people circulating.”  Verses 23 and 24.

Hophni and Phinehas may think they could get away with all of their despicable behavior.  But, God is not mocked;  through a man of God, God declared to Eli in part:  “Behold, the days are coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your father’s house so that there will not be an old man in your house.   You will see the distress of My dwelling, in spite of all the good that I do for Israel; and an old man will not be in your house forever.  Yet I will not cut off every man of yours from My altar so that your eyes will fail from weeping and your soul grieve, and all the increase of your house will die in the prime of life.  This will be the sign to you which will come concerning your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas:  on the same day both of them will die.”  Verses 31-34.

Concerning Samuel and possibly also other faithful priests, God declared:  “But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul;  and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always.”  Verse 35.  Moreover, “The Lord visited Hannah (Samuel’s mother who dedicated Samuel to the LORD);   and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters.   And the boy Samuel grew before the Lord.”  Verse 21.

Galatians 6:7-10 summarizes the lesson for us today.  “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked;  for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.  For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.  Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.”  Galatians 6:7-10.

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