It is hard to “turn many away from iniquity” if one is not a good example himself of walking properly before God. The priesthood of Malachi’s day was doing the opposite and, consequently, was leading many into iniquity.
Posts Tagged ‘ Eli ’
Our lesson opens with the declaration that the child Samuel “ministered unto the Lord before Eli”; that is to say, he was a servant of the Lord by virtue of his being a servant to Eli, who was the Lord’s representative and priest. The Word of Jehovah was precious in those days; that is, it was seldom that God sent messages at that time. Perhaps that of the angel of the Lord who appeared to the father and mother of Samson, probably fifty years before, was the last direct communication between the Lord and any of His people Israel. “There was no open vision”–visions and revelations were not then being given. The Divine Plan was hidden. The Urim and the Thummim answers of the Lord to the inquiries of the people had ceased.
Having a king would concentrate a lot of power in the hand of one individual, resulting in oppression. Family life would be broken up. If the people were already giving a tenth (their tithe) to the priesthood, they would also have to give a tenth to the king. Based on the condition of the human race, even if the first king was faithful, the greater number of his successors would be unfaithful. The fact that the king would have liberty to choose whoever he wanted would lead to autocratic power.
Eli’s neck being broken may indicate he realized his shortcoming and lack to the fullest extent. Just as the Great Company will experience the feeling of alienation from God when they go into the wilderness at the end of the age, so Eli felt alienation when the Ark, symbolizing God’s presence, was taken. The most munificent judgment we can attribute to Eli is that he pictures the Great Company. However, he was in a dangerous situation, because he was only one step removed from the sins of his sons. Hophni and Phinehas were the guilty ones, but when a person is that close to gross sin, he can incur the same guilt by too much sympathy and the failure to take a stand.
The first time that God called and Samuel went to Eli, the boy said, “Here am I; for thou calledst me.” Eli replied, “I called not; lie down again.” The second time God called, Samuel told Eli with a little more emphasis, “Here am I; for thou didst call me.” Eli answered, “I called not, my son; lie down again.” The third time God called, Samuel said even more emphatically, “Here am I; for thou didst call me.” This time Eli got the point. In other words, Samuel got more insistent each time he was called, and no longer could Eli doubt the veracity. Now he told Samuel, “Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee [the fourth time], that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth.”
The words “lent” and “borrowed” had different meanings in the year 1611, when the King James translation was done. For example, at the time of the Exodus, the Israelites permanently “borrowed” trinkets and jewelry of silver and gold from the Egyptians. There was no intention to return the items, nor did the Egyptians expect them back. Hannah had promised that Samuel would be the Lord’s from birth to death. Since believing Jews looked forward to the resurrection, she felt she could have more rapport and communion with Samuel in the Kingdom (as vaguely understood by the Israelites prior to Christ).