Looking into the Word
Eli was called to be a priest, to serve God and to intercede for God’s people and to be a blessing to them. God blessed him as he began to exercise the office of the priesthood.
There is a parallel in this situation. Today the lord has an appointment for all those who are born again of His Spirit and are in Christ. That appointment is to the office of believer priest. We read in 1 Peter 2:5, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”
We see more about our calling in John 15: 16, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
Eli failed miserably in his calling as a priest. He failed to keep his focus on God. His focus was misdirected to his sons. We read in verse 29, “And honourest thy sons above me.” Eli failed in his family life. Dad; get it right in the home. If you fail in the home you will never realize the blessing God has ordained for you. You can’t serve God and ignore your calling as a father and husband.
Eli was serving God, or so he thought, while his sons were going to the devil. Verse 12, “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.” Eli was interceding for and teaching all of Israel and ignoring his two boys. He could have done both, the Lord would have enabled him, but his focus was wrong.
Eli waited until he was an old man and his boys were grown before he rebuked them, and then it was only a mild rebuke. Verse 23-24, “And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD's people to transgress.” The barn door was left open, and it was too late. “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
Pay someday; we see the Lord’s pay day for Eli, verse 30-31, “Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me forever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house.”
We are reminded, that for the believer, there are rewards to be won and there are rewards to be lost. In 2 John 8, we read, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.”
While Eli is failing, God is at work replacing Eli with Samuel, who will be a faithful witness. Verse 26, “And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favor both with the LORD, and also with men.” We see the same thing in the life of Saul, as the Lord replaced him with David. We see the great illustration, which is the replacement of the first Adam with the second Adam.
Let me give the challenge. We read in 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.....” Here is the challenge to my heart and to your heart. The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth, to find men and women, whom He can call out to glorify His name.
As His eyes fall on you, what does He see?