Thanks for joining this journey through the books of 1 & 2 Samuel. Remy
Day Three: Read 1 Samuel 2:12-26
This chapter makes a shift from virtuous Hannah to the despicable sons of Eli.
The text tells of a confusing practice of the sons regarding how they processed the sacrifice, but the point is, they took advantage of their position for their own benefit. It says that they “treated the Lord’s offering with contempt.” That means they disregarded God in what they were doing and how they were doing it. It’s like they played God for a sucker. So they performed a spiritual practice but mocked God in the process. They were in it for their own benefit at the expense of both God and people.
This is a tough question, but: Is there anything about your faith/church experience where you might be in it more for your benefit than for God and others?
A few verses later it shows how the sons used their position to take advantage of women sexually. There is nothing more offensive to God than when his ministers, people whom he set apart to help people connect with him, use their position and influence for themselves. It’s like stealing from God. They steal what was meant for God for themselves. God wouldn’t allow that. The men lost their lives over it.
I know of priests and pastors who have done the same thing. But I think we can apply this to how men use pornography today in our culture: they use women… women designed to glorify God, and use them for their own personal gratification.
But then there is Hannah and Samuel. You can imagine Samuel in his little robe, serving God in the temple. Whereas God judged the sons of Eli, he blessed Hannah with even more children. Unlike Eli’s self-serving sons, Hannah sacrificed whom she loved the most (Samuel) to honor God.
How might you honor God in your life today? Is there something God might want you to sacrifice as an act of worship?
Prayer: Father, too often I find myself approaching you for my own benefit. But true worship is about me pouring out my life for you. You alone are God and deserve my worship. Help turn my heart to put you at the center of my life instead of me being in that place. Might you use me for YOUR glory rather than me trying to use you for MY glory.
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- For a video overview of 1 Samuel, watch here.