Sunday, October 5, 2014
29Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?
The Lord sent a man of God to the priest Eli to rebuke him for knowing the wrong his sons' were doing yet not properly punishing them. This was after God used the young prophet Samuel to announce the judgment. So again, Eli was warned. Eli's sons were not only harming the people of Israel, they continued to practice the ways of the Canaanites with sacred prostitution as the NKJV Study Bible states. Eli did address his sons but he did not remove them from the house of the Lord for their deeds. By not doing so, Eli blatantly decided his sons were more important than upholding God's ordinances for His people. As a leader, Eli decided that his sons were more important than all of God's people who were being tainted by their acts. The NKJV Study Bible says that our sins do affect others. It is natural to want to side with or protect one's family. But to God, you are to uphold Him first, whether you are in a ministry position or not. Samuel's mother, Hannah, could've chosen to hang on to her son but she remembered the promise she made to God and therefore gave her son back to God to use as His instrument in the world.
Abraham was tested to see if he would love God more or value his son Isaac more. Isaac was the son from his wife Sarah's barren womb. Abraham was told that he would be the father of many nations. But Abraham had to be willing to give that up all to keep his relationship with God. When Abraham took Isaac up to the mountain, he believed in his heart that God would provide another sacrifice. He passed the test and this is why you and I know God as Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. God provided a ram in the bush. Abraham's heart was pained again because Sarah, his true wife, recognized by God, was told to send Hagar and Ishmael away. God told Abraham to obey his wife's wishes. God also told Abraham that Ishmael would be provided for and He would still make a nation out of Ishmael because he was also Abraham's seed.
When God says you have to make the choice to obey him over your heart's desire, it is a difficult choice indeed. True believers in Christ have carried and are still carrying that cross. But because He knows the outcome, He knows the end, His will is always better than our own. His will always sees what you and I cannot see. His will always knows what the end result will be. For Abraham, Ishmael was still provided for and Isaac lived. But Eli refused the choice to obey God. And his entire household died. Even years later when Saul became king, the NKJV Study Bible records that the slaughtering of all the priests in Nob was extended to the entire city which ended more lives from the house of Eli.
No one is to come between you and God. Abraham, whom you and I belong to because of the blood of Christ, had to remember to love God with all his heart and so shall you and I.