Posts Tagged ‘disobedience’


Under Gods Command

Eli’s Wicked Sons

1 Samuel 2:12-36  12Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the LORD. 13Now it was the practice of the priests that, whenever any of the people offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being boiled 14and would plunge the fork into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. 15But even before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the person who was sacrificing, “Give the priest some meat to roast; he won’t accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.”

    16If the person said to him, “Let the fat be burned first, and then take whatever you want,” the servant would answer, “No, hand it over now; if you don’t, I’ll take it by force.”

     17This sin of the young men was very great in the LORD’s sight, for they were treating the LORD’s offering with contempt.  

   18But Samuel was ministering before the LORD—a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annuals sacrifice. 20Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the LORD give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the LORD.” Then they would go home. 21And the LORD was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.

     22Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. 24No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the LORD’s people is not good. 25If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the LORD, who willy intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the LORD’s will to put them to death.

     26And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with people. 

Prophecy Against the House of Eli

    27Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself to your ancestor’s family when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh? 28I chose your ancestor out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your ancestor’s family all the food offerings presented by the Israelites. 29Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’

     30“Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ But now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. 31The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age, 32and you  will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, no one in your family line will ever reach old age. 33Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.

     34“ ‘And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both dies on the same day.t 35I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always. 36Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and plead, “Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat.”

The law stipulated that the needs of all the Levites were to be met through the people’s tithes (Numbers 18:20-24; Joshua 13:14, 33). Because Eli’s sons were priests, they were to be taken care of this way. But Eli’s sons took advantage of their position to satisfy their lust for power, possessions, and control. Their contempt and arrogance toward both people and worship undermined the integrity of the whole priesthood.

Eli knew that his sons were evil, but he did little to correct or stop them, even when the integrity of God’s sanctuary was threatened. As the high priest, Eli should have responded by executing his sons (Numbers 15:22-31). No wonder he chose not to confront the situation. But by ignoring their selfish actions, Eli let his sons ruin their own lives and the lives of many others.

This fork was a utensil used in the tabernacle for offering sacrifices. Made of bronze (Exodus 27:3), it usually had three prongs to hook the meat that was to be offered on the altar. Eli’s sons used this fork to take more meat from the pot than was due them.

What were Eli’s sons doing wrong? They were taking parts of the sacrifices before they were offered to God on the altar. They were also eating meat before the fat was burned off. This was against God’s laws (Leviticus 3:3-5). In effect, Eli’s sons were treating God’s offerings with contempt. Offerings were given to show honor and respect to God while seeking forgiveness for sins, but through their irreverence, Eli’s sons were actually sinning while making the offerings. To add to their sins, they were also sleeping with the women who served there (2:22).

God harshly judges those who lead his people astray or scorn what is devoted to him (Numbers 18:32).

Samuel was a young child, and yet he “was ministering before the LORD.” Children can often serve God just as effectively as adults. God will use anyone who is willing to learn from him and serve him. He has no age limits. Don’t discount the faith of a child or let your age keep you from serving God.

Samuel wore a special linen garment (in Hebrew called an ephod). Ephods, long sleeveless vests made of plain linen, were worn by all priests. The high priest’s ephod carried special significance. It was embroidered with a variety of bright colors. Attached to it was the breastpiece, a bib-like garment with gold embroidered shoulder straps. Twelve precious gemstones were attached to the breastpiece, each stone representing one of the tribes of Israel. This breastpiece also provided a pouch to hold the Urim and the Thummim, two small objects used to determine God’s will in certain national matters.

God honored the desires of faithful Hannah. We never hear about Peninnah or her children again, but Samuel was used mightily by God. God also gave Hannah five children in addition to Samuel. God often blesses us in ways we do not expect. Hannah never expected to have a child at her age, much less six children! Don’t resent God’s timing. His blessings might not be immediate, but they will come if we are faithful to do what he says in his Word. 2:23-25 Eli’s sons knew better, but they continued to disobey God deliberately by cheating, seducing, and robbing the people. Therefore, God planned to kill them.

Does a loving God really will or want to put people to death? Consider the situation in the tabernacle. A person made an offering in order to have his sins forgiven, and Eli’s sons stole the offering and made a sham of the person’s repentant attitude. God, in his love for Israel, could not permit this situation to continue. He allowed Eli’s sons to die as a result of their own boastful presumption. They took the ark into battle, thinking it would protect them. But God withdrew his protection, and the wicked sons of Eli were killed (4:10-11).

Eli had a difficult time rearing his sons. He apparently did not take any strong disciplinary action with them when he became aware of their wrongdoing. But Eli was not just a father trying to handle his rebellious sons; he was the high priest ignoring the sins of priests under his supervision. As a result, the Lord took the necessary disciplinary action that Eli would not.

Eli was guilty of honoring his sons above God by letting them continue in their sinful ways.

For the fulfillment of this prediction, see 1 Kings 2:26-27. This is where Solomon removed Abiathar from his position, thus ending Eli’s line. Then God raised up Zadok, a priest under David and then high priest under Solomon. Zadok’s line was probably still in place as late as the days of Ezra.

Lets Bring it Home: Like Eli’s sons, some religious leaders look down on the faith of ordinary people and treat their offerings to God casually or even with contempt.

There are times when serious problems must be confronted, even if the process and consequences could be painful.

Any sin is wrong, but sin carried out deliberately and deceitfully is the worst kind. When we sin out of ignorance, we deserve punishment. But when we sin intentionally, the consequences will be more severe.

Don’t ignore God’s warnings about sin. Abandon sin before it becomes a way of life. Is there a situation in your life, family, or work that you allow to continue even though you know it is wrong? If so, you may become as guilty as those engaged in the wrong act.


Under Gods Command

2nd Samuel 6:1-23 

2 Samuel 6 The Ark Brought to Jerusalem

    1David again brought together all the able young men of Israel—thirty thousand. 2He and all his men went to Baalah a in Judah to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the Name, the name of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim on the ark. 3They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart 4with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. 5David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD, with castanets, harps, lyres, timbrels, sistrums and cymbals.

    6When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. 7The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.

    8Then David was angry because the LORD’s wrath had broken out against Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah.

    9David was afraid of the LORD that day and said, “How can the ark of the LORD ever come to me?” 10He was not willing to take the ark of the LORD to be with him in the City of David. Instead, he took it to the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite. 11The ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-Edom the Gittite for three months, and the LORD blessed him and his entire household.

    12Now King David was told, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. 13When those who were carrying the ark of the LORD had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. 14Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, 15while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets.

 

The ark of God was Israel’s national treasure and was ordinarily kept in the tabernacle. When the ark was returned to Israel after a brief Philistine captivity (1 Samuel 4:1–7:2), it was kept in Abinadab’s home for 20 years. David saw how God blessed Abinadab, and he wanted to bring the ark to Jerusalem to ensure God’s blessing on the entire nation.

Uzzah was only trying to protect the ark, so was God’s anger against Uzzah just? According to Numbers 4:5-15, the ark was to be moved only by the Levites, who were to carry it using the carrying poles—they were never to touch the ark itself. To touch it was a capital offense under Hebrew law (Numbers 4:15). God’s action was directed against both David and Uzzah. David placed the ark on a cart, following the Philistines’ example (1 Samuel 6:7-8) rather than God’s commands. Uzzah, though sincere in his desire to protect the ark, had to face the consequences of the sin of touching it. Also, Uzzah may not have been a Levite. As David sought to bring Israel back into a relationship with God, God had to remind the nation dramatically that enthusiasm must be accompanied by obedience to his laws. The next time David tried to bring the ark to Jerusalem, he was careful to handle it correctly (1 Chronicles 15:1-15).

David was angry that a well-meaning man had been killed and that his plans for a joyous return of the ark had been spoiled (6:8). He undoubtedly knew that the fault was his own for transporting the ark carelessly. After cooling down, he had the ark put into temporary storage while he waited to see if the Lord would allow him to bring it to Jerusalem. This also gave David time to consider the right way to transport the ark. The fact that God blessed the home of Obed-Edom was a sign to David that he could try once again to move the ark to Jerusalem.

David wore a linen ephod, the priest’s apron, possibly because it was a religious celebration. 6:16-23 Michal was David’s first wife, but here she is called the “daughter of Saul,” possibly to show how similar her attitude was to her father’s. Her contempt for David probably did not start with David’s grand entrance into the city. Perhaps she thought it was undignified to be so concerned with public worship at a time when it was so unimportant in the kingdom. Or maybe she thought it was not fitting for a king to display such emotion. She may have resented David’s taking her from Paltiel (see the note on 3:13-14). Whatever the reason, this contempt she felt toward her husband escalated into a difficult confrontation, and Michal ended up childless for life. Feelings of bitterness and resentment that go unchecked will destroy a relationship. Deal with your feelings before they escalate into open warfare.

Only a priest could place the sacrifices on the altar. Leviticus 1:2-13 indicates that anyone who was ceremonially clean could assist a priest in offering the sacrifice (1 Samuel 20:26). So David probably offered these sacrifices to God with the aid of a priest. Solomon did the same (1 Kings 8:62-65).

Michal was disgusted with David as he led the ark’s procession into Jerusalem. She was concerned only about his outward appearance while David focused on the inward condition of his heart before God. He was willing to look foolish in the eyes of some in order to worship God fully and honestly.

Lets Bring it Home: We have learned that disobedience towards Gods Word can lead to an instant death. It don’t matter how much of a good guy or stand up citizen you are. The consequence of sin is DEATH.

People may worship God in ways that look foolish to us because they have a different culture or tradition. We should accept their heartfelt expressions of worship. We should not be afraid to express our feelings toward God, even when others are present.


Under Gods Command (Book of Leviticus)

Disobedience can Kill

10:1-2 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihua took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command. 2So fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD.

What was the “unauthorized fire” that Nadab and Abihu offered before the Lord? The nature of Nadab and Abihu’s wrongdoing is debated, but it clearly involved the burning of incense. The “unauthorized fire” could mean “foreign” (as in Psalm 44:20; 81:9), and thus “unauthorized” (see Exodus 30:9) or even “pagan.” Apparently, Nadab and Abihu used fire from a source not approved by God (Numbers 3:4; 26:61), possibly even a pagan source. It has also been suggested that the two priests gave an offering at an unprescribed time. Whatever explanation is correct, the point is that Nadab and Abihu abused their office as priests in a flagrant act of disrespect to God, who had just reviewed with them precisely how they were to conduct worship. As leaders, they had special responsibility to obey God. In their position, they could easily lead many people astray.

Aaron’s sons were careless about following the laws for sacrifices. In response, God destroyed them with a blast of fire. Performing the sacrifices was an act of obedience. Doing them correctly showed respect for God. It is easy for us to grow careless about obeying God, to live our way instead of God’s. But if one way were just as good as another, God would not have commanded us to live his way. He always has good reasons for his commands, and we always place ourselves in danger when we consciously or carelessly disobey them.

Lets Bring it Home: If God has commissioned you to lead or teach others, never take that role for granted or abuse it. Stay faithful to God and follow his instructions.


Under Gods Command

John the Baptist had prepared the way for Jesus by preaching repentance. The apostle’s message of salvation also included the call to repentance-acknowledging personal sin and turning away from it. Many people want the benefits of being identified with Christ without admitting their own disobedience and turning from sin. The key to forgiveness is confessing your sin and turning from it.

When we repent, God promises not only to wipe out our sins, but also to bring spiritual refreshment. Repentance may at first seem painful because it is hard to give up certain sins. But God will give you a better way. As Hosea promised, “Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth” (Hosea 6:3) Do you feel a need to be refreshed?

The time when God will “restore everything” refers to the second coming, the Last Judgment, and the removal of sin from the world.

Acts: 3:19-21 Repent, then and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you-even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.

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