Monday, 2 May 2011


Judges 3-4

It would appear, according to Samuel's opening comment that appearances of the Son of God were not common in this period of Israel's history. He was no doubt so appalled at the spiritual adultery of his people and especially his priests that he withdraws from them.

Eli was now blind, symbolic of his spiritual waywardness as he refused to restrain or punish his sons. Blood ties are not an excuse for faithlessness. The LORD calls Samuel, but Eli doesn't realise it's the LORD until the third time of asking.

The LORD tells Samuel all he will do as a judgement on the house of Eli. When Eli hears of this, he does what all who do not love God do, he fatalistically resigns himself to "God's sovereignty." Had he been godly, he might of had mind to do something like what David did. (2 Sam 12:21-22)

The arrogance of Israel is at such a height that in the midst of all her apostasy, she thinks that God will deliver her from the hands of the Philistines. God is not mocked, and the ark is not some kind of super-talisman to be wielded any old way (as claimed in Raiders of the Lost Ark). God would rather see it captured and sent into the hands of the Philistines, than build up his people in their own conceits.

Eli, when he hears of it dies as he falls over. He had grown fat off his abuse of the sacrificial system. That abuse now contributes to the his judgement - the breaking of his own neck.

We commit a great mistake if we put our trust in the appearances of godliness, rather than God himself. Whether that be personally in the form of legalistic rule keeping, ecclesiastically by relying on the slickness of our church meetings/strategy or nationally by assuming that because God had saved us in the past, he automatically will do it again.

The gift he gives us is the gift of himself through the person of Jesus Christ. Nothing less. To settle for less is foolish indeed, and opens the heart up to at best being pierced with many sorrows (1Tim.6:10) and at worst ultimate judgement. (Rev.21:8)

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