March 3, 2019
Shiloh was the scene of extreme corruption when Hannah left her consecrated son at the temple to serve the Lord as she’d promised. In sharp contrast to Eli’s sons, who incurred God’s wrath for their defiant contempt and immorality, the boy Samuel stood out as a ray of light, growing in favor with God and men. As Alistair Begg reminds us, even when the odds against us seem overwhelming, God remains unfailingly at work, shining His light in the darkness.
11Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy1 was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli the priest.
12Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord. 13The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw.” 16And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force.” 17Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.
18Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy clothed with a linen ephod. 19And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the Lord.” So then they would return to their home.
21Indeed the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.
22Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. 25If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death.
26Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man.
Copyright © 2020, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.