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Don’t worry if you grow more than others in the Lord

Praise be to the Lord God who provides the seed of His word and the faith to work on it. By intercession of Christ Jesus our Saviour we keep ever growing in spirit and knowledge. O Holy Spirit lead us into all truth and keep us away from lethargy and false counsel.

We are called to grow in the Lord God. There are no exceptions to this. No need to worry if others don’t grow as much as you do.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)

Be like Samuel the Prophet who didn’t ignore the Word of God but kept it in all earnest. Samuel’s duty was to grow in the knowledge that God gave him. He didn’t focus on those who didn’t but kept to his task. (Prophet Samuel later in life went on to annoint David as the king of Israel – refer to 1 Samuel 16:1-13 for this). He never gave up his spiritual growth though his mentor Eli’s sons grew in wickedness (Click here if you want to know a lesson about Eli). 

And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the Lord.(1 Samuel 3:19-20)

You might not know the future but there may be people who one day will need your help. It might be your own family members who might need counsel on life changing decisions. You may have to cast out evil spirits from the possessed people who turn to you. Or you just have to be a good Samaritan to those in danger. But God knows best what good you are to do. What matters then is whether you decide to grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ. Because that’s the very thing which will help you with doing all the good works that God has set forth before you. By this you can give glory to God and be a good neighbor to those in need.

Suppose you feel upset that others are not growing in the Lord God, then do not despair. You can intercede for them. And wherever possible even directly help them grow. But never be too proud of your growth and so end up displeasing God. Also take care not to slow down on your growth in Spirit. Because neither will it help others grow nor will it give glory to God.

Christ be with you!

A lesson from Eli’s life – correcting others before they cause your downfall

Praise be God who gives wisdom to those who believe in him. We pray that each one who comes to Christ desires to please the Lord God by walking in true wisdom and integrity. May the Holy Spirit reveal to us everything and everyone that we can correct in our lives. Amen

Eli the priest at Shiloh was a priest of the Lord God. He had done some remarkably good deeds such as praying that the barren Hannah gives birth a child and also that the child Samuel comes to know of his prophetic calling for God. Despite all this he didn’t have a happy ending. This is quite a tragedy considering he was a devout man of God in most of his actions except one.

Eli and the boy Samuel

Eli and the boy Samuel

So what went wrong for him?

I answer that by pointing to what the Lord God revealed to the child Samuel which is nothing less than the judgment against Eli’s family. Let’s read the following verses (1 Samuel 3: 8-14) to get the true picture:

And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.” 11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12 On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them. 14 Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

You might want to read 1 Samuel 3: 8-14 mentioned above once again that the seriousness of the judgment of God against Eli’s family sinks in really well. Just imagine, how would a child react if receives his first ever prophecy and he is told that his mentor’s family is going to be punished because of blasphemy against God. Now, the Lord God didn’t want to keep this child clueless as to why it was going to happen. It was clearly mentioned that Eli was forewarned about the highly immoral behavior of his sons in the house of worship of the Lord God.

Sons of Eli

Abuse of the offerings at Shiloh

So what exactly were Eli’s sons misdeeds?

12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord. 13 The 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, 14 and 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. 15 Moreover, 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.” 16 And 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.” 17 Thus 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. (1 Samuel 2: 12-17)

What was Eli’s reaction to the crimes of his sons?

22 Now 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. 23 And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. 25 If 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. (1 Samuel 2: 22-25)

Well Eli did rebuke them but that’s it. The Lord God expected Eli to restrain his sons but then Eli didn’t stop them from continuing in their evil. Though he knew his sons had immoral affairs with women he didn’t really do anything that would have made an effective stop to their wickedness.

Was Samuel the only one who received the prophecy of judgment against Eli’s family?

Samuel was never the only one in this matter. There’s another prophet mentioned in 1 Samuel 2:27-36 who is not identified by name but only as a man of God.  He declared by the Lord God that Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas shall both die on the same day as a sign to Eli for their wickedness.

What happened to Eli and his family after receiving the prophecy from Samuel?

The name of the LORD is a strong tower

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it, and is safe.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it, and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10)

Don’t keep facing the temptations that are being pushed over to you and let it run you over. Don’t keep getting overwhelmed by the economy or politics. Just call upon the name of the Lord and don’t give into negative emotions. Ask him to deliver in you in the righteousness of Jesus our Lord.

When you are in trouble take refuge in the name of the Lord God. The Lord will be your strong tower when you run up to him in prayer. He is mighty to save. He is almighty forever.

Being in a place of refuge is not about being scared in hiding. It is about being calm and trusting in Christ who is your refuge in difficult situations no matter what.

Taking refuge in danger is not an act of cowardice. Its in fact a very wise thing. It’s a wise thing to be in a bomb shelter when there is an air raid from bomber planes. Taking refuge away from heavy bombing is a tactical move in most armed forces till they can later launch a counter attack.

Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus when you are grave danger because he can hear you from his sanctuary. He loves those who trust in him and seek his kingdom and his righteousness.

2 Samuel 22:2-7 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. “The waves of death overwhelmed me; floods of destruction swept over me. The grave wrapped its ropes around me; death laid a trap in my path. But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry reached his ears.

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 144:2 He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.

When you trust in the Lord you are saying NO to terror, you are saying NO to the enemy’s plan for you. When you trust the Lord you say YES to his Christ’s plan for you.

The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. The Lord Jesus comes that you may have life and life in abundance. Desire that God’s plan of life is manifest in your life.

For this I strongly suggest that you call upon his name when in danger of any sort. Doesn’t matter if you not used to pray loud, what matter is your faith in Christ. So, if you can’t pray out loud then pray in the silence of your heart. The Lord God will answer when you pray in faith. Amen.

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