Tuesday, January 04, 2011

God is not Santa Claus

Hear the word of LORD:

1 Samuel 2:22-25
Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, "Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD'S people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him?" Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.

Why didn't they listen to their father? Well, of course, they are to blame. Yet God takes credit for it too. God says that their heedlessness had a purpose - and the purpose to kill them.

People like to say that when it is said that Joseph was sold into slavery in order that many lives would be saved, it simply means that God made the best of a bad situation. That's not the case here. God didn't make the best of a bad situation - God let a bad situation become (humanly speaking) worse.

1 Samuel 3:10-15
And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, "Samuel, Samuel."
Then Samuel answered, "Speak; for thy servant heareth."
And the LORD said to Samuel, "Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever."
And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.

Well might Samuel fear to share this dreadful vision! God is coming in vengeance on the house of Eli, and God has said that this iniquity will not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever! For every sin that a man might sin there was an offering appointed - but for the sin of Eli and his sons, there was no sin offering available. God extended no explicit offer of mercy to Eli.

And listen in sad silence to Eli's reaction:

1 Samuel 3:16-18
Then Eli called Samuel, and said, "Samuel, my son."
And he answered, "Here am I."
And he said, "What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee."
And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him.
And he said, "It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good."

What a disappointing answer! Let the LORD do what seems good to him? Of course the Lord will - but hie to the altar with sacrifice and offering! Rip your clothes in sorrow! Put dust and ashes on your head! Fast and pray to God for mercy! Though God has pronounced judgment, yet if a man will turn to Him in true repentance, he will find mercy.

As David would later be inspired to write:

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Dear reader, do not be like the sons of Eli and refuse to hear good counsel. Do not be like Eli and simply nod your head at the pronounced judgment of God against you and your sins. Flee to God for mercy.

As it written:

Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.


JMH said...

Thank you for this Turretinfan.

My brother's less than one year old son just went to a emergency room with an ambulance.
The little boy has a heart problem and they might operate him soon if it's possible.

It's easy to say what Eli said and just hope for the best, but that's not sufficient.

Please join me in praying for that little boy and perhaps God will find mercy.

Anonymous said...


I will also offer my personal prayers for your nephew.


These Words of the Lord are uncomfortable for the soul.

They are necessary and healthy. It's a wakeup call to the conscience that Grace and Mercy are not freebies. It cost God something so that we can turn to Him in time of need, especially in the time of need of circumstances such as is laid out here for us to hear the Word of the Lord by and receive Mercy and Grace.

Salvation is a wonderful thing for the Elect.

Salvation is disdained by the reprobate and cursed of God and this kind of Word isn't something they would ever entertain, observe, listen to, receive so as to turn to God for His mercy.

Psa 130:7 O Israel, hope in the LORD! For with the LORD there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption.
Psa 130:8 And he will redeem Israel from all his iniquities.

The Lord gave me some sense about this this way and so I offer it as comfort and nourishment to the soul:

"Grace, as defined is What God Gives us that we don’t deserve.
Mercy, as defined is What God does not give us that we do deserve.
Peace is the outcome of both Grace and Mercy from God in our daily lives.

What about Jesus, what did He get and did not get??

Jesus did not deserve what He got from God and was given, so hence, He was shown no Grace.
Jesus did not deserve what He got from God and was not given, so hence, He was shown no Mercy.
Therefore Jesus was deprived of Peace from God.

"10 ¶ Yet it pleased the LORD to afflict him; he has put him to grief; he laid down his life as an offering for sin, that posterity may see, and his days shall be prolonged, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see the reward of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied with the knowledge; he shall justify the righteous; for he is a servant of many, and he shall bear their sins. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he has poured out his life to death; and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sins of many, and died the death of transgressors."

And God did not give Him Grace, Mercy or Peace so that we could receive Grace, what we don’t deserve and Mercy, what we don’t deserve and Peace with God after we leave this mortal life." "

Anonymous said...

Never heard this exact take on Eli and his response to the oracle. Interesting way of looking at it.