Following on from the last blog, Eli the priest of God came on my mind and I decided to delve a little into his life. In a sense Eli’s life is similar to that of a watchman as he had the responsibility of looking out for the interest of Israel in his days.
At some point Eli stopped seeing both literally and spiritually, first the word of the Lord became rare and scarce in those days and secondly he started to go blind in 1 Samuel 3:1-2.
Eli’s sons had started to commit sin whilst in office in 1 Samuel 2:22. I’m not sure why Eli didn’t follow it up but somehow the punishment he received from the Lord for not doing so led me to think Eli had become detached from God and attached to tradition. I’m thinking in his heart…..what if he could have been saying…..So what if they (his sons) take the best part of the offerings to keep, sleep with the temple women, bully the people….isn’t the work of the temple still going on …..business as usual? It was his response that puzzled me more.
Elis response to the Lords punishment for his unruly sons was disturbing. Eli had said “let Him do what seemeth Him good” in 1Samuel 3:18. Yet when the prophecy about his end was being fulfilled right before his eyes he feared for the ark? Why didn’t he put that same fear into dealing with his sons, which could have prevented his destruction?
Eli had become used to doing the things of God outwardly but not inwardly.
As children of God we need to ensure our hearts are always right with God no matter the level of our responsibility. We must never get used to serving God to the point that we neglect our hearts. Eli didn’t abuse his office, his children did, but he could have prevented it if his heart was right with God. It is a subtle thing but Eli had strayed from God and he didn’t even know it. His heart was deceived by his office as a priest. He failed to see because he was caught up in his priestly role. He had forgotten the whole essence of being a priest was to establish holiness in himself first and not just the people. The bible says guard your heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life in Proverbs 4:23. Eli’s heart was unguarded because he fell asleep deceived by the very duties of his office as a priest but his heart was no longer hot towards God.
So how could he have prevented this, by watching his ways according to God’s Word. The Psalmist said, “thy word have I kept in my heart that I may not sin against thee” in Psalm 119:11. We must keep the word in our hearts. As watchmen we must always have the word in our hearts. If we want to get through the end times, we must keep the word. Remember towards the end of Eli’s life the scripture said….the word of the Lord was rare in those days……that’s a sure sign we’re going astray when the word of the Lord doesn’t take first place in our hearts.
O reader, you diligent watchman of God, keep the word in your heart, stay alert!!