Before It's Too Late
Chapter 4 of 1 Samuel is dealing with the removal of the Ark of the Covenant by the Philistines. However it is the previous 2 chapters, that leads us to the eradication of the Ark in the nation of Israel. The man ultimately responsible for this was the priest, Eli. Eli had 2 sons he would correct, in turn, leading to the destruction of the Israelite Army, the removal of the Ark, the death of his sons, the death of his daughter-in-law and the removal of the Glory of God.
If Eli were alive today, he would be saying to the church and to us, You've compromised the God and His word long enough. Stop and turn to the truth, Before, it's too late.
The removal of the Ark was through one family. Let's look at this family and God=s reaction to them.
The Sons were:
I. Self-indulgent (10-11)
A. Dishonored God (2:22-24)
3. Turned People Away from God
B. Dishonored Their Father (2:25)
C. Dishonored by God (2:34)
Ravi Zacharias said,
I particularly like to warn my American audiences about this. Freedom is not the same thing as autonomy. Freedom does not mean I am a law unto myself. Prince Philip, the duke of Edinburgh, speaking to a hostile university audience that jeered him, stopped in the middle, and in nonregal language he said, "Shut up! Freedom can be destroyed as easily by making a mockery of it as it can by its retraction." That's precisely what man has done.
In an attempt to be reasonable, man has become irrational. In an attempt to deify himself, he has defaced himself. In an attempt to be free, he has made himself a slave. And like Alexander the Great, he has conquered the world around him but has not yet conquered himself.
The Father was:
II. Doomed (12-18)
A. Eli Knew About His Sons and Did Little About It (2:22-24)
B. Prophesy of the Demise His House (2:34-36)
Eli's sin was complacency.
C. Realization of God's Withdrawal and the Death of His Sons
D. Eli's Death
Prophesied in 2:32
A new law on drunken driving in Louisiana is now one of the toughest in the nation. There is a mandatory prison sentence for anyone convicted of driving while intoxicated. Getting it passed was a major victory for various groups against drunk driving, and they could not have gotten it passed if it wasn't for the help of one particular state legislator who sponsored the bill. It wasn't long after the new law took effect that the first person to be arrested for driving under the influence was brought before the judge and found guilty and was sentenced to his prison term. Who was he? The same legislator who sponsored the bill! "For the way you judge, you will be judged, and by your standard of measure it shall be measured to you."
III. Departed (19-22)
A. Grief Struck
B. Death was Close
C. God's Glory Left Eli's Household
Physical House and Israel
Erin, a young girl who was usually the model of good behavior in church, was particularly wiggly one Sunday morning. After distracting all those around her for some time and ignoring her father's warning to be still, her father finally scooped her up and began walking to the rear of the church for "attitude adjustment." Just before they got to the back door, Erin screamed, "Help! Save me!" The heartfelt plea of the penitent sinner was never more sincere, but it didn't do much for decorum that morning.