"Snippets" from David
When the leaders of a people turn from the good of godly power to the evil of self-desire, evil compounds evil. The high priest, Eli, was the most significant leader in Israel. He had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. 1 Samuel 2:12-14 declared of those two adult sons,
Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the Lord and the custom of the priests with the people. When any man was offering a sacrifice, the priestís servant would come while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand. Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. Thus they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. Also, before they burned the fat, the priestís servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, ďGive the priest meat for roasting, as he will not take boiled meat from you, only raw.Ē If the man said to him, ďThey must surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as you desire,Ē then he would say, ďNo, but you shall give it to me now; and if not, I will take it by force.Ē Thus the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for the men despised the offering of the Lord.
Eliís sons were worthless in Godís eyes [not necessarily the eyes of evil men] for two reasons. (1) They did not know God. (2) They viewed their role and position as an opportunity for abuse rather than an opportunity to represent God. The power of their position represented opportunity to fulfill their personal desires rather than opportunity to represent God. Two charges were made against them. (1) They abused their position as priests in regard to Israelís offerings (1 Samuel 2:16, 17). (2) They seduced the women who came to serve at Shiloh (1 Samuel 2:22). Their position produced opportunity to indulge themselves, so they abused the power of their position to achieve personal desires.
Eli knew their abuses, expressed personal dissatisfaction with those abuses, but took no action to end their abuses (1 Samuel 2:22-25). God held Eli accountable for his sonsí acts, and He said the sons would endure the full consequences of their actions. It was not just Israel they failed to respect; more importantly their acts despised God Whom they were supposed to represent. As a result, the three men died, there were no old men in their lineage, and in time their lineage ceased (1 Kings 2:27).
When a person uses the power of position for personal gain rather than to help people, he/she fails self, he/she abuses people, and he/she falls victim to a selfishness that generates and perpetuates the injustice of great evil.
How do we look at existence in this physical world? Do we exist to indulge our appetites and desires? Do we exist to advance Godís purposes? Is life an opportunity for indulgence? Or, does life find meaning and fulfillment in (a) correctly identifying Godís objectives, and (b) being useful to Godís purposes? Stated in another way, is human life about us or is human life about God?
There seems to be no end to injustice when evil convinces what should be godly people that the purpose of human life is about indulgence. God hears the cries of the victims. Those who create victims will pay the full consequence of their abuses.
Life faces sobering realities. Selfish indulgence is a powerful, deceitful intoxicant!
|David's Home Page||Table of Contents||Next Snippet|