Today's Inspiration: If a man sins against another man, God may mediate for him but if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him? These words were from Eli to his sons but they did not take heed for it was the Lord's will to put them to death. 1 Samuel 2:25. Eli was the priest at Shiloh and his two sons were the officiating priests. The irony is that his sons wore priestly garments and perform priestly functions yet do not know the Lord. V12.
There are many ministers in the Body of Christ who have no knowledge of the Lord neither His power of Resurrection because they either have forgotten the foundation of His word or were not trained by it. Their behaviour is far from Christ-likeness and this is abomination to the Lord. There was absence of worship and absence of God's presence. How can we win battle against the enemy without being pure and holy? As priesthood of believers, we are set apart to be holy.
The ark of the covenant was not treasured and the Israelites consider the Ark as a source of victory as demonstrated by their attitude to bring the Ark to the camp after the first defeat of the Philistines. 1 Samuel 4:3. David considered the Ark as God's presence. The Philistines however, considered the Ark as 'God has entered the camp' and were filled with much fear for they remembered the awesomeness of the Ark of God whom they consider as God who killed the Egyptians. V7. As a result of their attitude, Israel lost 30,000 men, v10 and Eli's sons perished. The ark was captured which broke Eli's heart who died as a result of the news of the capture of the Ark. V17-18. God does not want us always to be babes in Christ but to know Him and the Power of His Resurrection like Apostle Paul. Knowing Him deeper and heeding His commandments and statutes is what He desires of us. Being a priest and having no knowledge of God, our accountability is greater. Turning our backs to God will eventually end in tragedy. God wants a spiritual person not a religious one that is respectable which will end in bitter sorrow.
The Philistines then brought the Ark to Ashdod the third city remaining unconquered by Joshua. Ashdod means fortress and the place of defilement. It has grown so powerful that it was capable of conquering the Holiest of all - the Ark of the covenant which David considered as the Lord's presence be with him. The ark was placed at the temple of Dagon, a vile filthy heathen idol. Dagon fell because of the Judgement of God but not before the Lord was subjected to defilement and shame. The unholy or defiled cannot match the presence of the Holiest God. This event would not have occurred if the Anakims at their weakest point were dealt with by Joshua. We meet the name of Ashdod again in tomorrow's lesson.
Hence, we must deal with defilement, shame and inferiority while they are at their weakest point and not bury them in our thoughts that can be a menace to us through oppression which Satan used them as weakness and place in our thoughts meant to destroy us and our future. God cannot tolerate defilement and you cannot have victory with defilement. Eli's sons treated the Holy sacrifices with contempt is another source of defilement. Defilement cannot overcome the enemy so let us resist them and be cleansed and be holy. Though God forgives, we are accountable for our actions. God be praised for His mighty power to save!
Prayer: Lord guard our heart and mind against every oppressive thought the enemy might have gained access to our soul. We would still sing of the Lord that He is a forgiving God as we repent for every defiled act in our life. Let not Your glory depart from us for we are in need of you every minute and every hour. In Jesus’s name, Amen.