First Samuel 3 – 4

1 Samuel 3

The Eternal departed from among the people because they rejected living by every Word of God; this is precisely what is happening in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia.

1 Samuel 3:1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious [very scarce] in those days; there was no open vision.

Just like today there was no vision among God’s people because of their sins.  Then when Eli grew old and feeble and began to fall sleep in the early evening; YHVH spoke to Samuel in the night.

3:2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; 3:3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;

Samuel heard a voice calling him, and he ran to Eli supposing that Eli had called him.

3:4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 3:5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.

Samuel was called a second time and again he ran to Eli only to be told that he had not been called by Eli.

3:6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.

The young Samuel did not know that God might call to him.

3:7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

YHVH called to Samuel the third time and then Eli understood that God had called him.

God sometimes honors and speaks to those that are his and faithful to him in dreams and visions, sometimes by inspiration and sometime in a still small voice. God does not do this lightly, but does so for his own good purpose.

3:8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.

Eli then instructed Samuel how to respond to God.

3:9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

God may not speak personally to many in this manner; but he definitely speaks to us through his Word. Are we sensitive and listening to the whole Word of God to be zealous to learn it and to live by it?

Do we seek continually to fill ourselves with the nature of God; becoming fully like him by listening closely to his Word and keeping it, and by a continual prayerful consideration of all godliness?

3:10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

Jesus Christ then revealed directly to Samuel that the sons of Eli that had turned away from any zeal to keep the Word of God would be destroyed.  This is an example for us so that we might learn to be zealously faithful to live by every Word of God.

Spiritual Israel has in this latter day forgotten this lesson and has turned aside from the Word of God to follow our own proud and selfish ways just like the sons of Eli did.

Deuteronomy 5:32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. 5:33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

1 Samuel 3:11 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. 3:12 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.

This is an example for us that the Eternal will also judge those of Spiritual Israel who turn away from zeal for the Word of God, and that Jesus Christ will judge those leaders, teachers and elders who fail to rebuke and remove sin out of the assemblies of the Eternal!

3:13 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.

Will we learn from this terrible curse for Eli because he did not exercise his authority to rebuke sin and cast out the unrepentant wicked? Or will we continue in the same sin today?

The leaders, teachers and elders of today’s Spiritual Israel are under the same curse, for they do not teach any zeal for keeping the whole Word of God; and instead they teach the brethren to follow them as their idols in place of any zeal for the Word of God.

They say: “Follow God” but then they say that to follow us is to follow God, and so they deceive the brethren away from any zeal for God and into a certain zeal for idols of men.

3:14 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.

Samuel was afraid to tell Eli his beloved teacher and father figure, what God had said.

3:15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.

Eli asked the word of the Lord from Samuel.

3:16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 3:17 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.

Eli then accepted the judgment of the Eternal.

Eli must have been vexed by the behavior of his sons himself, and might have expected that this was coming; so he did not weep and tear his garments in agony of spirit and repentance and entreat the mercy of the Eternal.

3:18 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.

As he grew up Samuel became known for his wisdom and had the fruits of a prophet to the level that no man could deny that Samuel had been called to be a prophet of the Eternal.

What man ordained Samuel? Did not God personally call him and ordain him to the office of prophet?

My friends and brethren, in this latter day Spiritual Israel, very many were ordained by men because of organizational loyalty or personal talent who WERE NOT called by GOD to the office that they were ordained to by men.

Remember the words of Christ in Matthew 7: We are to judge the words of all men by the Word of God; and we are to believe only those people who have the fruits of the office that God has called them to. Which fruits must be consistent and backed by a continual zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God like Samuel.

3:19 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. 3:20 And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.

The Eternal began to have a very close relationship with Samuel, and was with the faithful Samuel.

3:21 And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

1 Samuel 4

Samuel became famous for his godly life, his godly wisdom and for his relationship with God; as God’s called out prophet.

1 Samuel 4:1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.

Israel went forth to fight the Philistines and was defeated in battle.

. . . Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek. 4:2 And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men.

Israel then reasoned among themselves and forgot their God, making an idol out of the Ark of the Covenant itself!

Dear brethren, I ask you if we have not done the same thing ourselves in this latter day spiritual Israel?   Just as they idolized the Ark [the throne of God] instead of the God who sat on that throne: Today’s Spiritual Ekklesia has made an idol out of our organizations,false traditions and human leaders!

4:3 And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.

Then the two sons of Eli brought the Ark down to the battle without first inquiring of the Lord. Thus doing what they decided in order to gain fame among the people for themselves, instead of inquiring what God would have them do.

It is even so in today’s Spiritual Israel today, we do as we please and we do not inquire of the Eternal as to what he would have us do.

4:4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

The Philistines also feared the Ark

4:5 And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang again. 4:6 And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the LORD was come into the camp.

The Philistines fear the Ark greatly seeing it as a mighty god [an idol] in itself.

Even so, today we love and exalt our organizations and leaders as idols above the Word of God, being filled with pride in our leaders, elders, false traditions and organizations and following them instead of living by every Word of God.

We even call God’s Sabbath holy and then we pollute it because our idols of men have encouraged us to do so!

4:7 And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore. 4:8 Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.

The Philistine leaders then encouraged their men to fight the good fight.

4:9 Be strong and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.

Hophni and Phinehas the sons of Eli, along with 30,000 were killed and the Ark was lost to the Philistines and the word of the Lord was fulfilled.

1 Samuel 3:11 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. 3:12 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.

1 Samuel 4:10 And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen. 4:11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.

A messenger comes to tell the people of the battle

4:12 And there ran a man of Benjamin out of the army, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes rent, and with earth upon his head.

Eli was sitting anxiously waiting for news

4:13 And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching: for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city, and told it, all the city cried out. 4:14 And when Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, What meaneth the noise of this tumult? And the man came in hastily, and told Eli.

Eli died hearing as his last words the fulfillment of the judgment of God.

4:15 Now Eli was ninety and eight years old; and his eyes were dim, that he could not see. 4:16 And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to day out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son? 4:17 And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken.

4:18 And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

On hearing of the death of her husband, Phinehas’ wife delivered a son and died in childbirth.

4:19 And his daughter in law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her. 4:20 And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it.

4:21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.

The glory [presence of God] was removed from Israel and  the ark was given by the hands of God to the Philistines; because of the transgressions of the priesthood of Eli and his sons which had led the people into sin.  Where is the glory of the presence of God in the congregations of the greater church of God organizations today?

The glory of the Eternal is his righteousness; and the glory of the son’s of God is their zeal to be like God their Father and to be righteous as HE is righteous; learning and living by every Word of God.

Today’s Spiritual Ekklesia has left off from any zeal for learning and keeping the whole Word of God; we have rejected his glorious righteousness in order to do what is right in our own eyes; cleaving to our false traditions and idols of men!

How can we escape the judgment and correction of Almighty God?

4:22 And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.

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