Papa shared his opinion on the issue of Eli’s sons. He pointed out that as those in leadership, representing Yahweh, they incurred a stricter judgment. He also reminded me that Yahweh gives those whose hearts are hard over to their sin, as in Romans chapter one, and also to the wages of sin—death.
Yahweh’s call to Samuel, and Samuel’s quick answer was encouraging. I hope I am always as quick to answer the Lord, “Speak Lord, Thy servant listens.” It must have been distressing to Samuel to hear God’s judgment on Eli and his sons. I was struck through the story with the view of God’s sovereignty. At the time, the capture of the ark and the death of the priests—all of them—must have seemed like Yahweh forsaking His people! Instead, it was judgment on the wicked priests and Eli, who allowed their wickedness, as well as a reminder to the people that the ark was not a good luck charm. Yahweh is with his people when they are obedient and seek Him. But His plan was even larger than teaching the Israelites an important lesson—still He would not allow His name to be blasphemed among the Philistines. They thought they had triumphed over Him, but soon discovered that even their god Dagon must fall on his face in worship of Yahweh. When plagues swept through their cities, they knew it was the hand of Yahweh—and His hand continued to work in guiding the cows, bellowing all the way for their calves, to carry the ark home. Who had everything under control? Yahweh. Who got the glory? Yahweh. He is worthy!
Lord, Thou over rules our plans,
To show us Thou art not a man,
And though we do not understand
Thou still maintains control.
With circumstances that appear
To harm Thy purpose, Thou makes clear
That Thou redeemest, year by year,
Both circumstance and soul.