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1 Samuel 2:22-4:22

I have heard it stated but I never, until today’s reading, saw it in scripture: God always warns us of impending judgment BEFORE judgment comes. Eli has been warned continually of his son’s behavior and does nothing about it. As High Priest, his responsibility was to teach the nation, yet he failed to even teach his sons. He may have rebuked them verbally but he never disciplined them. . But I believe the worst thing he committed was gorging himself on the fruit of his son’s misbehavior, stealing the sacrifices the people brought to the alter. Eli sent out mixed messages, what he said with his words was drowned out by the decibel level of his actions. He profited from his sons’ behavior and they new it, dulling the impact of his rebukes.

A man of God came to Eli and said to him, Thus has the Lord said: I plainly revealed Myself to the house of your father [forefather Aaron] when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh's house. Moreover, I selected him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer on My altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before Me. And I gave [from then on] to the house of your father [forefather] all the offerings of the Israelites made by fire. Why then do you kick [trample upon, treat with contempt] My sacrifice and My offering which I commanded, and honor your sons above Me by fattening yourselves upon the choicest part of every offering of My people Israel? (1 Samuel 2:27-29 AMP)

As we read on, we find this message delivered by the prophet wasn’t the first time Eli heard from God about his sons and him benefiting from his sons’ actions,

The Lord told Samuel, Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of all who hear it shall tingle. On that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. And I [now] announce to him that I will judge and punish his house forever for the iniquity of which he knew, for his sons were bringing a curse upon themselves [blaspheming God], and he did not restrain them. (1 Samuel 3:11-13 AMP)

I am wondering if I am seeing a pattern of how God operates. His warnings are first personal, maybe told to us in our prayer time or in dreams while we sleep. Then His warning is brought by a man of God, a prophet or other “church” worker. Finally a warning is made public in a public place, or house of worship, by someone who we are mentoring or someone who looks up to us. Then lastly, judgment comes.

My question to myself is this: How many warnings have I “blown off?” What has God been trying to get my attention about? Can I handle the embarrassment of being exposed in a public form? I think not.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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