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
In 1 Samuel Chapter 2, God forewarns Eli that his time, and his family’s time, is up because of the evil Eli’s sons have committed, and the fact Eli tolerated it. Shortly thereafter God shares his plan with Samuel. God let Samuel know the plan and the reason for the plan.
Imagine what Samuel might have been thinking:
All this time I was wondering. I was wondering if maybe the times were changing and the new generation, you know Hophni and Phinehas, might be representing the new wave.
I knew Eli taught me that the sacrifice is what the Israelites did to honor and show reverence to God. Eli explained how the primary kind of offerings required the slaughter of the animal and the blood was poured around the altar. The blood contained life. The blood is the vehicle of life. Eli said because the blood contains life, and because it is given to YOU in the process of pouring it about the altar, it becomes the means of expiating sin, as an offering for sin. That’s what Eli said. Eli told me that sin forms a barrier between YOU and us.
I remember, one day, thinking, maybe Hophni and Phinehas were like the animals slaughtered. Maybe, they had bled to death. Maybe, somewhere along the line, they had become lifeless.
After a long, solemn pause I imagine a big smile coming across Samuel’s face while thinking:
But now I know!
The temple. This is the place where God and man meet. This is where we come to worship God. This is a place where we show our adoration for all YOU have done for us. This is the place where we recognize Who YOU are and all that YOU have done for us by honoring YOUR ways.
Wow, God! I didn’t realize how strongly you felt about what was going on. These are YOUR people. The Israelites. YOUR chosen people and not only were Eli’s sons disrespecting their Dad but they were dishonoring YOU. I get it. I get it now. After today, I will wonder no more.
Be Strengthened and Encouraged in HIM,