Often we are oblivious to God’s blessings. We succumb to the world’s perspective that things “just happen” and we “earned” it all. While in some regards there is truth in the world’s words, there is a conflict between the underlying great Truth that undergirds many of the world, and Christians. Much of the world believes that there is no God or (at best) God “set and forgot” the world and walk away. Christians, on the other hand, believe that God is active and moving in the world, especially through the work of the Holy Spirit who works through each of us.
Eli was aware of God. Yet, he chose to disregard God’s blessings by allowing his sons and servants to ignore the Law about the sacrifices. What Eli was thinking is not written in the Scriptures. His response was either fatalistic or more along the lines of disbelief. One would think that disbelief was far from Eli’s thought process, especially with the morning’s revelations from Samuel. There is no sign or mention of repentance. Yes, Eli was upset with his sons, just not upset enough to place God before them.
The story of Saul follows a somewhat similar line as Saul’s behavior was a lack of faith in God. That lack of faith removed the kingdom of Israel from Saul’s (and his descendants’) hands before it was even firmly established. Saul’s efforts were vapor in the wind. Still, he strived and strived. Despite having had God-directed encounters, unbelief still ended up sending him down a path that wasn’t what he wanted.
Sometimes God calls us to great things. Sometimes God calls us to small things. From small to large, God calls us. Sometimes what we think are great things (that are beyond our abilities or gifts) are really only a collection of a lot of small (even tiny) little faithful steps of following God’s call on our lives. Sometimes it is only when we look back and see the little things stack up that we realize how large and great God’s call was on our lives.
No matter what stage of life we are in, we are always called to follow God into new things.
1) What do you think Eli’s s struggles were based on? Pride? Unfaithfulness? Tiredness?
2) Have you had a refreshing of God’s call on your life? If so, what it is? If not, will you pursue it?