2018 Women's Rally Guest Speaker in New York City May 03 2018
Message based on 1 Samuel
- Today I would like to recap a true story for you. One that, perhaps we all know very well. Still, I believe it is worth retelling especially in light of the Theme of this gathering…
- LET US PRAY
- This is the story of Samuel and Eli…
- If you remember, Hannah was barren, she could not have any children. She prayed earnestly to the Lord for a Child even promising that, should she be granted a child,
- with joy and gladness she would dedicate him to the Lord. Eli the priest, having learned of the reason for her earnest prayer to the Lord, blessed Hannah in the name of the Lord. Thus, God granted her a son. Samuel.
- When Samuel was weened, Hanah brought him to the temple as she had promised the Lord. There she dedicated Samuel to the Lord and entrusted him to the care of the high priest, Eli. Whom she saw as a man of God, a man who trusted, believed, and obeyed the commands of God.
- So from that time on, Samuel lived at the temple with the high priest, Eli, as his mentor.
- Now, Eli had two sons, whom the scripture described as wicked, before going on to say that they had
- no respect for the LORD
- They did not know the LORD.
- They earned these description from God because they were trusted as servants of God in His temple. And instead of serving the Lord they served themselves.
- The word of God said,
- They violated the Law by keeping and eating meat from the sacrifices that was not allocated to them (put this in modern terms, a pastor who takes the tithe and offering for themselves). In fact the scripture also said concerns this matter, they “treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.”
- To add insult to injury, they also had sex with the women who served at the doorway to the tent of meeting (1 Samuel 2:22).
- The bad behavior of Eli’s sons was apparently widely known, as evident in 2:24 (1 Samuel 2:24)
- What made this even worst was the fact that as high priest, reports came back to Eli. He was the man in charge, he had a responsibility to uphold the commands of God and hold the servants of God, accountable regardless of who they are.
- But what did Eli do, When he found out about these things, he did rebuked his sons…… but failed to make them stop, allowing them to continue to profane the temple of the living God. (1 Samuel 2:25).
- Because of this, Eli, could scarcely see the truth anymore because he chose to turn a blind eye, and if you cannot see the truth, you are powerless to overcome deception, greed, exploitation, and all the other forms of evil which seeks to steal, kill, and destroy the body of Christ.
- In part because we become desensitize to evil, thus we justify and rationalize why it’s …not ….so…. bad. We begin to co-exit with it. But God does not co-exits with Evil.
- 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
- This is in part why Eli could neither readily see nor hear the voice God anymore.
- He placed the desires and the will of man above the commands of God and thus good morals became ruin…. and the effects was catastrophic…
- The Lord, said to Eli, “Why (then) do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above Me…”
- ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be disgraced.
- 1. The catastrophic effects starting with the women who were hurt and abused by Eli’s sons
- 2. The people lost trust in the leaders of the temple of God
- 3. a father, Eli, lost his two sons who both died on the same day
- 4. Next, Eli, was no longer an effective mentor to Samuel because he could neither see the leading of the Lord clearly, nor was he able to discern the voice of the Lord as readily as He once did.
- As the story Progresses we see the evidence of Eli’s increasing blindness…. It took the Lord calling Samuel 3 times,
- before a seasoned veteran in the service of the Lord could recognize His master’s voice. Jesus said, my sheep knows my voice and a strangers voice they shall flee.
- Eli, not only put himself at risk of following strangers voice because he was no longer able to distinguish immediate His master’s voice from that of a strangers and thus he put not only himself but his mentee, Samuel, at risk of following a strangers voice.
- A commentator on this passage wrote the following concerning Samuel’s sight: “…understand this is not the eyes of his body, but of his mind; and that the Holy Spirit, as a spirit of prophecy, was departing from him, because of his con-ni-vance (or allowance of) the sins of his sons;…” Which further made it difficult for him to recognize movement of the Lord.
- Sisters, we all desire for the eyes of our hearts to be open. So that we may clearly see the Lord.
- The reality is this, Jesus Christ has already given everything for us to be able to see Him,
- His will,
- His plan,
- His purpose.
- Christ has entrusted us with His temple, just as He had trusted Eli with His temple. The challenge is, many of us have blinded ourselves, because we like Eli, have honored our will’s, our ideals, our desires above that of God. How can He trust us with more when we have not been faithful with a little.
- Look around you Sisters, look where you are.
- Besides being in this place right here and right now…..
- How can others distinguish us as servants of the Living God rather than servants of the world? Can they tell the difference?
- Can someone look at our words, our thoughts, ours deeds,
- what we have chosen to do and what we have chosen not to do,
- the places we chosen to go and have chosen not to go.
- The kind of stuff we have brought in and have allowed in the house of God.
- Can they truly look at us and say, indeed this is a woman of the most high God.
- Ones eyes can only be open WHEN we choose to Honor Jesus Christ above ourselves and above humanity. When we allow His commands, regardless of how the world may view us, to preside over and permeate every aspect of our lives. Our work, our family, our leisure, our hobbies. everything.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Contemplate the Lord’s own words is this final true story, a story Jesus Himself told…
THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS…
LAZARUS died, Jesus said, and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side.
The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades/ HELL, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, … between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.
’30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’31 But Abraham said, 'If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, if one rise from the dead.”
In other words Sisters, they have the word of God. Any Hebrew would have understood this story. The first 5 book of the Bible in Hebrew is also known as the Laws of Moses. and the Prophets are all the Prophetic books of the Old Testament. So without a doubt in This story
Jesus is saying. This rich man’s brothers have the Word and Testimonies of God. If they do not trust, believe, and live the Word of God, how could they possibly believe when the power of God’s word is manifested.
Jesus said, These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,
and again when Jesus had opened the scroll in the temple and read from the prophet Isaiah
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.”
He rolled up the scrolled and Said
“Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing”
Yet when Jesus sat out to do just that, he made the lame to walk, the blind to see, they Crucified Him because they could not recognize their Savior.
Because, they chose their understanding and perceptions over the Lord. The same charge brought against Eli and his sons was brought against them. “Why (then) do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above Me…”
For ones eyes to be opened. One must first believe in God’s word and trust Him enough to obey His commands even when it is uncomfortable to do so. Even if you have to call out your sons and daughters, honor the Lord above all and He will not only honor you, He will also remove the scales from your eyes.