|설교본문||1 Samuel 4:12-22|
|설교 한 주일||May 16, 2010|
“Also Your Two Sons…”
1 Samuel 4: 12-22
(Reading of 1 Samuel 4:12 –22 NIV)
12 That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh, his clothes torn and dust on his head. 13 When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry.
14 Eli heard the outcry and asked, "What is the meaning of this uproar?"
The man hurried over to Eli, 15 who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes were set so that he could not see. 16 He told Eli, "I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day."
Eli asked, "What happened, my son?"
17 The man who brought the news replied, "Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured."
18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man and heavy. He had led Israel forty years.
19 His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. 20 As she was dying, the women attending her said, "Don't despair; you have given birth to a son." But she did not respond or pay any attention.
21 She named the boy Ichabod, saying, "The glory has departed from Israel"-because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, "The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured."
In that time, Palestine is actually located between Canaan and Egypt. The forces of Egypt always press Palestine into Canaan area so they have all the time to go battle – problems with Canaan people (Israelites) and Palestine. Palestine was a kind of enemy in Israelites’ history. The first thing we want to see is that there is one family named Eli, one of the priests. Eli had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas; but two sons who are very weak. In King James translation, it says son of Baal which means very much against God. Remember, one priest, just like a Pastor or Reverend, he has two sons but they were so weak against God. That is one problem in a family (In this month of May is our month of family). Throughout one family here named Eli, we would like to see the situation what we are facing today.
Eli had served the Lord as a priest for about forty years before he died. Some scroll in Dead Sea shows some note of the text in Samuel that Eli was about or more than 90 years old that time. The two sons in that family know how to serve the Lord; they have sacrifices. According to the Bible, when they have sacrifices, all the fat is to be burned and they can cook the other meat. Then the master of that offering, they share according to their portion. But the two sons of that family had a kind of hook that even before the sacrifice is being cooked to be presented, they ask, “Give that sacrifice to me.” This is something similar like this – that two sons, a family of one priest, they got everything what they want to get from the temple.
Not only that, what about the temple in that time? The temple, according to the Bible, the word of God was very rare which means that God never spoke in that day. Not only that, the vision also was very rare. Without vision, how can possibly Israelites will do according to the will of God? Even for example, in the church, in the life of a family – the family has two sons like Hophni and Phinehas; they are doing against the will of God and in the church there’s no word of God is to be preached. For example, Pastor Bang’s preaching is not the word of God but he says something about politics, something about stocks, something about money, something about invest, how to get rich – this is a kind of symptoms that church has no word of God; so that through that word, people could not get any vision.
The family has problem; the temple has problem. What about their nation? Actually they were fighting in the battle line; Israelites fought against Palestine but they were defeated so about four thousand people died in that day. They decided to bring the Ark of God to the battle line. When the Israelites learned that the Ark of God was in the battle line, all the soldiers were so excited, “Wow! The battle is ours. We will win against the Palestine!” Then the people of Palestine were like melting down because they have heard from the beginning how the God of Israelites made such wonders and miracles even on how God escaped His people out of Egypt from Pharaohs. When Palestine heard about the Ark of God moving into their frontline, they were very much down as they think that they were almost dying. Then they fought. Do you know what happened? Israelites had the Ark of God and all the spirit of the Palestine soldiers were down but in that battle the Israelites were defeated again with the ark of God. Do you know how many died? I think it’s about eight thousand.
I’m just telling you about one family – Eli’s family’s situation. I just want to tell you about the situation in the temple. What about the society and all the Israelites? They trust the Ark of God, but how possibly that they were defeated with the Ark of God with them? What is the use of the Ark of God if there is no God, if His presence is not there? What is the use of rubbing (signing of) the cross everytime when you are passing by a church if there is no God? People believed the power of the ark of God, but not God Himself. When I take the taxi in Manila, I don’t know why the taxi drivers cross (sign of the cross) like this. I asked, “Why you do that?” He answered, “Because there’s the church.” Why don’t you just make churches along the road, without space for the sake of the drivers that they will not have any accident?
The Israelites that time trust the Ark of God. I’m just telling you three things today: one family, the church situation, and the society. How about our family? How about our sons and daughters? Do you know why the sons of Eli were so useless persons? According to the Bible, it is because Eli honored his sons more than God. That is what Bible tells us. Eli had rumors and all the very bad reputation about his sons. He was a spiritual leader in that community of Israelites. If I were him, I would kill my sons. Their father was a priest! Not only their father but also their grandfather, not only that because actually, Eli is a descendant of the chosen priest family. When Eli had some rumors and bad reputation from people, he should have rebuked his sons very seriously.
I remember my mother who is always pressing my neck when I am against the spiritual life. My mother used to say that, “You die, I die, same, same die! (In Korean translation)” On Wednesdays, I remember my mother said to me, “It’s Wednesday, you have to go to the church. I’ll wait for you in the church (because my mother was working before at church).” But that time, 7:00 o’clock on Wednesday, I stayed home because I have friends at home. Not only I, my two younger brothers also are with me. I asked them, “Let’s don’t go to the church, we have friends here.” Then it’s already 7:30 and I feel very comfortable because I thought my mother is already okay. But then, 7:31, my mother came to our house without saying anything, then locked the doors and beat me a lot without saying anything. I almost die; that is why I am short now because of that time. I almost die, I remember. Then my mother cried; actually I have to cry because of many bruise I got but mother was the one crying.
What did Eli’s two sons do in the temple? Eli’s two sons had something with women in the temple who was serving some ritual things. The two sons used to or in certain agreement, slept together with the women inside the temple. And their father Eli kept quiet! One spiritual leader, the two sons, and all the ministry in that temple have no any right! Dear brothers and sisters, today I’m just telling you the situation – not only the family, not only the church, but also the entire society of Israelites has been corrupted. Do you know where that corruption comes? From parents to their sons and daughters. Do you know why God called Samuel? Do you know what is the first task of Samuel? As you know that when he was just a little one, God called him and God said to Samuel in his first encounter with God, his very first role was, “You tell your boss…(or your Pastor, Barangay Captain, President) that I will destroy you.” That was Samuels’ first mission. We admire Samuel; he was good, great priest and prophet. But I don’t like to be like Samuel if I say some bad word like if I have to go to Malacañang, or to mayor’s office, or to Pastor, “Pastor, God called me last night. Your two sons has problem in the church! Your two sons get all the offerings in their pocket so God said that He will destroy you and your sons.” I don’t like to do that but that was the first mission of Samuel.
Let’s see the two families – Hanna’s family – Hanna is like a barren woman as she has no any chance to get baby so she prayed. She loved God so and she prayed every day for a son. Eli, when he saw Hanna, “You are drunk, go home.” But when he saw his two sons, “You are my son that I loved. Don’t do that! I heard very bad reputation my son. I love you, don’t do that ah…” He should kill them in front of people. That was the two families. Maybe you are thinking that, “Pastor, you are not human; you are not humanist.” I’m sorry to tell you this, in the Lord please don’t mention that word – humanist. “Pastor, how can you say…you will really kill your son?” No, I will not kill my son; I’ll torture him until I keep his life. Listen to the word of God or not?
Why did I preach this, do you know? We have new leader in our country. We had new leaders before. We have our own sons and daughters, also we have a church. We have our community and our country. Corruption comes from one man like you and me. Before we see anyone, don’t say that our country or somebody is corrupt. See ourselves first and keep ourselves very clean for the Lord. Do not shake hands with darkness. Samuel’s role was to bring the light into the darkness. Who will be that Samuel in these days? If you see the darkness, if you see the corruption, who will be the Samuel – you and your family? Amen. Maybe SFCF? Maybe others will say, “What kind of church we have in these days? What kind of Pastors we have?” Don’t say that. Why don’t you be like Samuel to bring the light into the darkness? May God bless you. Be like Samuel.
Rev. David Bang