We mentioned about Hannah’s prayer of praise yesterday and will not be repeating that again today.
Now Samuel was brought to the temple for Eli to raise. Not sure if Hannah did a background check on Eli’s credentials to bring up a child but if she did, she would have been most alarmed.
Eli had two sons – Hophni and Phinehas – who were also priests.
But they were terrible priests. They had no regard for the Lord and were wicked (2 Sam 2:12). As a priest, they should be taking care of the tabernacle and the altar. They should be shining examples for the people to follow. Instead they abused their position, greedy and insensitive and often took advantage of the people. In fact, they had scant respect for God and their sin was very great before God (2 Sam 2:17).
Hophni and Phinehas should know better than to abuse their sacred positions. The sons of the first high priest, Aaron, had acted improperly and was judged and killed as a result (Lev 10:1-3; Num 3:4; 26:60-61).
While Eli’s sons sinned, Samuel grew both physically and spiritually. More importantly, just like Jesus many years later, he “… grew in stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.” ~ 2 Sam 2:26
There was a problem in the house of God where the priests were not fulfilling their roles as intended by God. The priesthood had been strong under Aaron, but now was crumbling under Eli. As we read the later chapters, we see that Samuel will begin to restore the integrity that has been lost. No other priest in Israel’s history is worthy to serve as a priest eternally. But the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy in verse 35 will be found in Jesus.
Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever.
~ 2 Sam 2:35
So what did I get out of today’s reading?
What kind of priest am I today in the house of God?
Are we more like the sons of Eli – doing things our way, using our so-called authority to get things? Or are we like Samuel?
In the midst of all the deviant teachings around, we must learn to be like Samuel – growing up in the favour of God and men. And the only way to grow in favour of God is to keep His commandments and to do according to His word.
And we will never know what is His word if we never read it.