THE KING’S BUSINESS
dares to give the lie to God and to His Son Jesus Christ. v. 13. “For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity he knoweith; because his sons made themselves vile and h e 'restrained them not.” These are strong words that every parent will do well to meditate today. The one who knows of iniquity and does not protest against it, and who, when he sees his children going wrong, restrains them not, a terrific judg ment awaits him from God. Eli had made an attempt to restrain his sons (ch. 2:23- 25) but the attempt was a weak and inef fectual one—God does not take such at tempts into account. Eli was a foolishly indulgent parent and sacrificed the inter ests of God’s people and God Himself to his inexcusable tenderness toward his pre sumptuously sinning and godless sons. God laid their sins where they belonged, at Eli’s door. Usually much of the sin of children belongs at the door of their parents. Too many parents today pity themselves, and too few upbraid themselves, for the vices of their children. v. 19. "Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and did let none of his words fall to the ground.” This is a wonderful summary that we have here of the young manhood of Samuel. It sounds very like the summary that Luke gives us of the youth and young manhood of our LORD (Luke 2:40, 52). If God is with one, even though he is a child, his words will be effective. If we wish our words to stand, it is far more important to have God with us and looking out for our words than it is to employ a press agent, though the latter seems to be the method most cultivated by some today. v. 20.' “And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was establish ed to be the prophet of the LORD.” We have those today, who are quite sure that they are prophets of the LORD but how few there are of whom all God’s people know it too. But now and then God raises up one such.
Behold, I will do a thing in Israel at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.” God’s message is not always a message of gentleness and grace. Because of man’s unfaithfulness and sin, God’s mes sage oftentimes must be a message of stern est judgment. Our God is not at all the God that is preached in many a popular pulpit today, a good-natured being who will speak only smooth things, no matter what man does. He will sometimes speak stern things even against those who have been His faithful servants, as Eli had been at one time in his history. No matter what a man has been, if he is now faithless to God and sacrificing the interests of God for the sake of the supposed interests of his own family, the God who has once dealt in grace “will do a thing at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.” v. 12. “I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken.” The word of God stands fast no matter how terrible it may be, He performs all that He speaks, “from the beginning even unto the end” (see R. V. cf. Luke 21:32; Num. 23:19). Not one single word of God’s Word of threaten ing will fail, just as not one single word of His promises will fail. God’s declara tions of judgment some times seem so Stern, so appalling, that we would feign tone them down, but God did with Eli and his family just what He said He would; and God will do with the impenitent today just what He says He will do, stern and appalling as it appears. We may hear Him saying to us today, as He said to Samuel of old, “I will perform all things which I have spoken from the beginning even unto the end.” God’s Word about the house' of Eli was dreadful (ch. 2:27-34) but it was fulfilled to the very letter (1 Kings 2:27), God’s threatenings are as sure as His promises (Joshua 23:15; Zech. 1:6); His word con cerning eternal punishment will stand as fast as His word concerning eternal life (Matt. 25:46). Who dares to question it,
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