In our Ecclesia (meeting of called out ones) meeting today, we decided to study the book of 1st Samuel together and share lessons from it. It was quite exciting, watching people read their Bibles and digging into the wealth of treasures in it.
We learnt a lot of things, and have we have always admonished ourselves, those who hear and do nothing, are building, and those who hear and act, are also building. The difference in what they are building is not different in appearance, it’s only different when the storm comes to test the foundation of each man’s work. These lessons are not learnt, until they have impact on your behaviour and actions! The scriptures were written for our learning and correction, as you glean from these lessons, may your life never remain the same again!
Lesson 1: On Prayer!
You can pray every year, and pray daily if you like. God does not hear your prayer until it is in line with His will! You see, it’s not about you! It’s about God and his purpose, and about finding a way to align with it!
For years Hannah prayed for a Son, without luck. For years God looked for a Prophet to replace the lost order of the priesthood of the family of Eli without finding. The day Heaven’s cry was voiced, was the Day Hannah committed to offer her Son to God, in exchange for giving birth and proving her womanhood! Once your request aligns with the NEED of Heaven, then your answers are unstoppable!
Quit praying amiss. Learn to plug into God’s agenda!
Lesson 2: Of Faith for Prayer
Hannah’s countenance changed as soon as she got a word from God! As soon as the priesthood of the day declared that her prayers were answered, she went to eat, and brightened up her face. The best time to start rejoicing is when God has spoken!
Lesson 3: Of Man’s Responsibility and God’s Arrangements
Thought Hannah’s prayers were answered, she still needed to sleep with her husband. The bible records as soon as Elkanah and his wife slept together, God began to make arrangements. God moved into action, when we have done our part.
Lesson 4: Of Thanksgiving
Start giving thanks once God has spoken about your situation! Thank Him when you see His promise, thank Him after! Thank God for who HE is, not only for what He has done! Ensure you acknowledge that it’s not about us or our strengths it’s all about God! Hannah demonstrated this in Chapter 2:1-10
We also realised that you can’t out give God! Really you can’t even give to God, because what you want to give Him, He gave to you in the first place. Keep an attitude of gratitude, knowing that once you do His will, he’ll overwhelm you with everything else. Hannah had 5 other children after Samuel!
Lesson 5: Of God’s Capacity to Change His Mind!
It is true that God’s gifts and callings are without repentance, but God can change his covenant if we are inconsistent and become unfaithful. God declared, I have told you that your family will serve me forever, not anymore! If you don’t make it a practice to honor God, God will not honor you. If you don’t honor God, you will be lightly esteemed. God may leave his ribbon on you as a branch, but He’ll still cut you off and throw you into the fire.
Lesson 6: Of Leadership Vacancy!
We learnt first hand that once you see corruption in leadership, Heaven has declared a vacancy! The two great indexes of corruption back then are still it today, In Church it is covetousness– Misappropriation of God’s tithes and offering, and temple sex! In basic English it’s lack of accountability for God’s resources and sleeping around! The priests did this back then, and the world has not changed! In the Nation it’s the same parameters!
We learnt that evil and wrong doing may seem to hold sway, but God is always working behind the scene and building the ministry of Samuel while the ministry of Eli is still alive. God doesn’t use our time or calendar, He is patient, but His judgment is SURE!
God’s replacements often don’t look like it, and come from unlikely, least suspected quarters, but the Work of God started before your complaints. While the House of Eli was getting worse, the house of Samuel was growing gradually. Things always get darkest the hour before dawn. Expect things to get worse before they turn around for better!
We learnt that Eli’s problem was that he spoke to His children. He did not restrain them. His problem was also that his arms were causing him to SIN and he did not cut them off! Eli is not permitted to simply warn his children. God expects a lot more from leaders and holds them accountable for their public silence. We saw firsthand, that you can’t get away with it, God is patient, not unjust!
Eli died with his Sons and got a curse that seemed quite extreme! God cut of his “arm” and his father’s “arm” from the priesthood of Israel. What you don’t deal with, will ultimately deal with you. When you tell God to do what he likes, you won’t like what he does!
Lesson 7: Of Weak Spiritual Leadership… to be Continued.