It’s amazing how the double-edged sword of God’s Word can cut through your heart and bring deep-rooted conviction—even when you’re at work!
I was meditating on 1 Samuel 2 this afternoon, when I could feel the Word of God just pierce my heart sharply. I felt the Lord saying to me: “Are you taking more than what is in your fork?”
A little hurt (with the piercing) and confused (with the questioning), I went back to read the chapter. Here’s what it said in verses 13 to 17:
Now it was the practice of the priests with the people that whenever anyone offered a sacrifice and while the meat was being boiled, the servant of the priest would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand. He would plunge it into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot, and the priest would take for himself whatever the fork brought up. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. But even before the fat was burned, the servant of the priest would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give the priest some meat to roast; he won’t accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.”
If the man said to him, “Let the fat be burned up first, and then take whatever you want,” the servant would then answer, “No, hand it over now; if you don’t, I’ll take it by force.”
This sin of the young men was very great in the LORD’s sight, for they were treating the LORD’s offering with contempt.
The priests were meant to take only what came in their fork. But, Eli’s sons were impatient. They didn’t want to wait for the meat to boil. They didn’t like being in a place of insecurity of not knowing how much meat the fork would come back with. They didn’t trust the Lord to give them enough meat through the God-ordained way. No! They wanted what they were going to get anyway—but much sooner than they were meant to!
How often has God promised us blessing in His time and in His way; but we, in our impatience, have tried to manipulate that blessing and find a short-cut to it? I felt the Lord speak to me when I read this and ask me: “Are you willing to wait for the right time to get what you are due? Or do you want to fiddle with your blessings?”
I know this Word is for me as much as for someone reading this: Let’s not get ahead of ourselves and try to quicken what God is doing in our lives. Doing that just means we don’t trust that He is able enough to provide us the best in our fork at the appointed time. Let’s not be greedy like Eli’s sons and make our needs known to everyone around us but to God. Remember—Hannah’s silent prayer in private resulted in a powerful answer, but Eli’s sons’ open declaration of their need for meat was considered as “great sin in the Lord’s sight”.
Another thing that the Lord spoke from this passage was this: Eli’s sons treated the Lord’s offerings with contempt. This means they disregarded that which was God’s and took it for granted.
Our offerings to God represent the amount of time we spend with Him, our worship, our commitment to our God-given ministry, our giving, and our input in His Kingdom! Every time we compromise on any of these and don’t give God our best; we’re treating His offerings with contempt.
Our God is definitely a God of great compassion, slow to anger and abundant in love. But, let’s not forget that He is also a God who searches our hearts, judges our motives and disciplines us as He sees fit.
“Those who honour me I will honour, but those who despise me will be disdained.” (1 Sam 2:30b)
Church, let’s be a people that highly regard the things of God—His timing, His presence, His Word, His calling, His voice and His direction in our lives!
Let us give Him our best today and trust that He is able to give us His best in our forks!