TOPIC: Lily In The Mud (DCLM Daily Manna 7 July 2021)
TEXT: 1 Samuel 2:12-36
12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.
13 And the priests’ custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand;
14 And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.
15 Also before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.
16 And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.
17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.
18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.
19 Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
20 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home.
21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.
22 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.
24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress.
25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.
26 And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.
27 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house?
28 And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel?
29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?
30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.
31 Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house.
32 And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever.
33 And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age.
34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.
35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.
36 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests’ offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.
KEY VERSE: “And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.” – (1 Samuel 2:26)
The lily is a flower that grows out of a mud or mucky water without being adversely affected by the dirt that characterises its environment. Despite the putrefying conditions around it, the lily maintains its splendour and pristine nature and colour. This best describes the life of young Samuel while he was in the house of Eli.
The text today reveals how Samuel lived a godly life in the midst of the perverted children of Eli. Eli’s sons desecrated what ought to be a holy worship to God by appropriating more than their due in the meat for sacrifice; taking the meat ahead of the burning of the fat contrary to the divine precept set out in Leviticus and defiling women that served at the door of the tabernacle. Their actions and Eli’s inability to curtail these excesses displeased the Lord who sent His messenger to deliver a message of an impending destruction and replacement of Eli’s family priesthood starting with the death of his two sons. It was in the midst of this corrupt and perverted people that Samuel lived, yet uncorrupted.
The godly life of the young Samuel in Eli’s house despite glaring ungodly influences poses a challenge to every believer today. As corrupted and defiled as the sons of Eli were, Samuel still chose to live an enviable holy life. Many supposed believers today cringe under the weight of the pervading ungodliness around them. Yet, the more the world gets corrupted, the more believers are expected to live transparently holy, honest and enviable lives. No excuse is acceptable to God for a believer to join the bandwagon of evildoers.
Just as Samuel, Joseph and Daniel remained as lily in spite of the corrupted environment they lived, believers can also rise from the mud and blossom; glow and radiate despite the darkness around them.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Character is key in assessing a man in a defiled environment.
THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR:
2 Kings 14-15
DCLM Daily Manna was written by Pastor W. F. Kumuyi; is the founder and General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church situated at KM 42 on the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Nigeria.