Depiction of Eli and Samuel by John Singleton Copley 1780.
Below, Eli is in the interior doors, closest to the above painting, hearing Hannah when Hannah prays for a child.
Actually Shiloh held the Temple of the Lord before the Temple in Jerusalem, built by Solomon. And looks more like this:
1 Samuel 1:9-14
9 After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. 11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
12 As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. 14 And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.”
We are in the fifth post of our sermon series for Prophets. :)
We seen highlights from our conviction that prophets are Thunders for God, Bold, Hard as Iron, Fierce as Lions for the Truth, Undeniably Rude, while Hammering Away for a Thundering GOD.
Nathan creatively made David see his sin. David named a son for Nathan. Nathan wanted David to live to be old and on God's path. Nathan was there in the room, with a very old David, as he joined the baby David called a child.
Samuel mourned Saul. He could Not make Saul do what God wanted. Samuel must have failed, but actually Samuel said in weakness to Father GOD - "Please don't make me anoint another king now. It makes people uncomfortable." And Samuel did as God asked. Learning, (a prophet learning?) God looks at the heart of David. Samuel as a small child - had an open heart for God.
(Those Scriptures - they are so awful presenting these Prophets of God as Perfect - Sheesh, so unreal to see these perfect people - um where?)
Jonah didn't love. He was never used as a Prophet of God again, after he whined about the redemption of God's beloved creation - mankind.
Abraham doesn't seem like a Prophet. Yet we see he asked God for mercy for life. And he believed the promises of God and lived his life for them. Just like Jesus' foster father Joseph, Abraham looked to be merciful. Not entirely understanding God's promises completely.
Moses we see also follows God's plan. Moses had relationships, when we see how God utilized Moses and the people around Moses. Moses wanted his gift to encourage more people. In the same way the early Church was built upon encouragement in relationships. God calls us to speak up.
How could Jacob be a Prophet? Jacob felt completely certain, in his difficult life, he had godly blessings to bestow upon his sons to be felt for generations. Jacob believed God and this is counted to him as righteousness. These blessings, today, influence the world we live in. Jacob, all his life, contended with God.
Which brings us to Eli !!- These prophets are perfect. Unlike the television evangelists in the 1980s in the United States. Well. Not exactly. Moses did not tie up the Exodus. Neither did Joshua. David was still fighting for the Tribe of Judah to reclaim Jerusalem 500 or more years later.
John Wesley, - Westminster Abbey
"GOD BURIES HIS WORKMEN, BUT CARRIES ON HIS WORK" .
Surely, a very important concept.
Eli made mistakes. He starts out our narrative by accusing godly Hannah of being drunk in the Temple from his lofty perch. We surely discover prophets are fallible. Eli has a problem he shares with Samuel - both prophets have sons remembered as - let's have some Christian charity here - problem sons. Joshua couldn't persuade the men to go into God's Promised Land - Joshua tried and they wouldn't listen to him. However, that mistake gave him a heck of a career. I think God saw Joshua as a favored one from then on. God tends to be a heart observer, more than a score one for the gipper guy. A relevant point for today and our lives.
Moses abandoned his family as well as these other guys, for "the cause". And he spoke so harshly to the troops that he was sent down like Patton. Failed to complete the mission when given next generation technology.
Abraham decided God likes take charge men. Listened to his wife and took advantage of a slave girl - who wanted to run away and die - from their drama. And she would have, if God had not intervened. Abraham saved his nephew and cared to go eyeball to eyeball with God on the topic of "Are You Merciful Enough, God?" Abraham believed God was God and cared to step up to the plate for others.
Jonah left a legacy of myth. Sure, we see the Assyrian Empire decided to bypass God's Nation - but surely this Jonah was a myth. I think not. All things are possible with God. And Jonah didn't love, which displeased God. End of Jonah's career.
Nathan played king maker a little too happily. I'm just sayin.
So, back to Eli. How does Eli come to have qualities endearing him to the top spot - Prophet. Eli said, "Let His Word be done." And accepted God's just judgments. Eli - Never - looked at Samuel surpassing him in Spirit and said, "Get behind me." Eli loved Father GOD and wanted to see God to go forth in glory. Eli did not whine. Make straight the paths of the Lord. He encouraged Samuel along. Seeking God's Glory.
I sing a song of the saints of God,
patient and brave and true,
who toiled and fought and lived and died
for the Lord they loved and knew.
And one was a doctor, and one was a queen,
and one was a shepherdess on the green;
they were all of them saints of God, and I mean,
God helping, to be one too.
2. They loved their Lord so dear, so dear,
and his love made them strong;
and they followed the right for Jesus' sake
the whole of their good lives long.
And one was a soldier, and one was a priest,
and one was slain by a fierce wild beast;
and there's not any reason, no, not the least,
why I shouldn't be one too.
3. They lived not only in ages past;
there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints
who love to do Jesus' will.
You can meet them in school, on the street, in the store,
in church, by the sea, in the house next door;
they are saints of God, whether rich or poor,
and I mean to be one too
1 John 2:1
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous