“And Samuel told him (Eli) every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the Lord: let Him do what seems Him good.” 1 Samuel 3:18
The Lord sent Samuel to warn Eli of the judgment that would come to Eli’s house for the iniquity which he knew. Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests who had made themselves vile and Eli did nothing to restrain or correct them. These sons of Eli would take illegal portions of the sacrifices the Israelites brought to them for a sacrifice unto the Lord. These evil priests caused the Israelites to loathe bringing their required sacrifices unto the Lord (1 Samuel 2:12-17).
Eli was warned by God and what was his reply? “…It is the Lord: let Him do what seems Him good.” (1 Samuel 3:18)
“And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek.
2 And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they joined battle, Israel was smitten before the Philistines: and they slew of the army in the field about four thousand men.
3 And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore has the Lord smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it comes among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.” 1 Samuel 4:1-3.
As Israel went out to battle against the Philistines, they were smitten and lost about 4000 men. Instead of repenting before the Lord, they retrieved the Ark of the Covenant from the Holy of Holies and brought it to the camp that it may save them from the hand of their enemies. There was no repentance of the Israelites. They did not inquire of the Lord nor did the Lord instruct them to bring the Ark of the Covenant to the battle field.
Please understand this, the Israelites brought the symbol of God to battle…they did NOT bring God. They were using the Ark of the Covenant as a magic symbol before the Philistines. Many today attempt to us the name of Jesus as a magic symbol in a battle that the Lord did not send them to fight.
“16 And the man said unto Eli, I am he that came out of the army, and I fled to day out of the army. And he said, What is there done, my son?
17 And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there has been also a great slaughter among the people, and your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the Ark of God is taken.
18 And it came to pass, when he made mention of the Ark of God, that he (Eli) fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.” 1 Samuel 4:16-18.
The Lord sent His prophet Samuel to warn Eli but Eli would not hear.
“8 Also I (Isaiah) heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
9 And He said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.” Isaiah 6:8-10
Often the Lord will send His messengers to “go and tell” yet the effect of their message hardens the heart of the people and they do not believe. Their ears become heavy and their eyes shut; they understand not.
Nonetheless…Here am I oh Lord. Here am I. Send me.
-Donna Clark Warren