Food for Friday

And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel feared to show Eli the vision. 1 Samuel 3:15

Samuel knew that Eli would be asking about the vision that the lad had received during the night hours. God had delivered to Samuel some very bad news concerning Eli and his family. After many years of no open vision, God had broken His silence toward Israel with a condemnation of the line of Eli. The old judge’s sons were extremely evil and yet were permitted to handle God’s ordinances. Eli had failed to control and punish them. Samuel could surely see their evil ways, because he worked among them. Yet he was not tainted by it. He had learned the good from Eli, who was in many ways a good man. God had delivered the message to Samuel, and now it was time for him to deliver the message to Eli. And he didn’t want to do it; he loved the old man.

Delaying as long as he could, Samuel went about doing the chores of the tabernacle, including opening the doors for the day. Then Eli came, undoubtedly excited that God had spoken to Samuel, and anxious to hear the message. He must have known the news would not be good, or else God would have spoken to him instead of Samuel.

Even as a lad, Samuel was faithful, and God could pass the message on through him. His reluctance to tell Eli shows his loving care for the Lord’s people. These two features marked Samuel all the days of his life. The world doesn’t like to receive bad news, and yet sinful men, women, boys, and girls, have definitely earned judgment from God. Many Christians who have slid into wrong practices and immoral behaviour also don’t want to hear about it. But they need to be told. Just like Samuel, we need to be very faithful and deliver to them exactly what God says about sin and judgment. The vile sins of today’s immoral and corrupt world need to be called what they are, along with God’s condemnation of these sins. And yet, there must also be a loving spirit about us as we deliver the message, as we faithfully present the truth of scripture. But for the grace of God, we are in the same condition.

Do you need to deliver bad news to a sinner today? Do so with a heart of love and compassion, just like Samuel. -Jim MacIntosh

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