Sin is not something to be played with. In our pride we think we can handle it; it won’t get a hold on us, but sin has invisible hooks that can drag us down and take us places we never intended to go.
Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay. – unknown
1 Samuel 1-3
1 Samuel 1-3:
Multiple wives—provoked and miserable
There’s so much good stuff in these 3 chapters! First once again, there’s the multiple wives issue. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating, God never presents it as a good thing. He always shows the conflict and problems that resulted.
Notice verse 1.6a, “And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable …” Notice the words “rival,” “provoked” and “miserable.” Peninnah may have been provoked to jealousy (not an excuse, by the way) because Elkanah favored Hannah (1.5). She provoked Hannah because of her barrenness. Elhanah may have been a little provoked and frustrated himself, “Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” (1.8).
This was never the way God intended marriage to be.
But even in the midst of bad choices, God heard the prayer of His humble servant, Hannah. Notice how this faithful woman kept her vow to the Lord, “Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her … and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh.. And the child was young … For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. Therefore I also have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD.” So they worshiped the LORD there” (vv.24-28).
God’s judgment on willful, unrepentant sin
Next there’s the sad story of Eli and his two ungodly sons in chapters 2 & 3. This man knew what his sons were doing, stealing the part of the sacrifices that belonged to God and sleeping with women who came to the tabernacle, yet he failed to deal decisively with them. The boys themselves had so hardened their hearts through their sin and disobedience that “the Lord desired to kill them” (2.25). God added His judicial hardening to their willful hardening.
Romans 1 explains it this way: Continue reading