I heard a mother at the mall correcting her very young daughter. The little girl responded: “Don’t tell me that! I don’t like those words!”
I don’t think Eli liked the words he heard either. Poor Eli; he was trying to be a faithful priest. Poor sons; they didn’t care. Poor messenger; it was a hard message to deliver. Poor God; God’s people and their leaders had to let God down. (Read 2:12-17, 22-25 for some context.)
But we all need to hear these words at times, like it or not. We have let God down many times – in our words, our actions, our thoughts, our indifference, our self-centredness. We know we have refused to listen to God. Knowing these truths can make us feel very guilty and even become discouraged.
But then we look to the cross and see the faithful priest who suffers and gives his life for us. We are forgiven. We are born again to try again.
Listen to the harsh words. They point us to the cross of Jesus and encourage us to be faithful.
God of faithfulness, help us to listen to your harsh words and your loving words, that we might live lives of faithfulness to you. Amen. — BJ