And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. 1 Samuel 2:34
How often has God sent a warning to you and you refused to listen?
Did you erroneously believe that you were so special to the plan and will of God that he would change his mind or his actions toward you if you failed to uphold his standard?
You may not have but there are those in the body of Christ who have. There are times when even the most astute of us begin to believe something that is not true. Maybe we begin to believe that we have time, time to change and to make things right, therefore it is not necessary to act now. We fail to realize that the warning that God has given is our final opportunity to change the outcome.
In 1 Samuel 2, God warned Eli about what was about to befall his household. God reminded him of the word spoken over his father’s house. God systematically recapped the prophecies and their fulfillment in his life.
What is clear is that the word spoken to Eli’s family was backed by the power of God to ensure its fulfillment therefore; Eli knew that the word he had received from the man of God was credible.
Where did Eli go wrong? What was his sin? Was it that he betrayed his office? Failed to live a holy life or perform his duties? Was it that he failed to correct his sons from their wayward way?
It could be all of the above!
However, in the end, Eli refused to make a change. He did not recognize the opportunity that was before him. When Hezekiah received the word of the Lord that he needed to get his house in order because he was going to die, he immediately acted and his circumstance was changed. When David learned that his first son would die he decided to act—refused to eat going on a fast before the Lord. Although his son still died, he seized the opportunity in faith believing that God may decide to be merciful.
When Eli got the news, he did not act. Was it because he did not want to change? Did he believed that God would not be merciful? That he deserved the judgment of God?
God’s desire is to establish righteousness in the earth through his people. If we are willing to sow righteousness, wouldn’t God be he more likely to extend mercy and lengthen our days?
Abraham understood this about God for when judgment was to fall on Sodom and Gomorrah Abraham acted and because he did the lives of Lot and his daughters were preserved. When God desired to wipe out the children of Israel Moses acted. He spoke to God and reminded him of his promises and the lives of many were preserved.
When we act, we change things. When we refuse to act, it is a refusal to change things. Our actions do not have to be drastic; it can be as simple as opening our mouths, lifting a prayer, speaking a word of correction, or establishing truth in a situation.
Eli chose not to act on the warning of God. He did not try to change things. Therefore, the word of the Lord came to pass.
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests’ offices, that I may eat a piece of bread. 1 Samuel 2:36
What would have happened if Eli had acted? If he had spoken to his children? If he had shared, God’s warning with them? Since he did not act, we will never know.
However, we too have an opportunity. What has God been warning you about? What are the thing that he has identified in your life that need to be corrected?
Are you willing to act? Are you willing to make one small change?