1 Samuel 3:3-4 (KJVStrongs)
“And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; That the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.”
I just recently read an article about a woman in Germany driving an hour and a half to a church where there would be a concert for unity between Muslims and Christians.
Her name is Heidi Mund.
Just as the imam was leading his prayer, she stood and interrupted his prayer, cried out that “Jesus Christ is Lord of Germany……I break this curse.”
Ultimately, in this “church” building, she was escorted out.
All over the world, and sadly, in the United States, we are seeing the slow process of sexual immorality dim the light of the church. If you do not think that it is dark outside and inside the church, just look at the promiscuity and perverseness that entered the church in the last 30 years. We keep reading about pastors molesting children, having adulterous affairs, mistresses tripping up pastors, homosexuality permitted in the church, and other vile situations.
Looking back a few thousand years, and we are reminded of the story of Israel losing the Ark of the Covenant.
This magnificent instrument was the symbol of the presence of God.
Anytime the Ark of God was brought out, it meant certain destruction for its enemy and instant death for those that dare touch it that wasn’t supposed to touch it.
The Lord did away with the OT covenant and God, supposedly, is in the hearts of people that repented, received forgiveness, and are born again by the Holy Spirit, made possible, courtesy of the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.
In the days we are living, some of us are no longer walking in the ways of The Lord. Many people have turned their backs on The Lord and live promiscuous lives.
Many of us are more concerned about getting off sexually than living holy before The Lord.
The sons of Eli perverted the tabernacle of Moses. Hophni and Phinehas committed adultery before The Lord and the nation of Israel plunged into darkness. The Lord took the heartfelt cry of Hannah and used it to take away from Israel the Ark but with a plan to return Israel to serving The Lord.
The symbology in 1 Samuel is incredible. Samuel would be the last Judge but the first of many prophets to speak to the nation of Israel.
The Lord would remove Eli and his sons because Eli failed to correct his sons for the sexual sins committed in the open. The nation of Israel would suffer defeat from the Philistines but in humiliation, The Lord always had a plan to restore Israel should they repent.
When there is no open vision or revelation of the Word, there would be a hunger for the precious Word of God. We are seeing this unfold today.
People all across the country are looking for the Word of God. When the Word becomes precious again, people will hunger for God like never before.
Here in the United States, it must get darker and people must become more desperate for God. You see, when you are self sufficient, you have no need of God. This implies that pride is running your life to the degree that you have no need of God. Even when a series of disasters strike, most people “roll with the punches.” But there is a punch that is coming that we will not be able to “roll” with.
In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the conditions for this son got desperate. To the degree that he had to return to his father’s house, repent, and be restored. Such is the case today. We have to hit rock bottom. There are few who will hit rock bottom and will rise. Sadly, there will be many that will hit rock bottom and will never rise.
CAN’T SEE AND OVERWEIGHT
At a critical moment in time, spiritual leadership became dim in their eyesight. Eli represents the spiritual leadership of our day. Not only was Eli’s eyesight dim, but he was overweight, obese…….heavy……..fat.
These two things are indicative of our inability to see and our satisfaction of the world in our belly.
We can’t see and we can’t move.
But before the lamp of God goes out, God speaks to a child.
The Lord called Samuel.
It wasn’t an ordinary call. Most calls of God are not usual or common.
This call required someone that would do exactly as he was told.
Samuel. Then name means “heard of God.”
Hannah’s prayer was “heard of God” but God’s cried His prayer through Hannah that Israel would return to Him.
God used Samuel to be heard. Loud and clear.
JUDGMENT BEGINNING WITH LEADERSHIP
The sexual sins of Eli’s sons prompted God to speak in such a way that it would be an unmistakable move of God to turn the hearts of Israel from their sins. It always begin with spiritual leadership. This is where the judgment of God must begin.
Porn and masturbation is still a major unaddressed sin in pastoral leadership. These taboo subjects remain taboo because we know that if we were honest about what we do in secret, we would expose these things in our lives big time.
In order for the house to be cleansed, spiritual leadership must be purged.
The purging is in line with Scripture because when the children of Israel sinned in the plains of Moab, Moses was instructed to hang the leaders (see Numbers 25:4). The hyper grace false doctrine of our times is significantly contributing the the spiritual condition that all sin is forgiven and you could sin as much as you want with impunity.
Far from the case. Just as The Lord instructed Paul to commit to satan for the destruction of the flesh those that would blaspheme, we see that another leadership purging will be underway should we fail to repent.
The raising up of leadership to set the course of the church back on track begins when we see The Lord instructing believers to go into places where they will assume the watch, to pray and cry aloud the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The warning has been issued for quite some time. Some have listened, others have turned a deaf ear.
BATTLE NUMBER ONE
When the children of Israel went out to battle the Philistines, in the first battle, the Israelites lost four thousand men. It should have been an indication to them that sin was in the camp. They never attacked the sin in the camp because of SINNING leadership.
Instead, they attack the Philistines.
You will never win by attacking the very instrument sent by God to judge you.
It’s the same condition in the church in the United States and abroad. The judgment on the economy is the Philistines but the church is still using “faith” and “prosperity” messages against the Philistines instead of repentance, righteousness, and holiness.
We’ve been warned but we are not heeding the warning.
So what does the children of God do?
Let’s bring out the Ark of God.
In like manner, we bring out “Praise and Worship.”
In our sinful conditions we worship and praise God.
BATTLE NUMBER TWO
They Israelites shouted so loud that it started an earthquake. The Philistines heard that Israel broke out the ARK OF GOD. THEY THOUGHT THAT THEY WERE DONE.
But somehow, they mustered up the courage to go and fight against the Israelites.
Hophni and Phinehas was with the Ark of God.
It should have meant certain death for the Philistines but just the opposite was planned by God.
In battle number two, 30 thousand Israeli foot soldiers lost their lives. A clear sign that the battle is over. But that’s not all.
The Philistines took the Ark of God.
When you are in sin, the presence of The Lord departs. The power of God is never present when Secret Sexual or Overt Sexual Sins is in the midst of the church. We honestly believe that The Lord is among us but who are we really fooling?
“Be not deceived. God is not mocked. Whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap.”
Before the Ark of God was taken, the lamp was already about to be put out. But the lamp was already out in the hearts of Israel. It was at this time that The Lord initiated a plan to wake them up. So it is today. God is calling and we must respond the way He desires for us to respond.
With no open vision or revelation and a scarcity of the Word of God, it is no wonder that today the religions of the world are cozy in the house of worship. There is no presence of God evident and it is safe for Muslims to come in and rule the house of God. It is safe for Christianity to be reduced to a gutter religion that allows the sin of homosexuality to be comfortable.
Homosexuality, adultery, fornication, and bisexuality is safe in the temple of The Lord.
Sin reigns when Paul said “Let not sin reign in your mortal bodies.”
Very few places carry the fear of The Lord in their hearts and houses of worship. We are too casual and complacent. We do not walk carefully in or outside the house of worship.
But God will move again to compel His people to seek His face.
The lamp of God doesn’t have to go out in our hearts.