1 Samuel 3:1-5
“3 Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And THE WORD OF THE LORD WAS RARE IN THOSE DAYS; there was NO WIDESPREAD REVELATION. 2 And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when HIS EYES HAD BEGUN TO GROW SO DIM that HE COULD NOT SEE, 3 and BEFORE THE LAMP OF GOD WENT OUT IN THE TABERNACLE of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, 4 that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” 5 So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.”
Eli, the high priest, was getting old. He was high priest during a time when it was rare to get a word from the LORD.
The Holy Spirit records that “his eyes had begun to grow so dim he could not see.” He was literally quite BLIND. Then, He seems to switch gears. In the second part of the very same verse He starts talking about the lamp in the tabernacle. He says, and I quote, “before THE LAMP in the tabernacle went out completely,God raised up the young boy, SAMUEL.”
Why did He jump from talking about Eli to the lamp? He’s painting pictures for us again. You see, Eli wasn’t just physically blind but spiritually as well. He no longer heard from God. The young boy Samuel, however, was listening. His name in Hebrew comes from the root word, “Shemá,” which means “hear.”
In addition to his blindness, old Eli was also a corrupt and fleshly priest high priest. His two sons, “Hophni and Phinehas,” we’re a couple of unprincipled scoundrels who cheated, defrauded and abused the people who came to the temple to offer their sacrifices to God. It got so bad that the people began to despise the offerings to the LORD. God was NOT PLEASED!
Hophni comes from the root word, “chophen,” which means, “fists.” Phinehas means, “mouth of brass.” Brass, just like bronze in the bible, means, “judgment.” A related name is, “Nahash,” which means “serpent.” Their names paint quite a picture, don’t they? They were “beating” the people by painting God as “judgmental, angry and vengeful.”
(Hophni and Phinehas defraud the people of God)
“Nachash” is an apt description, isn’t it? These two young men were a couple of snakes: Contentious, judgmental with no love for anyone but themselves. They even went so far as to commit adultery with many of the women who came to the temple. Most definitely GOD WAS NOT PLEASED!
Was old Eli aware of their wickedness? Oh, yes. Their father heard of all their evil deeds BUT DID NOTHING ABOUT IT. He typifies the kinds of outer court ministries in the Church today that dish out judgment. They paint God as angry and vengeful. Like Levites of the old Covenant, they disqualify and abuse the sheep of Jesus’ flock with all their self-righteous “judgments.”
Like Eli, they are also blind–no vision, and deaf–no fresh revelation–because they, too, no longer hear from God. How can you tell? They spout the same, tired, old doctrines that are still being taught in seminary, like so much dry, stale bread. They just keep dishing out the same old stuff year after year.
That’s what the law produces: DEATH. Dead eyes and dead ears. It is why many people today, particularly the young generation, don’t even want to come to the “temple” any more. Frankly, I don’t blame them.
Samuel, on the other hand, is a picture of the new Covenent, the young Melchizedek priesthood that God is raising up in these final hours before His return. The third time God called to Samuel he said, “Speak, LORD, for your servant heareth.” THE NEW KIDS LISTEN.
( Hannah brings Samuel to the temple.)
Samuel’s mother, you recall, was barren. Her name was “Hannah,” which means, ” grace.” The fact that she named her son, Samuel, is quite significant because it shows that “GRACE PRODUCES HEARING,” just as surely as the law produces blindness, deafness and death.
The Bible says old Eli was very heavy. In other words, “obese.” When he heard the news that the Philistines had “captured” the Ark, fell over backwards, broke his neck and died. I put captured in quotation marks because the truth is Israel lost the privilege of having it in their midst. God allowed it to be taken captive which is another story in and of itself.
(For more on what happened to the Ark, follow this link:
Notice that the news of the Ark’s “capture” was delivered to him “by the mouth of a Benjamite.” THIS IS NO ACCIDENT! Why?
(Joseph and Benjamin reunited.)
Remember when Benjamin, the younger brother of Joseph, was restored at last to his brother? Though he blessed the other ten brothers, Benjamin, the youngest of all, Joseph blessed with FIVE TIMES MORE THAN ALL THE OTHERS. Five is the number of grace. Ben-jamin means “son of the right hand.” The right hand is what they in that culture used to dispense the FIRST BORN BLESSING!
The other ten received far less. They are a picture of the law and the law-centric of today. They, like the other ten brothers, have far less favor on their lives because they are too busy trying to obey the law, causing them to fall from grace. (See Galatians 5:4)”.
Both Joseph and Benjamin had the same mother, Rachael, whose name means, “Ewe: Sheep,” a picture of grace. At the time Benjamin was reunited with Joseph, Simeon, whom Joseph previously ordered bound and held captive, was then set free.
Ever wonder why he had this particular brother not only held captive but ordered him bound in the first place? The answer is found in the meaning of his name! Simeon, like Samuel, both come from the same root word, “Shemá: hear.”
In His first coming, Jesus, the greater Joseph, wasn’t recognized by His brothers, the Jewish people, as the Messish. He was crucified and rejected. After a 40-year grace period, God allowed the temple to be destroyed in 70A.D. by General Titus. Afterward the Jewish people were scattered into all the nations of the world. But in 1948, EVERYTHING CHANGED.
For 2,000 years they were scattered, bothe “blind and deaf” to the truth about their brother and Messiah, Jesus. Simeon was bound, painting a picture of that blindness and deafness. It began to be lifted when they came back as a nation in 1948. From that day to this, more and more of Jesus’ earthly family have come to know Jesus as their Messiah than ever before in history!
Concurrently in these last days, the Benjamin company: The grace generation…..US…..have come on the scene. We’re the new kids in the block, not necessarily young in age, but new and fresh with fresh revelation. Just as HEARING is being restored to Israel, so HEARING is at last is being restored to the Church! SIMEON IS UNBOUND AT LAST!
It’s a new day! No more will Abba allow the old priesthood to beat His flock instead of feeding them.
No more will they be made to fear and tremble, thinking that there is something they can do that will cause them to lose their salvation. AS IF!
NO! They are coming to know that they are the righteousness of God in Christ and that all the sins of their entire life are forgiven, even the ones they will commit tomorrow, next week, next year: forever put away! There is therefore, NOW, NO CONDEMNATION of any kind at any time! Never was; never will be.
These fired up, head-over-heels, in love with Jesus, people are living holy lives EFFORTLESSLY….without their pastor’s works or strivings to “birth Christ in people,” (whatever that means–as if He wasn’t there all along). They’re reaching the lost with the REAL Gospel, not the “Do good, get good; Do bad, get bad” nonsense they’ve heard for years but the “you-get-the-good-you-DON’T-deserve-because-Another-got-the-bad-you-do-deserve” message!
(The LIGHT of the world!)
Peter writes in 2 Peter 1:5b-9
“5…giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 FOR HE WHO LACKS THESE THINGS IS SHORTSIGHTED, EVEN TO BLINDNESS, AND HAS FORGOTTEN THAT HE WAS CLEANSED FROM HIS OLD SINS.”
There is no more blindness; no more short-sightedness, no more tired, old Eli. There is no more lack of true revelation or of fresh bread and the water of the word. The new priesthood is FEEDING the sheep because they understand THAT’S HOW THEY GROW. That’s the secret to holy living: FEEDING.
The more well-watered with revelations of Jesus’ beauty and glory, the more the pastor points TO the Shepherd instead of AT the people, the more Jesus is lifted up and glorified and the stronger the Church becomes! This message is bringing the so-called “hopeless” young generation back to the “temple” in droves!
Death to the old order has come at last from the most unlikely source:
The word of a Benjamite as told to Blind old Eli.