“Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and your father’s house would minister before me forever.’ But now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but hose who despise me will be disdained. The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your family line and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, in your family line there will never be an old man. Every one of you that I do not cut off from my altar will be spared only to blind your eyes with tears and to grieve your heart, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life. And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—-they will both die on the same day.’” (1st Samuel 2:30-34)
Election is no guarantee of blessings for all generations. Those who honor God are honored by God. Those who dishonor God are dishonored by God. Eli and his priestly sons were elected to honor God. The disobedient sons did not take God’s covenant seriously. God retains freedom over His announcements so that humans can not hold God hostage and force Him into actions contrary to His purposes or will. God will not force people to serve Him against their wills. A generation which will not take its identity in light of election promises does not have to enter the elect people of God.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Dear Abba, we fully understand the free will that You honor us to use in our service for You is truly a very special gift that we will use it for good. Although we sometimes fall short, we can come before You, with penitent hearts and ask for Your forgiveness and mercy and You will do so. Our hope is we will one day reach a point of honoring You in all that we do. In the meantime continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that the recent offer from Ukraine for finding a peaceful solution brings Russia to come and work for a peaceful conclusion to the fighting. We also pray for those around this country and around the world who are suffering under persecution and natural disasters and man made disasters, hoping You will protect all. We also pray for those who are suffering from the loss of loved ones, for all who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late!”
“I will forsake my house, abandon my inheritance; I sill give the one I love into the hands of her enemies. My inheritance has become to me like a lion in the forest. She roars at me; therefore I hate her. Has not my inheritance become to me like a speckled bird of prey that other birds of prey surround and attack? Go and gather all the wild beasts; bring them them to devour. Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard and trample; they will turn my pleasant field into a desolate wasteland. It will be made a wasteland, parched and desolate before me; the whole land will be laid waste because there is no one who cares. Over all the barren heights in the desert destroyers will swarm, for the sword of the Lord will devour from one end of the land to the other; no one will be safe. They will sow wheat but reap thorns; they will wear themselves out but gain nothing. So bear the shame of your harvest because of the Lord’s fierce anger.” (Jeremiah 12:7-13)
People often fail to recognize their God given potential by giving up too quickly, rather than struggling on the achieve their very best. At times the call to perseverance is hard to follow, but as in things in our lives, we must continue to love and trust God mission regardless of the cost of our efforts. Family ties are supposed to bind people together; when hatred breaks such ties, the tragedy is extreme. Always remember that God’s loving nature does not mean He is blind or indifferent to the character and actions of the persons He loves when that is truly needed. Even those who are not God’s people receive compassionate treatment as God seeks to lead us to worship Him.
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“‘I have loved you, says the Lord. But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ ‘Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?’ ‘Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his mountains into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals. (Malachi 1:2-3)
Esau was the eldest brother and by birthright, was supposed to receive his father Isaac’s blessing and inheritance. Jacob had deceived Isaac knowing his father was blind and he wore covers around his wrists to convince his father that he was Esau, for he had hairy arms and Jacob did not. Isaac questioned him trying to be sure, and Jacob lied to his father, convincing him he was Esau and not Jacob. Soon after Esau returned from hunting and told his father he had gone hunting as he directed him and had brought him food to eat, and was ready for his father to bless him. Esau was chosen to receive the blessing, but Jacob had already taken it from him and this angered Esau for his deceptive actions to take what was his.
There is mystery surrounding the process of election by God, for one is chosen and another is not. It may be as simple as God seeing how Jacob had disrespected his own father and stolen the blessing of his father and the inheritance that rightfully should have gone to Esau. We just don’t know for sure. It is sure that Esau did accept his father’s blessing of honoring his brother Jacob, and maybe this was what eventually caused them to reconcile with each other. God loves us and He seeks to help us to love Him and one another. What I do know it that it is easier to get along with people if you show them God’s love than not. As Christians, we are to honor and love all others, showing love and respect to others will then come back to us eventually.