Saturday 01 December 2018

Bible Book:
1 Samuel

'If a man sins against the Lord, who can make intercession?' (v 25)

1 Samuel 2:22-26 Saturday 1 December 2018

Psalm: Psalm 46


It’s Saturday and there will be many sports played today, such as rugby, hockey or football. In many of these games of one of the players may foul another player. It would not be unusual for the captain to intervene on behalf of the guilty party to plead with the referee for leniency. However, if the same player were to be so angry that he then deliberately hurts the referee, the offence is obviously much more serious. The designated official for the game has herself or himself been abused.

In today’s reading, Eli has reached the end of his tether with his sons. Earlier in 1 Samuel 2, their behaviour leads to them being described as “scoundrels” (v 12) and treating the Lord’s offering with contempt (v 17). In today’s reading, their sexually immoral behaviour has reached the ears of Eli and he roundly criticises their behaviour. His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke (v 25). Eli has tried to alter their behaviour, has been patient with their waywardness, has appealed to their better natures, as any father is likely to do; but enough is enough. This is no longer simply a matter of the sons behaving badly towards their father, who just happens to be the spiritual leader and priest of God’s people. In stark contrast to Samuel “who continued to grow in stature and in favour with the Lord and with the people”, what Eli’s sons continue to do is giving direct and deliberate offence to the Lord. There is no one left to intercede on their behalf before the Lord.

For us as Christians, it is a foundation stone of our faith that there is always someone who loves us enough to intercede on our behalf – Jesus Christ. My faith is that, however Christians understand the exact mechanics of what happened on the cross, I believe that Christ demonstrated there just how much he loved (and loves) me and everyone else throughout the world. If I am honest about my past mistakes, if I want to be forgiven, if I am willing to change my ways, then Jesus is always there to mediate, to intercede, to love me back into God’s kingdom.

Gareth Hill’s words in Singing The Faith 511:
“So may we be renewed in love, held and sustained by you alone.
Strengthened by you that we may prove a gift of grace to earth from heaven. (Amen).”


To Ponder:

  • In all walks of life, it is good to know that people are willing to speak up on our behalf when things go wrong or when we simply have needed support at crucial times of our lives. Remember such people today and give thanks for them.
  • “Who will intercede?” As you think about people in your own life, or things that are going wrong in national or international affairs, do you feel called to be a mediator yourself or to do something in Christian love on behalf of others?
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