But There Is A Friend
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10
A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth, From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. He who finds a wife finds a good thing, And obtains favor from the LORD. The poor man uses entreaties, But the rich answers roughly. A man who has friends must himself be friendly, But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:20-24
In times of trouble and injustice God is a just Judge and will do justice to those who cry out to Him. For those who wait upon Him to do justice He will rise up to do justice. And the wicked cannot stand in His presence and He will humble them before the people whom they have oppressed.
The Bible says David was young man who loved the Lord with his heart. He feared the Lord and walked His ways even as a young man. So, God made him a king of Israel after Saul. Shimei who belonged to the family of Saul insulted and humiliated David at the time when all forsook him. Shemei spoke rude words and cursed him. This broke the heart of David. Yet, David said, “May God see my sufferings. May He look at my afflictions”. God made him to rise to higher position to be respected by people. He made the same man Shimei to come back to David and seek his forgiveness for the sin of cursing he uttered against him (2 Samuel 19:18-20).
Those who suffer or had suffered are not to lose heart because God loves justice (Isaiah 61:8) and He still is the Judge of all the earth who destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah was great, and because their sin was very grave (Genesis 18:25). Yes, there are serious consequences to great and grave sin that is not repented off.
And because God loves justice He will lift His afflicted ones up in the same place where they were once humiliated. When they depend on God and humble themselves before Him, He will surely lift them up and change all their burdens and honor them (James 4:10 just as He lifted King David in life before his enemies and Hannah before her enemy.
In the Bible we read about Hannah who was a barren woman. She was constantly provoked by her rival severely which made her agony bitter and unbearable. She poured out the bitterness of her soul to the Lord in tears and made supplication to Him. The Bible says that after she poured out her agony to the Lord, her face was no longer sad. The reason was that the Lord had filled her with His peace (1 Samuel 1:2, 6-11, 15, 18) and the Lord answered her prayer causing her to state by the Spirit of the Lord:
“My heart rejoices in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD. I smile at my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation. “No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. “Talk no more so very proudly; let no arrogance come from your mouth, for the LORD is the God of knowledge; and by Him actions are weighed. “The bows of the mighty men are broken, and those who stumbled are girded with strength. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, and the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, and she who has many children has become feeble.
“The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up. The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the beggar from the ash heap, to set them among princes and make them inherit the throne of glory. “For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and He has set the world upon them. He will guard the feet of His saints, but the wicked shall be silent in darkness. “For by strength no man shall prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces; from heaven He will thunder against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed.” (1 Samuel 2:1-10)
There is none like the Lord who gives victories over real enemies. Who is a God of knowledge and by Him actions and not just words are weighted. He breaks the bows of mighty men. He kills and makes alive. He makes poor and makes rich. He sets the beggars among princes to inherit the throne of glory. For the pillars of the earth, righteousness, justice and truth are the LORD’S. He guards the feet of His saints and makes the wicked silent in darkness. For by strength no man shall prevail as the Lord will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the earth and exalt His anointed. Therefore, Hannah and her son Samuel were exalted in a time when the Word of God says:
Then 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. (1 Samuel 3:1)
As a result, Samuel didn’t sleep all night thinking of the vision the Lord gave him about Eli and he was afraid to tell him. However, in the morning Eli said to Samuel:
“What is the word that the Lord spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that He said to you.” Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him.”
So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the LORD. Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh. For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD. (1 Samuel 3:17-20)
The real deeds and wickedness of the sons of Eli had caused the Word of the Lord to dry up. For Eli was very old and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel. How they slept with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. He asked them:
“Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. “No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD’S people transgress. “If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them. (1 Samuel 2:23-25)
God was waiting on His prophet Samuel who grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men. He then sent a man of God who came to Eli and said to him:
“Thus says the LORD: ‘Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house? ‘Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? ‘Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’
“Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the LORD says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.
‘Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. ‘And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever. ‘But any of your men whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age.
‘Now this shall be a sign to you that will come upon your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall die, both of them. ‘Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever. (1 Samuel 2:27-35)
It’s amazing, how even prominent servants of God, failed to do what God has required of them to do in raising up their children properly. They didn’t teach them to walk in the ways of the Lord and avoid stealing from God’s people. God doesn’t forget nor does he forgive such evil behavior, unless those who did it repent and make restitution. Though, God in His wisdom and patience He delays His judgments, nevertheless, He will require man to pay for all he does wrong.
God who blesses some and destroys others blessed and prospered Samuel but then He destroyed Eli, the anointed High priest and his family. God who doesn’t change does the same things today as He did for Hannah and Samuel. He answered their prayers and gave them real victories over their enemies, who were also God’s people. What an amazing, powerful, mighty and wise God that we serve who doesn’t do things by man’s understanding but by His own wisdom. Hannah was the fighter who overcame and Eli was the high priest and the loser who was overcome. Their ending was so different from their beginnings and yet they both worshipped the Lord. God‘s Word states:
So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. (1 Samuel 4:4)
Also the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died. (1 Samuel 4:11)
Eli was sitting on a seat by the wayside watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God and a man said to him:
“I am he who came from the battle. And I fled today from the battle line.” And he said, “What happened, my son?” So the messenger answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter among the people. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead; and the ark of God has been captured.” hen it happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years. (1 Samuel 4:16-18)
It doesn’t pay to become an enemy of God, for God will not honor those who dishonor him and those who despise Him. They shall be lightly esteemed even if they are a high priest like Eli or a king like Saul. They shall be cut off like Eli and his sons were–totally and completely. For God’s Word states:
So Solomon removed Abiathar from being priest to the LORD, that he might fulfill the word of the LORD which He spoke concerning the house of Eli at Shiloh. (1 Kings 2:27)
The foolish religious ones who created the doctrines of fundamentalism, dispensationalism, redemptionalism and other ‘schisms’ say this cannot happen today- that ‘He will not judge the false ones in the house of God?’ Why? Has God changed? Has His method of dealing with the wicked ones changed? Does He condone sin and is now tolerant of wrongs and injustices in the House of God? Obviously, the answer is No! So God’s people should be very careful what they do in the house of God, especially to His children or else their fate is guaranteed. Just like Eli’s they will end up in a place they never expected. In a place where unfaithful and wicked servants God are as Jesus told us:
“But if that evil servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ “and begins to beat his fellow servants, and to eat and drink with the drunkards, “the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him and at an hour that he is not aware of, “and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 24:48-51)
In the days of the high priest Eli, the real Word of the LORD was rare in those days and; there was no widespread revelation of the heart and mind of God just like in America for the last forty years. When the enemies of God’s people passed foolish abortion laws and rulings and discriminated against God’s people. The real men of God had become perverse and corrupt as seen by all the prominent ones who fought over the PTL Club.
It was a time period when the gospel of half-truths, especially about prosperity and giving was preached but not the gospel of whole truths, such as responsibility, accountability, integrity and of seeking justice, righteousness and truth. A gospel that did away with Apostles and Prophets and replaced them with false ones or none at all. A Gospel that did away with judging and judgments and only preached the half-truth of a God of love, redemption and compassion. However, they didn’t preach a God of anger, judgment and vengeance. As every true believer will agree there has to be a balance struck between both sides of God’s truth presented in His Word. The balance between God’s blessings and provisions and God’s judgment upon disobedience.
It was a Gospel, with great emphasis on money but little emphasis on doing things for the least. A Gospel of sissies who ‘tiptoed through the tulips’ so not to offend anyone, while God’s people were being robbed, raped and even murdered by wolves in sheep’s clothing. These prominent ones who preached to others forget the Word of God that spoke about them stating:
The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me. (Deuteronomy 28:20)
God who never had changed had his Hannah’s, Samuel’s and men of God who had integrity and listened to the voice of the Lord and didn’t do what others did. They spoke the Word of the Lord without the niceties and corruption’s that many false ones had done. Hence, God had no choice but to move on their behalf against those who did such evil and wicked things in the house of God and caused the rains of revival to be held back. And move He did! God’s word is unchanging:
Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. Genesis 19:24-26
“Remember Lot’s wife. Luke 17:32
When Judgment fell on Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s wife was delivered but then she looked back and became a pillar of salt? Yes, those who don’t obey God’s word will be destroyed just like the others will be about whom Jesus said:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. Matthew 7:15-18
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