Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 06-04-24

Did you know according to Scripture, a person’s way or choices for living may seem pure to him or her, but be entirely based on self-serving motives and have nothing to do with God? (Pro 16:2). In fact, there is a path before each person, found in the sin nature, that seems right but it ends in death, so we must choose to follow the Truth according to God’s Word (Pro 14:12). It is imperative to remember creation was made for God’s purposes. Our sin nature wants to be god—a false one.

It would help us to remember our sin nature has a will of its own. God himself revealed this to be true when he told Cain, “…if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door; eager to control you. But, you must subdue it and be its master” (Gen 4:7). Because Cain did not do as God instructed, he killed his brother and was banished from God’s presence (Gen 4:8). If we do not take authority over our sin nature, it will take dominion and rule us.

In our passage today, God is still drawing attention to the choices made by his human creation. Eli had two sons who were a part of the Levitical priesthood; but even though they proclaimed to serve God, they were unfaithful. Eli and his sons knew the sin being committed against God, but they had gotten away with it for so long they began to have a false sense of security in their sin. God sent a message to Eli, his sons, and all human beings; “I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me” (1 Sam 2:30).

1 Samuel 2:22-30 NLT
22 Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 23 Eli said to them, “I have been hearing reports from all the people about the wicked things you are doing. Why do you keep sinning? 24 You must stop, my sons! The reports I hear among the Lord’s people are not good. 25 If someone sins against another person, God can mediate for the guilty party. But if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede?” But Eli’s sons wouldn’t listen to their father, for the Lord was already planning to put them to death.

26 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the Lord and with the people.

A Warning for Eli’s Family
27 One day a man of God came to Eli and gave him this message from the Lord: “I revealed myself to your ancestors when they were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. 28 I chose your ancestor Aaron from among all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the priestly vest as he served me. And I assigned the sacrificial offerings to you priests. 29 So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel!

30 “Therefore, the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I promised that your branch of the tribe of Levi would always be my priests. But I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the many ways you love us through Scripture. This lesson today is incredibly relevant for us, because in this world we see the sin nature gaining dominion in humanity. Thank you for helping your children know the power, perversion, and penalty of sin lurking within and surrounding us, so we can call for the power of the Spirit, take dominion over sin, and continue to live in freedom with the ability to obey you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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