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May 20, Day #141 – That God’s Son May Be Glorified

Yesterday, we mentioned the man of God who foretold the downfall of Eli’s priestly line. In 1 Samuel 2:27-4:22, we now see that God’s plan for governing Israel begins to expand and to shift away from the rule of judges to the reign of kings in His demotion of Eli and His call and elevation of Samuel. In chapter 3, “the boy Samuel ministers before the LORD under Eli” … but the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions” (verse 1). As “Eli’s [physical] eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see” (verse 2), his spiritual insight was also becoming clouded. It took three of the Lord's calls to Samuel for Eli to realize that “the LORD was calling the boy” (verse 8). Eli’s request that Samuel “not hide anything” the Lord told him is indicative of Eli’s awareness of his failures in priestly supervision (cf., 1 Samuel 2:12-17). In chapter 4, we see that the Israelite defeat and the Philistine victory to capture the Ark combine to represent the divine removal of Eli’s priestly line. The Ark has no place and no business in Philistia, and the Israelite failure to protect and keep it in Israel is an unthinkable abomination. As a result, Eli “fell backward off his chair” (verse 18), and the hastened labor and birth of his grandson, “Ichabod” (verse 21), both symbolize God’s judgment and the departure of His glorious presence from the nation of Israel. The people of Israel will now face some difficult days, and I believe this parallels the potentially sad future that we face in our own culture today. “The glory has departed” (verse 22).

In Psalm 64, David recognizes how “the human mind and heart are cunning - capable [allegedly] of devising ‘a perfect plan’” (verse 6). In verse 3, David writes, “They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim their words like arrows.” We are living today in a culture of “sharp tongues” and “words like arrows.” Never in the history of our country have we sunk to such a low and corrupt level of verbal vitriol, evil expressions, and offensive obscenities. However, in verse 8, David also knows that God can “turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin.” Man deceives himself into believing that he is able to rule, but he forgets that God overrules. Today, the use and/or abuse of our tongues can completely ruin our reputations and our future opportunities. The day is coming when “all mankind will fear; proclaim the works of God; and ponder what He has done” (verse 9). Our only refuge is in the LORD (verse 10).

In John 11:1-44, Jesus demonstrates His power and authority over death and His comfort and care for those who grieve and mourn when He resurrects Lazarus. Jesus was aware that Lazarus was sick, but “He stayed where He was two more days” (verse 6), “so that God’s Son may be glorified through it – for God’s glory” (verse 4). We need to recognize that God does whatever He does for His glory and for our good. His actions may not satisfy our questions or our understandings at all because they have nothing to do with us; He acts for His glory. Nevertheless, this passage reflects the tenderness of Jesus’ own heart toward those He loves and who trust Him. In verses 33 and 38, we read that “He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” These expressions tell us that He was angry at death, and in verse 35, we read, “Jesus wept.” This weeping reflected His uncontrollable grief, through which, Jesus identified Himself with all our griefs. His resurrection of Lazarus is a part of God’s guarantee of our own future resurrection. Although we may pass through physical death, nevertheless, “by believing in Him we will never die” (verse 26). What a glorious truth!

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