Monday, May 9, 2016

MAY 8 "RISING, WHILE OTHERS FALL"

"And Samuel, the boy grew in stature and favor, with both God and Man".  I have always been a big fan of this scripture and have prayed this over my life and my son's life, very often. The truth is we don't all have to be hated because we are Christians.  Yes, we will always have our enemies, but God's scripture teaches that while we will have enemies, we can also have favor with men and that favor comes from God as we are rightly related to Him .  What is interesting is that this scripture comes in the midst of a horrific description of Eli's sons, sleeping with women at the Temple. These boys, Hophni and Phineas as some bad, bad boys. To make matters worse, they are the Pastor's sons, so to speak. They are Eli's sons, the Priest, the Priest that Samuel is under. Samuel has been growing up under Eli, with his sons, his whole life. It would have been so easy for Samuel to think, "well if this is how Eli's sons behave, then it must be okay, after all, they are the sons of Eli and they are involved in high level ministry in the Church. The lesson is, we can be living in the midst of corruption, perversion and immorality and yet still be living clean and not allowing those ungodly influences to affect the way we serve God. The lesson to learn is that we are not justified in using  "our supposed examples" as a reason to sin ourselves. The lesson to learn is that in the midst of corruption, hypocrisy and scandalous living, we ourselves, can be rising up in the midst of a group of Christians that are falling and going nowhere but down. The Law of Life, at least in God's Kingdom, is that while others may be falling, we can be rising.  While other's are coming to ruin, we are entering into God's blessings.  Make no mistake, that the scripture about a man "growing in favor and stature with both God and Man" is slipped in, right between two other verses about scandalous and lewd behavior and judgement to come, but yet God in his wisdom, slips in a scripture, right in the middle of that........in the middle of corruption, perversion and immorality, we can still be growing in stature and favor with both God and Man. And the secret, later on we read, "that Samuel, let none of God's word, fall to the ground". Samuel may not have had the example he needed, but Samuel had God's word and God's example in His Word and the scripture tells us, "he held to those words" and that was what sustained him.  This scripture in today's reading is so relevant to us today. These are the times we live in. It's all about perversion & sexual immorality, outside the church (of course) but sometimes inside the church too, but we know now, that in the midst of corruption and hypocrisy, we can be growing, in favor, with both God and Man, and while others are falling, we are rising!