Tag: Eli

Incremental Work with God Example from David

David-at-Nob Event Sequence

An event may appear insignificant but could be a key step that triggers a sequence of events toward fulfillment of God’s promise. Irrespective of the apparent significance of the trigger event, how a person responds could determine whether they follow or depart from God’s Schedule. Respond in every event knowing your next step could be ordered to open doors and release your blessing. An example: David’s meeting with priest of Nob Ahimelek appeared insignificant initially but triggered an event sequence that exposed Saul’s disrespect for clergy independence and authority, fulfilled God’s promise of punishment to Eli, and provided David a benefit that endured through almost the remainder of his life. David’s interactions with Ahimelek in the meeting conveyed compassion that likely contributed to his blessing.

Jesus teaching from boat
Jesus teaching from boat TheGlobalGospel.org FreeBibleImages.org

David’s meeting with Ahimelek the priest of Nob is important for its effect on subsequent events, though the meeting itself appears insignificant. The sequence of events triggered by the meeting include Saul’s massacre of the priests of Nob, which exposed his disrespect for clergy independence and authority while fulfilling God’s promise of punishment to Eli and his descendants. Also, the event sequence resulted in a blessing for David: through Abiathar, son of Ahimelek (descendant of Eli), who escaped the massacre and served David for more than forty years as companion and clergy. Abiathar was retired from the priesthood at the conclusion of his service to David.

Massacre of the innocents
Massacre of the innocents
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David had met with Ahimelek at Nob to request short-term food supply and weapon. Ahimelek provided him with leftover consecrated bread and the “…sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah…” [1 Samuel 21:9]. However, a sequence of events triggered by the meeting was more important than the items David received from Ahimelek. Therefore, David-Ahimelek meeting at Nob illustrates an event of little significance that triggered an event sequence (or cascading events) of great consequences. Furthermore, David’s response in the trigger event conveyed compassion that likely contributed to his blessing from the event.

The importance of the meeting derives from two occurrences. First, the interactions were witnessed by Doeg the Edomite, a servant of Saul serving a detention under the priest. Second, David showed concern for Ahimelek’s safety by withholding information regarding his dispute with Saul so Ahimelek could interact with him normally without taking a side in the dispute. He recognized Ahimelek needed protection from potential accusations by Saul regarding the interactions and did what he could to protect him. Although his compassion was not effective in protecting Ahimelek from Saul, David benefited immensely from the interactions, not because of the material items he received but because of subsequent events triggered by the interactions.

To understand the importance of David-Ahimelek meeting, we recall an antecedent event: a prophecy for Eli and his household and descendants, whereby God declared punishment on Eli for honoring his sons more than God “by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel” [1 Samuel 2:29]. God declared to Eli as follows: “The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age” [1 Samuel 2:31]. Further in Verse 33, he added: “Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.”

We discuss the event sequence triggered by David-Ahimelek meeting, focusing on Saul’s disrespect for the independence and authority of the clergy, how Saul’s massacre of the priests of Nob fulfilled God’s promise of punishment to Eli, and David’s benefit from the massacre that endured with him through almost the remainder of his life. The study adds to understanding that an event may appear insignificant but could be important as the trigger for an event sequence that leads to fulfillment of God’s promise.

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Receiving Message from God through Parent

God may alert a child to an opportunity by prompting the child’s parent to pass the information as parental instruction, advice, or request. The information could be delivered as part of normal parent-child interaction with neither the parent nor child recognizing at the time that the information is a special message from God to the child. The child will receive the message and progress toward the opportunity if he/she has a habit of listening to the parent with intent to understand and implement the parent’s information.

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This study concludes a series on understanding that God sends messages to children through their parents. We examine information based on four previous sessions to understand what a parent and child need to do to ensure God’s messages to the child through the parent are delivered and received effectively. Each message could present an opportunity for the child to encounter a life experience or accomplish a specific objective. Therefore, the child needs to receive the message effectively in order to preserve such opportunity. The examples used in the sessions appear well suited for the study as they include information to enable understanding how the parent and child in each case communicated effectively.

Wandering in wilderness for brothers
Wandering in wilderness for brothers
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Based on information from Joseph Called to Mission and David Called to Mission, we learn that God may direct a person toward an opportunity by positioning a need in his/her path. The person will encounter the opportunity if he/she recognizes the need, commits to providing service to address the need, and perseveres. In the case of Joseph, for example, the opportunity was his call to undertake a special mission to Egypt. For David, the opportunity was to confront Goliath.

Also, we learn from the two examples that God may often position a need in the path of a child by prompting the child’s parent to pass information to her/him. He may provide the information to the parent clearly so the parent is aware the information is from God and is for the child. For example, Eli was aware that God wanted to speak to Samuel.

Father sends son on errand
Father sends son on errand
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Alternatively, God may prompt the parent one way or the other to deliver information to a child without the parent being aware of the prompting. The parent passes the information to the child as part of normal parent-child interaction but neither the parent nor the child recognizes at the time that the information has been prompted by God. This category of messaging a child through the parent is important because of being channeled through normal parent-child interaction. One example is Joseph’s father sending him on an errand that became God’s call to Joseph to undertake a mission to Egypt. In another, David’s father sent him on an errand that became God’s call to David to confront with Goliath.

The information could be passed in the form of parental instruction, advice, request, or any other form of parent-child interaction. This bible study focuses on understanding the behavior, attitude, or habit of a child or parent that affects the effectiveness of passing and implementing such information in order to encounter the opportunity that God is presenting to the child through the information.

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Messaging Child through Parent—Call of Samuel Example

God invited Samuel to be commissioned prophet. He sent the message through Eli, Samuel’s priest, teacher, and “parent.” However, Eli needed three alerts. He understood the message and delivered it to Samuel after the third alert. He informed Samuel that God was calling him, directed him on how to respond, and thereby granted him parental permission to respond. Samuel, on his part, received the message because he offered his attention to Eli persistently in response to what he believed was Eli calling him. He received the message because he had a habit of being attentive, respectful, and obedient to Eli.

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This bible study session begins our new series on parent-child relationships. Our purpose in the series is to study events and personalities described in the bible to gain insight into God’s expectations for parent-child interactions and relationships. We hope to understand information that God expects parents to transmit to their children as they grow up and how children should relate to their parents in order to benefit from the information. Today’s study on the call of Samuel fills a dual role as the third study in the series on Samuel and the introductory study for the series on parent-child relationships. Interactions that occurred at the call of Samuel lead to an understanding that God sends messages to children through their parents and expects children to be attentive, respectful, and obedient to their parents in order to receive the message.

Speak Lord! Your servant listens
Speak Lord! Your servant listens
Moody Publishers FreeBibleImages.org

God wanted to speak to Samuel to start him on his career as a prophet. He alerted Samuel but did not reveal himself or provide him any information until Eli became aware of what was happening and directed Samuel on how to respond. Thereafter, God revealed himself to Samuel and spoke to him. We contrast God’s call of Samuel to his call of Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah and note that the call of Samuel differs from the other three because Samuel was under active parental supervision when God called him to prophecy. Therefore, interactions during the call of Samuel provide insight into God’s expectations for parent-child relationships. For example, whereas he called each of the other three directly and revealed himself to them clearly the first time, when he called Samuel, he directed Samuel to Eli and revealed to Eli that he was calling Samuel. Eli provided the message to Samuel, directed him on how to respond, and by so doing granted him parental permission to respond.

Eli receives Samuel
Eli receives Samuel
Moody Publishers FreeBibleImages.org

Samuel lived and worked under Eli as his priest, teacher, mentor, and parent. Although Eli was not his biological parent, he was effectively “parent” to Samuel because of being his supervising adult in every aspect of his life right from childhood. Therefore, based on the interactions between Samuel and Eli during this event, we can surmise that God used the occasion of calling Samuel to prophecy to also highlight aspects of parent-child relationship, such as respect for parents, sensitivity to parental needs, and the role of parents as a channel for God’s messages to children.

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