It Is The LORD
1 Samuel 3:18 (ESV) – So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD. Let him do what seems good to him.”
Do you remember your parents telling you “because I said so” after you questioned why they wanted you to do something? I don’t know when this mantra entered the world, but it seems every generation of parents adopt it. The heart of the statement reflects the authority the parent has to command the child. The child must learn submission to what the parent wants and commands. This is vital for a child to learn because they need to know their parents have the rightful authority. But what is even more important, especially as children are younger, is they need to know that mom and dad know better than them.
We see this in our passage today. This passage captures a challenging response that Eli has to the news Samuel gives him. The LORD tells Samuel that Eli’s sons are going to die because of their rebellion and sin. Eli knows the LORD spoke something to Samuel so he asked him to tell him the revelation. That’s where our text today picks up, “So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, ‘It is the LORD. Let him do what seems good to him.’”
This response from Eli is not a cold-hearted response. It’s not calloused or indifferent. Eli loved his sons. He doesn’t want the judgment of God to fall upon them. But Eli also trusts the LORD. He knows the LORD is just. He knows the LORD cannot err or sin. So faced with this news he has no choice but to submit to God’s judgment. The LORD is wiser than him.
This is a difficult text to read. One reason is it confronts us with a question about our own submission to God. Would you submit to God’s judgment that quickly?
Are you in a place in life where no matter what takes place in your life, you recognize God’s sovereignty over it and submit to it willingly? Can you say in all things, “It is the LORD. Let him do what seems good to him”?
It is a challenge worth reflecting on and seeking God’s help with.
In a world that encourages you to make yourself the center rather than God, Eli’s response reminds us that God has prerogative to do all that He pleases. The goal of our lives is to submit and trust Him. Radical submission to God is foreign to our world today, but is the mark of a true Christian.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does Eli respond to Samuel’s news the way he does?
- What do you think has to happen for people to get to where Eli was in trusting God?
- Have you ever been in a position where you needed to respond the way Eli did in this text?
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