Sunday Recap for 7/23:  How is God at work even when we can’t see it?

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Sunday, July 23, Evident Grace Fellowship attempted to answer this Big Picture Question:

How is God at work even when it looks like He is not?

And we looked at 1 Samuel 2:11-21 to answer our Big Picture Question:

1 Samuel 2:11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli the priest.

12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord. 13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14 and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw.” 16 And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force.” 17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.

18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy clothed with a linen ephod. 19 And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the Lord.” So then they would return to their home.

21 Indeed the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.

We found these 3 answers to our Big Picture Question:

How is God at work even when it looks like He is not?

  • He prepares Godly leaders.
  • He works through the people of God.
  • He blesses Godly families.

He prepares Godly leaders.

1 Samuel 2:11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli the priest.

12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord. 13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14 and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw.” 16 And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force.” 17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.

Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phineas, were corrupt priests who did not know the Lord.  They took the best of the sacrifices for themselves, and they threatened the people by force.  The worship of God became nothing more than a means to feed the priests’ appetites.  It would appear that people couldn’t worship even if they wanted to.  Yet, in the background, young Samuel was serving and ministering the Lord.  We have to remind ourselves that God is always at work and doesn’t leave His people without Godly leadership.  Even when it appears hopeless, God is at work preparing leadership for His people.

He works through the people of God.

1 Samuel 2:18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy clothed with a linen ephod. 19 And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the Lord.” So then they would return to their home.

Each year, sweet Hannah makes a robe for her son, Samuel.  She and her husband, Elkanah, bring it to him when they sacrifice.  And when they do this, Eli, the priest, gives them a blessing from God that they will have more children.  This is a wonderful picture of how God works in the people of God.  You have a faithful young man in Samuel.  You have a Godly family in Hannah and Elkanah.  And you have a Godly priest in Eli.  This is how God works…among the people of God, even in bad times.

He blesses Godly families.

1 Samuel 2:21 Indeed the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.

God blesses Hannah with more children.  The woman who couldn’t have any children is now going to have a ton of kids.  And Samuel continues to grow and serve in the presence of God.

Since the Garden, God has promised and will work in Godly families…even when it appears that all is lost.  God is at work.

Big Picture Question:  How is God at work even when it looks like He is not?

Truth:  Even when we can’t see it, God is continually at work through Godly leaders, the people of God, and Godly families.

Application:  Live knowing that God is at work for His glory and your good, no matter the circumstance

Action:  Look for God to keep His promises.  All else is a prayer and petition.

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