These Are the Days of Eli

Contrary to,   the lyrics in a popular worship song currently being invoked,   in the church today,,   “These are the days of Elijah”, I believe a ,  more accurate description of our time,   would rather ,  be from,  1 Samuel,   3, ,   “These are the days,   of Eli, the priest of Shiloh”.

It is important to understand the,   true,   condition and diagnosis that we as,   a church have,   entered,   into, ,  and unfortunately,   it is not a condition that warrants,   singing about our,   health and well-being. Scripturally, the,  ,   “righteousness,   being restored”,   will actually come through judgement not favouritism. According to God’s Word ,  what,   really,   lies ahead prophetically,   is,   a,   period of,  ,   trouble, exile,,   and persecutions,   and,   not,   triumphalism. What we do,   need,   ,  is to be,   prepared spiritually and mentally. We need ,  a,   deep,   sense of humility, and a determination to obey God’s Word (indeed, as Elijah,   did) ,  so as,   not to miss,   the,   direction the Lord is taking us in.,   We must, among other things, not end up trying to protect,  ,   an established,  ,   leadership in so many cases in today’s church when so much of this contemporary leadership ,  is actually,   under God’s condemnation ( as John the Baptist and Elijah,   warned Israel).

Notice that what ‚   ‚   Eli the chief priest did at Shiloh, so ‚   the Pharisees similarly ‚   did ‚   in Yeshua’s time at Jerusalem. The Pharisees disparaged ‚   those voices ‚   of ‚   the faithfully ‚   humble of the Lord , ‚   while ‚   ironically being silent over the open hypocrisy ‚   of their ‚   own sons. ‚   I believe ‚   ‚   our own ‚   current “Eli” leadership is about to correspondingly be bypassed and ‚   judged. ‚   Whatever limited ‚   vision it has ‚   ‚   will literally ‚   be darkened. ‚   1 ‚   Samuel 3 shows us ‚   prophetically where the voice of the Lord ‚   will now be moving and ‚   speaking. Similarly ‚   Yeshua ‚   warned in John 9 that ‚   ‚   the Pharisee’s unbelieving ‚   sight was about to be dimmed ‚   and the true humble worshippers of God are coming to the light.

The ‚   messianic expectations common to the leadership of Israel and among the ‚   people of God ‚   in the time of Yeshua ‚   were also ‚   of a coming period of ‚   restoration ‚   and prosperity that included ‚   a triumphal freedom from the world powers of the day and a re-establishment of the nation to a Solomonic type of glory . Close to ‚   this ancient saga, ‚   the ‚  current widespread ‚   outlook prevalent in charismatic and Pentecostal worship songs today carries a misleading ‚  atmosphere founded on a misguided belief that ‚  the return of Yeshua will simply be ‚  a ‚   “year ‚   of Jubilee”. ‚  It is a ‚   similar ‚   hollow anticipation of a victorious and ‚  “all overcoming ‚   empire”. ‚   This bogus ‚   ideal being trumpeted today ‚   regrettably ‚   is largely based on the “Latter Rain” ‚  false ‚   triumphalism ‚   teaching distorting ‚  Joel chapter 2, ‚   that emerged in the 1950’s (when it was rejected as heretical by mainstream Pentecostalism) but has slowly managed to ‚   re-infiltrate the major Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic ‚   denominations today .

If we look at the historical ‚   periods before the coming of Israel’s king in Samuel and the coming of Yeshua in the Gospels, ‚   we see an almost diametrically opposite ambience, spiritually. Both were periods of quiet, with the Word of the Lord being rare both ‚  in Eli’s temple and with over four hundred years of silence in the late Persian to post-Hasmonean ‚  era that preceded the first coming of the Messiah with no prophet after Malachi until John the Baptist.

Both were times where the leadership by the clergy in the temple and nation was widely recognised in the ‚   public arena ‚   ‚  as having become more ungodly because of its ‚   internal vices ‚   not more holy.

In both eras the actual worship of God was known to be performed ‚  in an atmosphere of ‚   greed, immorality ‚   and wickedness ‚   orchestrated by corrupt clergy. ‚   The reality on the ground for the ‚   people of God ‚   was that they were cast down and poverty -stricken ‚   by outside oppressors. ‚   The ‚  faithful people ‚   suffered an infertility of the land ‚  in the land of promise.

Also, as in the days of Eli and as in the days of Gospels, ‚   it has essentially ‚  become much the same in today’s ‚   House of God. So much of the senior leadership has confirmed reports of the scandals and greed within the ‚   sanctuaries of the Lord, but do not wish to risk loss of their positions or power by ‚  dealing with it.

How should we to react to this dichotomy ‚   biblically in an environment where too much of the House of God is falsely expecting a glorious future but will end up having “Ichabod”, (the glory departed) written on it?

The opening chapters ‚   of 1 Samuel gives us fore-types of those whom the Lord will use to correct the false worship and prepare the ground for Israel’s true King. Notice however, ‚   the Scriptures ‚   do not just ‚   merely highlight the iniquities of the nation and its clergy, ‚   but also instructs ‚   ministries ‚   for ‚   the redemptive process. ‚  It is not enough for us to just speak out and cast down, ‚   but we must also be involved ‚   in the building up, as it were, to ‚  “prepare ‚   the highways to be straightened”.

Firstly ‚   we see Hannah lamenting, interceding and crying out to God in his temple for the reproach, shame and slander that has been afflicted upon her and the promises of God. ‚   Whilst the sons of Eli party on, she is found making scared vows ‚   to the Lord asking for deliverance.

Secondly the vows that she does make ‚   for the son are not merely for him alone to ‚   be in the temple ministry, but ‚   as a ‚   Nazertite, to be a person completely surrendered ‚   over to the service of God in holiness. ‚   There is ‚   a raising up of a ‚   ministry that not only succeeds the current one, but exceeds in its devotion and example to the people of God. As Yeshua states in Matthew 5:20, For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” It is not enough for us to decry the faults and yet have the same lax standards in our own households. (Romans 2)

Lastly we see in 1 Samuel 2:27 that the warning given by the man of God and Samuel were ‚   ‚   in order to impart to the Lord’s people the forceful understanding, that He indeed ‚   is Holy and will judge his ministers. Such judgment was not ‚  to be a random accident, but a foretold casting out of the temple of the corrupt leaders so true worship could be re-established. (John 2:13)

Eli, his house , the temple, and Shiloh were eventually ‚   destroyed by the Philistines (Psalm 78:40, Jeremiah 7:4), as was Jerusalem by the Romans. ‚   Perhaps in this one tragic sense ‚  the ‚   “Days of Elijah” ‚   ‚   ironically foreshadow ‚   this coming ‚  prophetic act.

For as it says in Malachi 5:5:

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.”

Ztiv Shtivl
Moriel Canada

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