We often think that if God is using a person He will use them forever, but that is not the case! There are times when God says He is done with a person and uses someone else.
During our 21 day prayer and fast the Lord gave a prophetic word for 2022 denoting that this was a season of radical change, when new voices would emerge while many others would be shut down. Pastor Bola draws a parallel with the story of Eli and his sons, Hophni and Phinehas.
What will happen in 2022?
- We will enter a season of radical change. We will see a radical change in what the Lord is doing through people. Some people will find things flowing out of them that they did not even know were in them.
- New voices will emerge. People that have been prepared in private, in the secret place, will suddenly come on the scene and onlookers will be wondering who they are.
- We will see closed signs. Pastor Bola had a vision of when a shop is being closed down and one lowers the iron curtain and puts the closed sign. So many things that we thought were flourishing in the Church, politically and in society are going to be shut down and new voices will emerge.
- Some people are going to be disoriented. When God is shutting things down some people are going to think that it is an attack of the devil against the children of God, because they were not paying attention to what God was doing. However it will not be an attack of the devil, and so we need to be attentive to the Holy Spirit to understand what is going on.
- There will be a movement in the Spirit. There will be a movement in the Spirit in the hearts of men, taking people deeper into the things of God; higher into the realm of the Spirit.
It is therefore important for us to position ourselves correctly so that we will partake favourably of these changes in 2022. For that we need to understand why God would reject a person. We shall draw from the story of Eli and his sons, Hophni and Phinehas. Who were these individuals and why is their example so important?
Watch the second message : Men approved by God
Eli and his sons, Hophni and Phinehas
The story of the dishonour of Eli and his two sons is told in the book of 1 Samuel 2.
1 Samuel 2 :12-17 (HSCB) says :
12 Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord 13 or for the priests’ share of the sacrifices from the people. When any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged meat fork while the meat was boiling 14 and plunge it into the container or kettle or cauldron or cooking pot. The priest would claim for himself whatever the meat fork brought up. This is the way they treated all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh. 15 Even before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give the priest some meat to roast, because he won’t accept boiled meat from you—only raw.” 16 If that man said to him, “The fat must be burned first; then you can take whatever you want for yourself,” the servant would reply, “No, I insist that you hand it over right now. If you don’t, I’ll take it by force!” 17 So the servants’ sin was very severe in the presence of the Lord, because they treated the Lord’s offering with contempt.
Hophni and Phinehas were priests and judges after their father, Eli. They were supposed to represent righeteousness in the land, and intercede to God for the people, but they were worthless men who were guilty of many sins, to which Eli turned a blind eye.
What were Eli’s sons guilty of?
Hophni and Phinehas were priests who benefited from God’s covenant with Abraham. They served but had no fear of God.
- They dishonoured the Lord in the way they treated the offering
- They were supposed to burn the fat as an offering to the Lord (Leviticus 7) and only after then would the shoulder and the breast be given to the priest. They would serve themselves first, thereby treating the Lord’s offering with contempt.
- His offering essentially became no more than their meal, and the ministry was a way for them to gain and take care of themselves. In today’s setting this can be equated to those who treat ministry as a business.
- They disregarded the law of the Lord
- The law of the Lord specified how they were to treat the offering, but they chose to disregard it (Leviticus 7:31-35)
- They abused the people
- Their servants would try and grab the sacrifice by force, thereby intimidating the people. We see intimidation and abuse occurring in the Church today.
- They were sleeping with the women (1 Samuel 2 :22)
- These men were ministers of God and the women would come to the tabernacle to worship and Eli’s sons would grab them or seduce them and have a relationship with them, yet they were leaders! It is terrible because we still hear these kinds of stories from within the Church today.
- They caused the people to sin
- When the people see the priests sinning, you would find that they would commit the same sin. Like priests, like people.
- The sins of Hophni and Phinehas had an impact on their father
- While Eli was not involved in his sons’ sins, he tolerated them. Eli suffered condemnation from the Lord for his act of tolerance.
What was Eli guilty of?
- Eli was weak and did not discipline his sons.
- Eli honoured his sons more than he honoured God.
- Eli did not fear the Lord, he feared his sons.
As a result of this, the Lord declared judgement on Eli and his family. In Samuel 2 :30-34 (HCSB), God reveals his judgement to Eli through a man of God :
What does this mean for the Church today ?
We see the behaviour displayed by Eli and his sons still happening in the Church today, whereby spiritual authorities are not only sinning against the Lord, but leading the people into sin, and tolerating all sorts of behaviour displeasing to the Lord. We have back-tracked on the truth of Scripture, and we let all kinds of crazy stuff go on in our churches, because we are allergic to empty seats. Click To Tweet The consequences are dire for all concerned as we saw how the Lord shut down Eli and his family.
Just because we are saved does not mean that God will not take radical action against us if we choose to harden our hearts, refuse to submit to correction and change our attitude to conform to His will. Just because God is using us, it does not mean that He will use us forever.
God took radical action against Eli, Hophni and Phineas. God can take radical action againt us too. We must however, position ourselves accordingly and take heed so as to become aware of the pitfalls to avoid so that we do not find ourselves in the same situation as Eli and his sons.
What to do?
Speak to the Lord and renounce sin and cooperation with sin in your life. Ask the Lord to forgive you and choose to walk the right path.
“Lord, I renounce……..and cooperation with …… in my life. I ask that You might forgive me. Lord, I do not want a closed sign on my life, on my door. I want to honour You. I have dishonoured You. I have disregarded You. But not anymore! I would rather have people upset with me, than have You upset with me, in the name of Jesus, Amen.”