When I think of protecting ones vision I can’t help but think of the life of Eli in the bible a man that we observe, in the word of God, who is gradually losing his eye sight, way before, he mistakes Hannah’s praying for being drunk. How do you misread that one?
Eli we discover is a descendant of the Levitical Priesthood, a priesthood named after Levi who was born to Jacob and Leah. Eli was a descendant of a priesthood that was chosen by God to tend to the work, and duties of the Holy of Holies in the temple, and in addition to these duties ,Aaron, the first high priest of the Israelite’s, could only enter once a year offering the blood for his own sins and the sins of the people. Due to the Levies having access to the Almighty God, Aaron is told that the Levies will have no share of the inheritance of the Israelite’s for the Lord is their inheritance.
So with that being said we wonder why Eli, being a descendant of such a priesthood, would be able to raise Samuel , a boy that Hannah dedicates to the Lord for Eli to raise, and yet Eli couldn’t control his own unruly sons. To say the least this was a brain teaser for me, but I am learning in life that just because you come from a long line of great people in your family it doesn’t always mean you embody the same principles to carry out in your heart, with tenacity and zeal, the legacy you were born into. Eli was supposed to be protecting, and securing this priesthood’s existence for generations to come; by raising young men that had respect, obedience, and reverence for God. Instead scripture says that Eli heard about all that his son’s were doing, including sleeping with the women that served at the entrance to the Tent of the Meeting, and after verbally reprimanding his sons very briefly Eli seemed to not do much more than that.
What happens when you don’t protect your vision? What happens when you are called to lead the nations and you fail to protect God’s vision?
We see in the text Phinehas and Hophni grew up to be so wicked while Eli raised Samuel to be a prophet that went on to speak for the Lord when all had forgotten Him so, how does this happen when the Lord God went to such great lengths to secure, and nurture a priesthood for generations to come?
Unfortunately, I have a vivid picture in my head of a day in and day out Eli going through the motions, executing , meticulously,every ritual that had been passed down to him from past Levies, and perhaps ,for Eli, that is where it stopped. Eli learned rituals,and he learned what to do, and when to do it, what candle to light, what service to attend, and every morning his son’s watched him as he got up uttering these words, “Time to make the donuts” as he went out the door grabbing his priestly robe. But I ask, what are rituals to God without a circumcised heart? What is the sense in memorizing scripture if you are not going to apply it? Why attend church on Sunday with no intention of doing better?
The text stated that Eli was old, but perhaps it was his heart , and passion that left him way before he became tired, for I believe that Eli fought the good fight, but somewhere along the line he forgot what he was fighting for, and so he lost his way.
Eli took his eyes off of the vision, and without a vision we know people will perish.
I would like to encourage everyone today to not get complacent when serving the Lord, don’t treat God as if he is a commodity or something you need to check off of your list, don’t glaze over your morning devotional only to later realize you never, on a heart level, checked in with God. So, to all that have discovered your calling, and for those that are yet to stumble upon it protect your vision, once it is revealed to you, and don’t abandoned it for anyone. Don’t be the weapon formed against yourself, but rather surround yourself with the right influences and the right people that will support you , and perhaps share your vision; for if you are constantly checking in with God He will lead you, and make sure you arrive in the right place at the right time. God will make sure you fulfill your purpose because no prince of darkness can stop what the Lord has ordained for your life.
Hugs to you all…