Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, an ordained minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
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SCRIPTURE: Numbers 25:10-13; 1 Samuel 2:30-36
KEY VERSE: And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever. (1 Samuel 2:35)
· Balaam’s Deception.
Do you know what happened? The false prophet Balaam couldn’t curse Israel, but he could tell Balak what to do. They should infiltrate Israel, intermarry with them, and introduce idolatry to them to turn them away from their God. Israel could commit spiritual adultery, and they did!
· Balak’s Falsehood.
I’m sure they told Israel not to be a bunch of religious nuts, not to be so narrow-minded. Balak’s people insisted they were broad-minded and invited Israel to come over and worship with them. But they never went to worship with the children of Israel.
· Israel’s Corruption.
Old Balaam knew that Balak could corrupt the people by getting them to compromise. He could appeal to them and get the children of Israel to turn to the worship of Baal. And that is exactly what happened.
I. COVENANT OF PEACE. (Numbers 25:10-13)
A. The Zeal Of Phinehas.
(Numbers 25:10-11) 10 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 11 Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.
Balaam could not destroy Israel with his curses, but he could defile Israel with his counsel. He seduced the Jews into disobeying the Lord by suggesting that Balak invite Israel to the religious feasts of the Moabites (Numbers 31:16). There the Jews quickly fell into sin.
According to the Bible, Phinehas was a Hebrew priest during the Israelites’ Exodus journey from Egypt, the grandson of Aaron and son of Eleazar, the High Priests (see Exodus 6:25). He distinguished himself as a youth with his zeal against the heresy practiced by his people.
Phinehas was displeased with the immorality with which the Moabites and Midianites had successfully tempted the Israelites (see Numbers 25:1-9) to inter-marry and to worship Baal, so Phinehas personally executed a Jewish man and a Midianite woman while they were together in the man's tent.
Phinehas killed them both with a javelin (or spear). This brought to an end the plague sent by God to punish the Israelites and that had killed 24,000 Israelites because of their spiritual adultery with the Midianites.
B. The Commendation To Phinehas.
(Numbers 25:12-13) 12 Wherefore say, Behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace: 13 And he shall have it, and his seed after him, even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel.
It was neither Moses (the leader) nor Eleazer (the high priest) who stopped the plague, but Phinehas, the son of Eleazer. His devotion to the Lord brought him a special blessing and reward from the Lord. (see Psalm 106:28–31.)
Phinehas is commended for having stopped Israel's fall into idolatrous practices brought in by Midianite women, as well as for stopping the desecration of God's sanctuary. After the entry to the Promised Land given to Israel and the death of his father, Phinehas was appointed the third High Priest of Israel, and served at the sanctuary of Bethel (see Judges 20:28).
II. COVENANT FORFEITED. (1 Samuel 2:30-33)
A. The Sin Of Eli And His Sons.
(1 Samuel 2:27-29) And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house? And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?
The Lord sent a prophet to old Eli who told him that He was through with him as the high priest. No longer would God move through Eli the priest. Instead, God was now raising up a priest-prophet. It was going to be Samuel. He would minister for the Lord, and his office would be that of a prophet.
INSIGHT: Most people would sing if they could keep their son, but Hannah sang because she could give her son to the service of the Lord. She glorified the Lord who does great things for His people. Mary’s song is similar to Hannah’s (Luke 1:46–55) because Mary had also made a sacrifice to the Lord (Luke 1:38). First the sacrifice, then the song (2 Chronicles 29:27).
Eli had lost his influence over his sons and as a result caused his family to lose the priesthood (1 Kings 2:26–27, 35); (see 1 Timothy 3:4–5.) It has well been said that the greatest evil comes from the corruption of the greatest good, and Eli’s sons illustrate this truth.
Blessed are those parents who realize that their children are growing and facing new needs and struggles, and blessed are those children who grow “before the Lord” (Luke 2:52). God kept Samuel pure in the midst of a defiled environment because he had parents who loved him and prayed for him. Jesus has a special love for children, and we must pray for them too. – Adapted from Warren Wiersbe, With the Word Bible Commentary, 1 Samuel 2
B. The Prophecy Concerning The House Of Eli.
(1 Samuel 2:30-33) 30 Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31 Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house. 32 And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever. 33 And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age.
INSIGHT: Phinehas, the son of Eli, is not to be confused with Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron (Numbers 25:7, 8). About 250 years separate the two different men named “Phinehas.”
Discipline must begin before character is permanently bent and twisted. Being straightened out is painful, but being left crooked will ultimately hurt even more. Eli the priest had two sons (Hophni and Phinehas) whom he failed to discipline. “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:12).
It was too late, and the Lord announced the terrible consequences: “I will judge [Eli’s] house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them” (1 Samuel 3:13).
INSIGHT: The Lord had trusted the priests of Levi with much, and Phinehas, son of Eleazar, had kept that ministry faithfully, in so doing receiving the Lord’s Covenant blessing of Peace. But Eli's two sons (Hophni and Phinehas) had broken the Lord’s holy trust and sacred worship in the most immoral ways by stealing the best of the tabernacle sacrificial offerings and performing immorality with the women who served at the very door of God's tabernacle (see 1 Samuel 2:13-17, 22).
Consequently, the Lord turned the covenant blessing that He had given faithful Priest Phinehas into a curse upon Eli, his unfaithful sons, and their descendants. Grief and death would come upon the line of Eli because of his sons, who continued in their sins despite their father Eli’s urgent warning (see 1 Samuel 2:23-25). The Lord’s pronouncement of judgment came to Eli by way of a man of God, an unnamed prophet.
Eli also had grown fat on the best of what God’s people had given to the Lord in sacrifices (see 1 Samuel 2:27-29). The fact that these priests had the Lord’s blessing made the acts of Eli's sons all the more evil. Descendants of Eli would be remove from serving before the altar of the Lord, and the male descendants would die in the prime of their lives. Additionally, the Lord would raise up another faithful priest in their stead.
III. COVENANT RENEWED. (1 Samuel 2:34-36)
A. The Judgment Of A Righteous God.
(1 Samuel 2:34) 34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.
The Lord’s rebuke of Eli was as harsh as Eli’s rebuke of his sons had been soft. An unnamed man of God appeared and announced the doom of Eli’s priestly house. The prophet began by reviewing God’s call to Aaron’s family to be His priest, and His generous allowance of sacrificial meats for their sustenance. He then rebuked Eli for allowing his sons’ appetites to have priority over the claims of God (1 Samuel 2:29).
The Lord’s previous promise of the perpetuity of the priesthood assumed that the priests would be men of good character. But because of the wickedness of Eli and his house, they would no longer be allowed to function in the priestly service; no member of his family would reach old age; the sanctuary at Shiloh would fall into decay; and Eli’s posterity would experience grief and shame. Furthermore, both Hophni and Phinehas would die on the same day as a sign that all these judgments would come to pass.
B. The Appointment Of A Faithful Priest.
(1 Samuel 2:35-36) 35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever. 36 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.
Eventually, Saul massacred the priests at Nob (see 2 Samuel 22:6-23). Only one of Eli's descendants, Abiathar, escaped. But Solomon removed Abiathar from the priesthood, and transferred the priesthood to the family of Zadok, "to fulfill the word of the Lord, which He had spoken concerning the house of Eli at Shiloh" (see 1 Kings 2:26-27; 4:2). The deaths of Hophni and Phinehas on the same day (see 2 Samuel 2:34; 4:11) would show Eli that judgment on his posterity would be fulfilled.
But the Lord would raise up “a faithful priest” to do His will (see 2 Samuel 2:35). Most commentators agree that this prophecy was realized initially in Zadok (although it may also refer to Samuel), and completely fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 2:17-18). Eli's descendants would be reduced to poverty, begging for bread and pleading to do menial tasks at the sanctuary.
INSIGHT: Many see a Messianic allusion in the faithful priest of verse 35, partly in light of the word forever. It is the Lord Jesus Christ. In Hannah’s prayer, you remember, (1) He is mentioned as the King, the Messiah, who is to come. (2) He has been mentioned by Moses as a prophet and (3) now in 1 Samuel is mentioned as a priest. The Lord Jesus Christ is that Prophet, Priest, and King. Jesus is the only One who ever fulfilled all of these offices.
By David Jeremiah
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? -- Romans 8:32
At the Rapture, Christian believers will be caught up to meet Christ in the clouds. Then the seven-year Tribulation will begin. Many non-Christians, having just witnessed the Rapture, will put their faith in Christ. The Antichrist will bring peace to the world for the first half of the seven-year Tribulation. But then the Antichrist will become a world dictator who orders all to worship him -- or be severely persecuted or killed. So these very young Christians will be faced with a severe test: If I remain faithful to God, will He remain faithful to me?
Every Christian today experiences similar tests with regard to money, health, relationships, and more. And the answer is, Yes, God will remain faithful (even if we are not -- 2 Timothy 2:13). God has allowed His saints to suffer throughout history, including His own Son, and always remained faithful. Nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ (Romans 8:35-39).
Hopefully you will not be one who is tested in the Tribulation. But you will be tested in other ways. God is faithful! Trust Him in all things. – By David Jeremiah, Turning Point, October 25, 2016
CONCLUSION: What have we learned from our Bible study today?
· We learned that NOT every prophet (or preacher) is a man of God. (Example: The false prophet Balaam.)
· We learned that spiritual compromise leads to sin. (Example: Balak’s falsehood and Israel’s spiritual adultery.)
· We learned that God hates sin. (Example: God’s judgment on Israel in Phinehas’ day, and God’s judgment on Eli’s family and the death of his two sons because of their sins.)
· We learned that the Lord blesses faithfulness. (Example: God’s blessing on Phinehas in Moses’s day and the blessing on faithful priests like Zadok, Samuel, and the future blessing on Jesus the Prophet, Priest and King!)
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: “Christians do not have to live; they have only to be faithful to Jesus Christ, not only until death but unto death if necessary.” -- Vance Havner
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REFERENCES: References used in these Bible studies are the King James Bible (KJV), The Moody Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Dr. Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Dr. Charles Stanley: ( http://www.intouch.org/ ), Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Dr. David Jeremiah: ( http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/ ), Dr. Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, Dr. Alan Carr’s The Sermon Notebook ( www.sermonnotebook.org ), With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, RBC Ministries ( http://rbc.org/ ), selected illustrations, and other references.
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