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Does God judge today?

1 Samuel 4:12-22 | Part 10



Matthew 6:9-13

Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come.

Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. 


  • War with the Philistines 

  • Had been going on for a while

  • Israel suffers a defeat and chooses to hope in a holy object, rather than a Holy God

  • Your Bible will not save you, Jesus will

  • Your church will not save you, Jesus will

  • Your theology will not save you, Jesus will


1st Samuel 4:12-22

That same day, a Benjaminite man ran from the battle and came to Shiloh. His clothes were torn, and there was dirt on his head. 13 When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair beside the road waiting, because he was anxious about the ark of God. When the man entered the city to give a report, the entire city cried out.

  • The city cries out because families know that a lot of Husband/Dads are not coming home

  • Hophni and Phinehas have been killed

  • The Ark of the Covenant was captured

  • 34k men have been killed

  • Eli is waiting concerned more for the ark than his children

14 Eli heard the outcry and asked, “Why this commotion?” The man quickly came and reported to Eli. 15 At that time Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes didn’t move because he couldn’t see.

  • Eli is old. Potentially blind from his heavy weight

  • He is estranged from his sons, a bit callous it seems in his relationship with God. A hard place

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

16 The man said to Eli, “I’m the one who came from the battle. I fled from there today.” “What happened, my son?” Eli asked.

17 The messenger answered, “Israel has fled from the Philistines, and also there was a great slaughter among the people. Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are both dead, and the ark of God has been captured.” 

  • Horrible news

  • Israel was defeated and showed cowardice

  • Great slaughter of people (34k men dead)

  • Both sons are dead

  • Ark has been captured

18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off the chair by the city gate, and since he was old and heavy, his neck broke and he died. Eli had judged Israel forty years.

  • Eli reacts to this horrible news. Probably goes into shock

  • Falls backwards and breaks his neck

  • God’s will is always done on earth as it is in heaven

  • Hophni and Phinehas, who had contempt for God, are killed

  • Eli, who refuses to hold his sons accountable, is dead

  • 34 thousand men do not return to their homes

  • This is beyond sobering

  • The Lord is not done yet

  • God will not be mocked yesterday or today

  • The God of the OT is the same God of the NT and today

  • Let’s finish up this horrific story. So sad.

19 Eli’s daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and about to give birth. When she heard the news about the capture of God’s ark and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband, she collapsed and gave birth because her labor pains came on her. 20 As she was dying, the women taking care of her said, “Don’t be afraid. You’ve given birth to a son!” But she did not respond or pay attention. 21 She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” referring to the capture of the ark of God and to the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 “The glory has departed from Israel,” she said, “because the ark of God has been captured.”

  • Eli’s daughter in law, Phinehas’ wife, is about to give birth

  • She dies in the process

  • She names her son, “Where is the glory?”, or “what glory?”

  • She, along with Eli see the main problem being that the ark was captured

  • The main problem was that God was not obeyed, but disregarded by Eli and his sons

  • So does God judge today?

Acts 5:1-11 (Annanias and Saphira)

Acts 13:8-12 (Elymas the magician struck blind for opposing God)

1st Corinthians 5:5 (sexual sin, judgment of the flesh)

Nahum 1:2-3

The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance

and is fierce in wrath. The Lord takes vengeance against his foes;

he is furious with his enemies.3 The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will never leave the guilty unpunished. His path is in the whirlwind and storm, and clouds are the dust beneath his feet.

Those who have contempt for God

  • God is jealous

  • God is avenging (punish, have a grudge)

  • God is fierce 

  • God is wrathful (owner)

  • God is furious (to keep or maintain an anger)

  • God will always punish the guilty


God’s judgment is never cruel, irrational, or malicious, but a direct response to evil and disobedience


What hope do we have?

1st John 1:9-10

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

  • Confess your sins

  • King Jesus is FAITHFUL to forgive and RIGHTEOUS enough to be forgive

  • If we decide we are sinless, or good enough we call Jesus a liar

1st Peter 4:17-19

For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God? And if a righteous person is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner? So those who suffer according to God’s will should, while doing what is good, entrust themselves to a faithful Creator.

1st Peter 1:3-4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead 4 and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.

  • Jesus has been resurrected

  • Jesus is the living hope we have

  • Jesus is the inheritance

  • Jesus is imperishable

  • Jesus is undefiled

  • Jesus is unfading



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