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Mercy and Judgment

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
February 14, 2022 3:00 am

Mercy and Judgment

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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February 14, 2022 3:00 am

If you’re stopped for speeding, you may get a warning instead of a ticket—but if you immediately speed away, you’ll face consequences! Find out how God responds when His mercy is similarly spurned in willful rebellion, on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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You speed, you may get pulled over. Now, the officer may like to go. You may get by with just a warning, but then if you immediately speed away.

You can be sure you will be ticketed and you'll have to face a judge today entry for life will find out how God responds when his mercy is similar in first Samuel chapter 2 verses 27 through 30. Well, I want to begin. Essentially where we left off and that was with this very chilling word that comes in verse 25 concerning the sons of Eli that they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to dad. I'm not going to go back down the road we were on, but I want to begin by reminding us of how this is recurring emphasis in the book of Hebrews and so for example in chapter 3 and in verse 12.

The writer says take care brothers, our brothers and sisters, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day as long as it is called today that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, for we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end as it is said today if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion Pilgrim's progress picks up on this and if we have time. I may read a quote from that before we end but we have the picture of the backslider caged and feeling that he may never ever be able to escape his predicament and what we consider this morning is in accord with what Paul writes concerning God's just responds to the rebellion of humanity against his revelation of himself and he says on.

I think three separate occasions. In Romans chapter 1. This word of warning that these folks claimed to be wise, and they became fools, and then it says that therefore God gave them up and three times, actually I think if we check it says that God gave them up and that picture. Incidentally, in Romans chapter 1 of the that the willful stupidity, rebellion, and spiteful nurse that marked the characters Hockney and Phineas that Romans chapter 1 provides actually a perfect description of the sons of Eli and what the board of God is saying is that the wrath of God is not something that has that awaits is then nor is it simply something that was brought forward into time and executed upon Jesus in the place of sinners on the cross but the wrath of God is actually an ongoing reality and, indeed, if I understand Romans one correctly then much of what we experience is actually an expression of the wrath of God. God gave them up to this, God gave them up to this. In other words, God's wrath confirm these individuals in the way that they wanted to live. That was the way Hockney and Phineas wanted to live. God said fine live that way very sober isn't notes that went with that estate the bridge if you like. We then come to verse seven and into this chaotic darkness comes the word of God on the lips of a man of God, the very anonymity of it is quite appealing, I think. And there came a man of God. For those of us who always want to find answers to questions that we should be asking this will be one of them at your local Bible study several take-up times a mile who was the person. And where did he come from and what it be done before he did this, and so on.

And we have no answer to any of those things.

It's all I actually find it quite appealing his anonymity. No credentials. It doesn't say, and he had written a number of books he spoken at a number of conferences. His background is so and so and he studied here in the area not now because what is important in all of the. The only thing that's important in all of that is that there was a certain man who came to them and said this is what God says is what God sets. That is the work and the privilege of those who entrusted with opening up the Scriptures and so, in this context. In a way that is a very straightforward, this individual is sent into that darkness to declare this is what the Lord says, and I tried to come up with three headings and I'll give them to you as was to try and keep me on track.

At that first of all, in these opening two verses we have the record if you like of God's mercy or God's grace being spurned and it comes out into questions and then in a statement you see that they're right there in the text, thus says the Lord. This is what God is saying. Question did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh as a question and the answer of course to that would be yes. While in here comes the second question 28, and did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest. The answer to that would be yes of course you did, and in choosing him to be my priest.

Did he not have the privilege to do these three things number one to go up to my altar, in other words, to be in the place of sacrifice. If you like the place of God's forgiveness. The place where God has chosen to meet with those who come to him in penitence at the very mercy seat of God. Did I not give to him the privilege of doing this yes and also to burn incense now that may seem just like very little to us because of our present circumstances. But when you read in the book of numbers.

For example, you realize just how important in such a key part of things. This was present when courting numbers chapter 4 and verse 16 and the reason Eliezer, son of Aaron the priest shall have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense the regular grain offering and the anointing oil with the oversight of the whole tabernacle and all that is in it of the century and its vessels is quite a job description is quite an assignment and the word of God to Eli is that I not establish my mercy and my grace with your forefathers in this way to go up to the altar to burn incense and to where this eve fawned before me leave fund that is referred to here is not the E Ford, akin to the one that Samuel had on. Samuel was wearing the one that would be routinely related to the priesthood by the E file to which this creature of God with errors is the E father would be worn by the high priest, so the word of God comes to Eli and he says now, was this not the case. And of course Eli has to acknowledge that it is and then not in a question, but in a statement. He reminds Eli that he had given to Eli and to those who served with him all of the benefits of the food offerings I gave to the house of your father. All my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. Now we saw something of that this morning and we see that it is part of the judgment against him as it comes back in a moment or two, so did I not establish my grace and my mercy in this way Eli would be forced to say yes of course you did. And then he asks a further question. Verse 29. Why then, in light of that, do you score in my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling and you go ahead and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves and the choices parts of every offering of my people Israel.

The question is straightforward, isn't it. In light of all my goodness to you.

Why would you make light of these privileges, why would you treat your sons better than you treat me. Why would you turn them loose to grow fat showing contempt for that which I have set at the very center of my relationship with you as my people. I wouldn't want to fast forward to soon but is not difficult for us to hear God's word to our own hearts and have I not redeemed you have and not giving you the privilege to send my holy hill.

Have I not entrusted you with manifold blessing after blessing. Why then why then so grace spurned and then judgment announced judgment, announced verse 30. There is a logical progression in this was that true yes it was true, why have you done this.

Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares, what we have here is essentially what Peter writes about in first Peter four square is speaking of the predicament that is facing the. The scattered followers of Jesus in his day. He says it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God, and that is exactly what is happening here in first Samuel to the house of Eli is about to discover that although God's promise to the house of Aaron to be his priests for all time. Although that promise is not about to be annulled in relationship to Aaron, what has been happening with Eli is about to be changed irrevocably because the house of Eli is in the process of being decimated. In other words, what comes across very clearly is that there are consequences for sin that that when God lays out a plan and a pattern he doesn't lay it out to spoilers. He lays it out because he loves us. He places the warnings their suit to prevent us from from foolishness and from harm and replaces the promises there in order to encourage us to to embrace them into live in the enjoyment of, and in the dealings with his people. He is set it down in such a way that it would all be moving forward to. Finally, the great priest would arise, but in the meantime, this is where they are now. It's a sorry picture isn't verse 31 in the principal incidentally is there in Inver in the balance of verse 30 isn't far be it for me.

He says for those who honor me, I will honor and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed but this is a straightforward statement on on the strength of that verse 31.

Here's the judgment. The days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father's house. It actually is literally in Hebrew out cut off your arm. I will cut off your arm. In other words, there is no possibility of you actually being able to do anything within the process of the worship and temple of the Lord, because you will not have the capacity to do it in verse 32 then in distress. You'll find that you look within BSI is on all the prosperity that will be stored on Israel, and again, there shall not be an old man in your house forever. The only one of you. Verse 33, whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared, but spared only to we presides out to grieve his heart and all the descendents of your house shall die by the sword of man to dreadful expression is in verse 34 and wish that shall come upon your two sons. Often he and finance shall be the sign to you. In other words, a lot of the stuff you'll never live to see. It's not in question is definitely going to happen but you're going to live to see this and both your voice will die on the same day it is turn forward to chapter 4 and two verse 10 so the Philistines fought and Israel was defeated in the flattery mentors all and there is a very great slaughter for 30,000 foot soldiers of Israel fell the ark of God was captured in the two sons of Eli.

Often he and Phineas died on the same day be not deceived, God is not mocked. For whatsoever a man will soul that he will also reap here we are tonight were a long way away, Andre three 3000 years away from this incident. We have got no business being involved with the any of these kinds of mechanisms they are all now a thing of the past so that is it just an interesting story from such a long time ago. Well, it is not only interesting but it is informative and it is a reminder, at least to me that when I read this I say to myself while.

Hasn't God been particularly gracious and good to me to us, then surely the warning is to see to it that I don't have a sinful, unbelieving heart like coffee and Phineas to see to it that in exercising the privileges and responsibilities in the framework of the people of God that I or any of us do not put ourselves in the position where the professional external engagement in activity is unmatched by the reality of our hearts, because, you see, presumably, harshly, and Phineas made a pretty normal kind of start, but somewhere along the way. Somewhere along the way.

They began to drift to begin disable as long as I do this on the outside as long as we keep electronic then all will be fine in the judgment of God is not is not all fine because remembering Hannah's prayer. God is the God who knows remembering Hannah's prayer.

He is the one who weighs in the balances and what we discover here is that God has weighed harshly and Phineas in the balances and they have been found wanting is that I might quote from Tobin for the setting of a moment to do so This is one of the sections in Pilgrim's progress that I find most demanding and challenging and it's where hopeful and and and Christian are talking with one another and it's after temporary has backslidden and he he is now is is really known nowhere to be found, and so hopeful says no I've shown you the reasons for their going back do you show me the manner they are all so he says this year the reasons why they went back how does this happen and this is this is the answer that Kristin gives. Let me tell you this is what happens when a person starts to drift into the hafnium finance routine number one, they draw off their thoughts. All that they may from the remembrance of God. Death and judgment to come, then we cast off by degrees, private duties as personal prayer. The curbing of lasts watching solo for sin and the like. Then they shunned the company of lively and warm warm Christians. After that they grow cold to public duty as hearing reading, fellowship, and the like.

Then you begin to pick holes as we say in the courts of some of the godly and that devilishly that they may have a seeming color to throw religion for the sake of some infirmities. They are found in that behind their backs. Then they begin to adhere to and associate themselves with carnal loose and wanton man. Then they give way to carnal and wanton discourses in secret and glad are they if they can see such things in any that are counted, honest that they made the more boldly do it through their example. After this they begin to play with little sins openly and then being hardened. They show themselves as they are thus being launched again into the Gulf of misery unless a miracle of grace prevented the everlastingly parish in there on the ceilings. Grace burned judgment announced and a prospect assured it's good to finish on an encouraging and high note is not, but is there is not in verse 35 I will raise up for myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind.

In other words, not somebody like you, Eli, and know somebody like your two boys either. Now when we come back to this at another time we can go around through Israel's history, we can consider where Sadock, the priest and you know she remembers it of the priest and Nathan the prophet and all that material but eventually as we know from seeing it again and again to one another this finds its fulfillment, saving millions and ultimately in Jesus that the work of the faithful priest and the anointed king are compared and combined in Jesus, but then it finishes again doesn't verse 36, and anyone who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver are a loaf of bread and if so say this to remember verse five of the Hannah's prayer.

Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread for those who are hungry have ceased to hunger hafnium finance and the guy with a three-pronged fork to give me that stuff. We mean you won't give it to me.

It don't give it to me when I asked them will take it from you by force but is in the fat supposed to be an aroma to God you don't worry about God where the priests we know about God and everyone who is left in your house shall be held on the streets saying you buy me a sandwich. Could I have something to drink.

He who was once full, now finds himself empty. God's mercy is more God's judgment is real and only in the cross of Christ to refined that his mercy and his judgment are executed in such perfect symmetry so as to make it possible for us to say Lord help me not to have an unbelieving heart instead.

Help me to look upon your cross and remind myself of the immensity of your mercy and your grace help me not to spurn, help me not to presume upon your kindness help is not as a church to rest on any supposed laurels of the past to keep short accounts with sin and to exhort and encourage one another as we see the day of Christ's return drawing near your listing to Truth for Life.

That's Alistair Begg, teaching us that we are to heed God's warnings and follow after him or face his judgment. Today is the last day you'll hear me talking about the book little pilgrims big journey.

If you've not already requested your copy. Be sure to do so today. This book is ideal for elementary age children.

But honestly, the whole family will enjoy these stories and the conversations they inspire. As you read the book together, you'll discover helpful ways to talk about the gospel and to prepare your children to live the Christian life is not always an easy endeavor. Request your copy of little pilgrims big journey you give a donation you can tap the image you see on the mobile app we can visit us online at or call us at 888-588-7884 and if you'd rather mail your donation along with the request for the book right to truth for like the PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, OH 44139. By the way, you can purchase additional copies of little pilgrims big journey in our online store. The book comes bundled together with the map, a coloring book and stickers makes a wonderful gift for any child you know you can use it with the Sunday school class again by additional copies of our cost Truth for about Lapine. Thanks for listening. Join us tomorrow.

We will learn about the great danger of neglecting God's work. The Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is punished by truth or lying where the Learning is for Living

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