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That’s Not Normal! (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
February 23, 2022 3:00 am

That’s Not Normal! (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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February 23, 2022 3:00 am

It’s hard to imagine worse news for a pregnant woman than finding out that her husband has been killed in battle. But that wasn’t the news that shook Phinehas’s wife to her core. What was? Find out on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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It's hard to imagine worse news for a pregnant wife or husband had been killed in battle today on Truth for Life will learn of the news that really shook Phineas his wife to her core. This is part two of a message titled that's not normal Alistair Beggs teaching from first Samuel chapter 4 were in verses 12 to 22 and the mention of the Richard caused Eli's heart to tremble is now the occasion of his death. He's old, he's heavy he's blind. He said he's dead or something that ought to give us pause when we read this, we had to say. I'm not sure I remember many places in the Bible where somebody's weight is mentioned. So therefore it must be a significant thing. Well, you could say yes and sheer terms of the physicality over that would explain why if he was heavy in that way. A fall would be sufficient to bring about his death but actually we know that is more than that because what was the problem early on with the three-pronged for, and the digging in the meat.

It was that they despise the place that God had appointed decided that the preoccupations of themselves and their father to precedence over their own artfully longings over their own needs. Hey you give us this stuff will take it from you forcibly don't you worry about Almighty God, we are the custodians of Almighty God.

Just do what were telling you we will take the facts. So what you where is the glory in one sense wrapped around Eli's belly for his girth is in itself a physical expression of the spiritual chaos represented in the priestly function of Shiloh and the writer is making a play on words throughout this saga, showing how when those who are fastened on themselves and their own significant seeking to rob God of his glory. They treat him as if he is light and may be manipulated and so they themselves regarding themselves as heavy take precedence in everything. This little scene here is a is a sad scene is and that the sun is setting on Eli's life. He dies miserably, but I want to believe that he didn't die eternally. The Lord knows these things I say that because even in his death is actually clear that his deepest concern is not what is happening to him, or even what happened to his sons, but the news that God had forsaken his dwelling in Shiloh. The news that they are Now being captured the news that the glory if you like had departed.

Eli is one of a number of individuals in the Bible, particularly in the realm of religious profession and in religious exercise in terms of priestly or pastoral function. If you like, who stands as a huge warning warning that is encapsulated in Paul's words. Remember in first Corinthians 10 let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he falls.

I want to believe that Eli died of a broken heart rather than of a broken neck. I want to believe that the former preceded the latter I don't know what is main and plain. Eli died second little scenario is probably one of the most touching and one of the loveliest in the Old Testament record.

We don't even know this lady's name simply his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phineas. I encourage you to read this on your own. We agree with me that it's both touching and tragic that it is quite a drama that unfolds in a matter of just a few words ever see somebody just in passing pressure on a bus or something and you look at them and you realize there's a whole life.

Let wrapped up in that person will you look at this now his daughter-in-law had this lady's life been. It must've been peculiar in many ways, because we know how it ends. You see, crisis as in this does not create this response crisis reveals the nature of the person by their response. Note the ears. She was married to this character as she was married to a priest.

Presumably, on the occasion of their marriage there were to be in great joy and celebration. How wonderful it is.

This not only is she married to a priest, but her brother-in-law is a priest and so she lived her life in the goldfish bowl of a priestly home. As time went by, she became aware of her husband's double standards. He went out into the community and to do this priestly stuff, but he also slept with women she was aware of his adulterous behavior, a behavior that was a matter of public knowledge.

As we know from the text she would've felt the sting when people said of her as she passed by in the marketplace.

You know that is Phineas, his wife and then she would've heard somebody say, and we all know about Phineas Dunkley. She would've been aware of what the public would not be aware of what went on behind closed doors with or without finance actually sought God in the private place whether there was a growing distance between his function and if you like his fellowship with God. She would've been aware if the distancing of himself from that which is sacred produced in his experience activity that was her job, but it was not a joy.

It had been a joy but it became a job.

People always ask me when you leave pastoral ministry.

When your joy is superb, supplanted by just doing their job. It will not suffice. But here they obviously still were intimate with one another.

She was pregnant had they turned over a new leaf. Had he said you know what I'm done with all that stuff is going to be a new day. We don't know what kind of farewell wasn't when she embraced him as they left. He and Hockney to take this onto the field of battle, especially in light of the fact that she knew because the word of Samuel hadn't fallen to the ground and because the people of Israel knew the word of Samuel, which was the word that was the reiteration of the word that it come by this certain man who brought the word of prophecy concerning the demise and destruction of the house of Eli. Hard to imagine that now she heard the news and when she heard the news I notice when the news is given to Eli. It goes in ascending order that the that the Army has fled. There's been a slaughter, your sons or dad, and the ark. Here's the punchline we notice in this case the punchline heads the list and when she heard the news that the ark of God was captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead. She bowed her self and give birth for the pains had come upon her. I here's where I found myself all week. I wish you could be with me sometimes during the week he could see things like up there in my cave. You know, surrounded by sheets of paper that I keep crumpling up and throwing in the print but this lady's got me stumped throughout the week that I found myself sitting and sitting again going ice not normal because think about it under any natural circumstances, surely the death of a spouse would hit list. Surely the real issue would be forget about the box for the time being my man's debt if you lost a loved one, you know that every other consideration in the world falls to the ground in relationship to that reality. So what are we discovering here or the cumulative impact of it all introduces labor but what we are realizing is that the physical responses outweighed by the spiritual and we know this because of what unfolds when she realizes that she's not going to survive the ordeal.

The women attending her seeking to rally her and encourage her see tour. He you know the baby's a boy, if we Hebrew mom wanted a boy the whole story begins with a woman, Hannah, who is thrilled with the boy possesses somebody even in that extremity to not answer or pay attention is what he says in verse 20, but she didn't answer or pay attention. My first thought was with us because she was so physically distressed she was and she couldn't know how you know because she named the child if she was blotto if she was just out of it. Then she be out of it.

She didn't answer or pay attention. She said I want you to call the child Ichabod, saying the glory has departed from Israel. Now you knows that sin that's in quotation marks then the common trait of the writer because the ark of God had been captured and because of her father-in-law and her husband and she said "again, the glory has departed from Israel for the ark of God has been captured or Ichabod simply means no glory or where is the glory, how can it be. How can this be, it must be that this lady somehow in a way that is not disclosed to us in holy Scripture lived in the presence of God that when her husband led her down when she was aware of the discrepancy between public profession and private reality that somehow or another. She must've been saying to herself. God is a very present help in trouble.

He's a refuge for me the name of the Lord is a strong tower into it. I can run and be safe. She must've been doing that because otherwise you normally get a response like this.

She must somehow or another, have had a theology which comes out so clearly in her death, and so this lady whose name we do not know who live faithfully ahead in life will be rate laid to rest and then on visited to you want to believe.

I do that somehow in all of her pain and disappointment and loss somehow deep inside she had laid hold of something that even those closest to her had not grasped if I was this another thing that I do that it's just silly, but I I I hear music when when I'm reading the text as Saul imagined, of course, I thought I imagined I could hear her voice and has her as her life ebbs away, she singing my eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lower. He is splendid, the vintage where the grapes of wrath seek seek she she she knew she knew that Hannah when she prayed was on it. There is no unholy like you oh Lord, what is God's glory. It is the manifestation of his infinite perfection and holiness. It is bringing up and out into the public arena. All that God is all that he means why all that matters why the psalmist says. I'd rather spend a single day within your records then thought I was and spend anywhere else. What is it that brings out about it must only be that in the in the deep recesses of the human soul. There is an engagement with God. That's why the psalmist is so much on it some 19 that heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament shows his handiwork. In other words, the clouds show to you in the morning shouting out to you. The evening sunlight shouts out, it just expresses the glory of God.

She must've seen this.

She must've believed this, she knew that the glory of God was to be declared among the nations, and therefore for the ark to be captured for it to be carried away amongst the pagans. Then God must be in this it must be be exalted over God. She might have said before she went to bed, exalted above the heavens let your glory be over all year. She she knew that God's glory mattered more than Eli's name mattered more than Shiloh mattered more than present victory not normal, because by nature. We cannot see God's glory by nature, our eyes are hidden from the glory of God. Therefore I say to you if it is a natural, it has to be supernatural. Two Corinthians and chapter 4. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, and we are all perishing until we find life in Christ.

It is veiled to those who are perishing.

Now why is this well in their case the god of this world. Small G has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God to use and listen to me or my college.

Usually that was very interesting. I was very boring.

I just friendly don't get of course you don't get it. You can get your eyes have been blinded by the god of this age. You and I were all tempted to believe that this is it that this matters more than anything else that whatever is up and out and beyond their somehow or another. That's another realm that doesn't matter. This is the real round. You see, God opens blind eyes. God softens hard hearts.

For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus sake, for God, who said let light shine out of darkness, is a reference to the creation has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Do you see this what happened at Shiloh is long remembered you will be surprise now. I hope that as you read through your Bible and you come across a reference. For example, like Psalms 78 verse 60 you say oh yeah I get that when God heard he was full of wrath and the utterly rejected Israel. He forsook his dwelling at Shiloh the tent where he dwelt among mankind. Jeremiah the prophet speaking at a time in the history of the people of God when they were also tempted to use God to say you are useful rather than you are worthy. And in that context, the word of warning to them is directly in relationship to Shiloh has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes. Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the Lord. Go now to my place that was in Shiloh where I made my named well at first and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel.

Go now to my place at Shiloh that is not only a warning here for each to ensure that we do not fall. We believe ourselves to be standing but there is a striking warning here to every assembly of God's people.

I could take you throughout Scotland and to to shame and sadness stand with you outside boarded up buildings that were once called holy this or the church of the and what is written across the metaphorically is just one word Ichabod where is the glory nor glory when we say to one another. These things about the next generation and the importance of the passing on of truth, and the ensuring that our children and our children's children are are are nurtured in the things of Christ, we are seeing it in light of the fact that we wouldn't be the first church than 100 years from now people drove past and said you know I think I think in the early 2000's. There was a congregation there.

That's what he said in Ephesus candlestick removed, how I hate the thought perish the thought that Parkside church will one day have his name changed to Ichabod community church because the leadership just doing their job but they lost their joy in the congregation was so fixated on the now and the me in the port that any notion of the glory and majesty and transcendence of God was to be lost. There is a danger for any of us to take God's glory for granted as individuals or as a church listing to Alistair Begg on Truth for Life. Keep listening. Alister will return shortly to close with prayer.

As Alister mentioned, it's vitally important that each of us know the truth and pass it on to the next generation. That's why our mission of Truth for Life is to teach the Bible and only the Bible every single day.

We do this, knowing that God uses the teaching of his word to convert unbelievers to bring believers into a closer relationship with himself and to strengthen both pastors and local church members to help you share Jesus with the next generation.

It's important that you take time to really understand who he is and all that he's done.

That's why were recommending to your book titled name above all names.

The authors Alistair Begg and Sinclair Ferguson guide you through the whole sweep of Scripture as they examined seven key qualities of Jesus identity and ministry among other things, you'll find out how the suffering servant written about in Scripture is also the conquering king, for whom Israel was longing. Discover how the whole Bible is a book about Jesus request name above all names when you donate today to give click the image in the mobile app or visit us online at now, here's Alister with the closing prayer Lord our God, look upon as we pray, in your mercy. Thank you that your faithfulness extends from generation to generation. We want to heed the warnings, even as we trust your promises. Hear our prayers personally and corporately for your sentencing. Amen unpopular opinion should listen, tomorrow we will hear how God remains victorious even when his people seem completely defeated the Bible teaching of Alistair Begg is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living

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