Shiloh

The topic assigned to me is the city of Shiloh. While I will talk a little bit about the city itself, my main message will be about what happened in Shiloh because a place is just place. The only thing that makes a city like Shiloh have importance is what happed there. The first thing I want to do is give you some information about this city and give you an overview of what happened there, but the main part of message will focus on the events that happened in 1 Samuel.

Shiloh means - place of rest. It is a city located in the territory of Ephraim. Judges 21:19 gives us its location as the location as you can see on the map:

Judges 21:19 Then they said, "In fact, there is a yearly feast of the LORD in Shiloh, which is north of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah."

 

The territory of Ephraim is just one of the many areas that were defeated during Joshuaís conquests. The first major event we learn about Shiloh is found in:

 

Joshua 18:1 Now the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of meeting there. And the land was subdued before them.

 

There are a lot of details we could look at regarding the tabernacle, but that would be a lesson within itself. Shiloh would become the new home to the tabernacle. Many of the details about the tabernacle are found in in Exodus 25-40. The tabernacle served as the place of worship prior to the temple being built later on by Solomon. It is where sacrifices were done and it housed the Ark of the Covenant. The tabernacle would remain in Shiloh all the way through Book of Judges until the time Eliís death, which covered a time span of about 369 years according the Talmud, which is a collection of Jewish writings.

At this time in history, 7 of the tribes of Israel had not yet claimed their territory and Joshua tells them to go out and look at the land and come back to him. We read about this in the same chapter, but I just want to read a small portion of it:

Joshua 18:8 Then the men arose to go away; and Joshua charged those who went to survey the land, saying, "Go, walk through the land, survey it, and come back to me, that I may cast lots for you here before the LORD in Shiloh."9 So the men went, passed through the land, and wrote the survey in a book in seven parts by cities; and they came to Joshua at the camp in Shiloh. 10 Then Joshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before the LORD, and there Joshua divided the land to the children of Israel according to their divisions.

Later, in Joshua 21, the cities and common land that the Levites would get to use was determined. We find out about a misunderstanding in Joshua 22 when the tribes on the other side of Jordan build an impressive alter. Some saw this as rebellion against God, so the children of Israel gathered together at Shiloh to go to war against the tribes that remained on the other side of the Jordan. Before they attacked, Phinehas and 10 rulers (one from each tribe) went and talked with the tribes on the other side of Jordan about this alter they had built. We read about their response in:

Joshua 22:21 Then the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh answered and said to the heads of the divisions of Israel:22 "The LORD God of gods, the LORD God of gods, He knows, and let Israel itself know -- if it is in rebellion, or if in treachery against the LORD, do not save us this day. 23 "If we have built ourselves an altar to turn from following the LORD, or if to offer on it burnt offerings or grain offerings, or if to offer peace offerings on it, let the LORD Himself require an account. 24 "But in fact we have done it for fear, for a reason, saying, 'In time to come your descendants may speak to our descendants, saying, "What have you to do with the LORD God of Israel? 25 "For the LORD has made the Jordan a border between you and us, you children of Reuben and children of Gad. You have no part in the LORD." So your descendants would make our descendants cease fearing the LORD.'26 "Therefore we said, 'Let us now prepare to build ourselves an altar, not for burnt offering nor for sacrifice,27 'but that it may be a witness between you and us and our generations after us, that we may perform the service of the LORD before Him with our burnt offerings, with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your descendants may not say to our descendants in time to come, "You have no part in the LORD." '28 "Therefore we said that it will be, when they say this to us or to our generations in time to come, that we may say, 'Here is the replica of the altar of the LORD which our fathers made, though not for burnt offerings nor for sacrifices; but it is a witness between you and us.'29 "Far be it from us that we should rebel against the LORD, and turn from following the LORD this day, to build an altar for burnt offerings, for grain offerings, or for sacrifices, besides the altar of the LORD our God which is before His tabernacle."

When the children of Israel found out the real reason for the alter, they were satisfied and went home. One thing we can learn from this today is that we must be careful about jumping to conclusion. Just because someone says something about someone or what they are doing does not mean it is true. When people believe what is being said by others without getting the facts then we have people ready to go to war when there is nothing to go to war over. A great example of this was the mob that Pilate was dealing with when he tried to let Jesus go. All it took was a few people to make false accusations against Jesus and stir up the crowd to get them to release a known criminal instead of Jesus.

Instead of jumping to conclusion or believing what you here, you need to get the facts first like t Phinehas and the 10 men did. If they had not gone to the three tribes on the other side of the Jordan and just attacked them instead, they would have killed innocent people that had not done what they thought they had done. So, let learn from this event to not make assumption about people or what they are doing. Get the facts, then you can know for sure if the person is doing something wrong so that an innocent person doesnít get falsely accused or harmed in the process.

Next, in Judges 19-21 we learn that some men from the tribe of Benjamin had done a wicked deed by taking a Leviteís concubine and raping her and killing her. The other tribes rose up against the tribe of Benjamin for this wicked deed and almost wiped them out. Afterwards, the children of Israel decided they did not want the tribe of Benjamin to completely disappear, so they made peace with them, but they needed wives to keep the tribe from disappearing. They could not give them wives from their own tribes because they swore an oath that they would not. So, their solution to the problem is found in:

Judges 21:10 So the congregation sent out there twelve thousand of their most valiant men, and commanded them, saying, "Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead with the edge of the sword, including the women and children. 11 "And this is the thing that you shall do: You shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman who has known a man intimately."12 So they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead four hundred young virgins who had not known a man intimately; and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

These women were brought to Shiloh, but there wasnít enough, so the second solution was this:

Judges 21:17 And they said, "There must be an inheritance for the survivors of Benjamin, that a tribe may not be destroyed from Israel. 18 "However, we cannot give them wives from our daughters, for the children of Israel have sworn an oath, saying, 'Cursed be the one who gives a wife to Benjamin.' "19 Then they said, "In fact, there is a yearly feast of the LORD in Shiloh, which is north of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah."20 Therefore they instructed the children of Benjamin, saying, "Go, lie in wait in the vineyards,21 "and watch; and just when the daughters of Shiloh come out to perform their dances, then come out from the vineyards, and every man catch a wife for himself from the daughters of Shiloh; then go to the land of Benjamin. 22 "Then it shall be, when their fathers or their brothers come to us to complain, that we will say to them, 'Be kind to them for our sakes, because we did not take a wife for any of them in the war; for it is not as though you have given the women to them at this time, making yourselves guilty of your oath.' "

So, the tribe of Benjamin was stocked with women found in Shiloh. What I find interesting is the lengths the men would go to keep their oath, yet create their own loophole. While they would not give their daughters to them, they had no problem killing people and taking their virgins to help supply their need. Then my favorite part is them telling the tribe of Benjamin, ďwell we will not give you any of our daughters, but if you go and take them, then that is ok because technically we didnít give them to you, and we will not retaliate if you do take them.Ē

If there is one thing that man is good at it is finding loopholes. While loopholes might be ligament in some cases, many today like to make up loopholes in Godís Word to justify their actions. However, we should not be the kind of people that create loopholes to accomplish our goal when we know what we are doing is wrong especially when it is contrary to Godís Word.

Just to give you one example of what I am talking about, some will say that we should be able to use musical instruments in worship because the Bible does not specifically say you shall not use them. Of course, this is not a valid loophole because God has taught us to sing to Him in Eph. 5:19 and Col. 3:16, and every example we have in the N.T. is people singing to God without a musical instrument. So, God in essences has said do not use a musical instrument by telling us that we are to sing, which excludes using a musical instrument. So, let us not create loopholes in Godís Word when they cannot be found.

The next bit of history of Shiloh comes from the 1 Samuel. I am going to go in more detail later about what happens in 1 Samuel, but for now I just want to mention that the tabernacle is still located in Shiloh at this time. This is where Hannah vowed to the Lord that if He would give her a son, she would give him back to God (1 Samuel 1:1). After the birth of Samuel, Hannah brought him to Shiloh as promised (1 Samuel 1:24-28). Shiloh became the home for Samuel as he lived under the care of Eli, the high priest, and his two wicked sons, Hophni and Phinehas. Later, Samuel received the Lord's message that the priesthood would be taken from Eli's family (1 Samuel 3:1). Next we see Shiloh being uses as example:

Jeremiah 7:12 " But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I set My name at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. 13 "And now, because you have done all these works," says the LORD, "and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer,14 "therefore I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to this place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.

God is always serious when it comes to His people living by His Word. When they do not, He is not going to be happy with it. While He is a merciful God and we can see from the O.T. that He puts up with a lot, the end result is always the same. His people will be punished when they rebel, we must learn from this that God will indeed punish us if we rebel against His ways and Shiloh serves as example of that.

Even after Shiloh was destroyed and became an insignificant place, we find a few more reference to it. For example, in 1 Kings 14, the blind prophet Ahijah was still in Shiloh and he prophesied from there the doom that would come from the wickedness of Jeroboam. If you are not familiar with that name, Jeroboam was the man that God gave the 10 tribes of Israel, but instead of living for God and keeping His commandments he corrupted the way of God by creating false places of worship and was guilty of many other wicked deeds. Sure enough, the northern kingdom that began with Jeroboam was later destroyed all because of sin.

The last mentioning of Shiloh comes from Jeremiah 41:5, which briefly mentions some men coming from Shiloh.

I just want to briefly mention the archeological information about Shiloh.

A Danish team led by H. Kjśr (overseen by W.F. Albright) excavated for three seasons between the years 1926-32. A probe was done by Sven Holm-Nielson and Marie-Louise Buhl in 1963. An extensive excavation was done by Israel Finkelstein during the years 1981-84.

Pottery, some structures, remains of animal sacrifices, wheat, and possibly the site of where the tabernacle was located have been found along with some other artifacts that show that Shiloh did exist. Other artifacts have been found around the area, but Shiloh itself has not had any more digs recently as far as I know.

Now that you have a good overview about Shiloh, letís now go back to 1 Samuel and look at some of the great lessons we can learn from the events that happened at Shiloh.

1 Samuel 1:1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, Ray-math-a-em zoe- phem of the mountains of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, Juh- roe- ham the son of Elihu, eh-lie-hew the son of Tohu, toe-hoo the son of Zuph, zuff an Ephraimite. 2 And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah pen-nin-uh. Peninnah pen-nin-uh had children, but Hannah had no children. 3 This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni hoff-nigh and Phinehas, fin-e-hus the priests of the LORD, were there. 4 And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah pen-nin-uh his wife and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb. 6 And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat. 8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"

This gives us a glimpse into the family life of Elkanah and the difficulties of a polygamous relationship. They lived in the high country of Ephraim and we can see that Elkanah had two wives. Though polygamy was practiced in the O.T. it was not Godís intention for a man to have multiply wives from the beginning. For example, God only made Adam one wife. Jesus also points this out in:

Matthew 19:4 And He answered and said to them, "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,'5 "and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6 "So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate."

Jesus is reminding his audience about how things were setup at the beginning of time in regards to marriage and he makes it clear that one man is to marry one woman and how they become one flesh and that marriage is to last a life time. Paul also confirms this in:

1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, because of sexual immorality, let each man have his own wife, and let each woman have her own husband.
While polygamy was practiced and tolerated in the O.T., it is not to be done under the N.T. system. Having more than one wife is just asking for trouble, and we can see that Elkanah was experiencing some of these problems. We learn that Hannah was barren at this time but his other wife Peninah pen-nin-uh had given birth to sons and daughters. Every year, they would go up as a family to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to God. But as we read, Elkanah does something that made the tension between his wives even greater. When he made his offering, he would give a portion of it to his children and to his wife Peninah pen-nin-uh, but then he would give Hannah a double portion.

In my mind, I see Peninah pen-nin-uh thinking to herself, here I am providing my husband with all of these children and yet he is giving her a double portion of his offering. That is not fair. Our text clearly shows that Peninah pen-nin-uh doesnít care for Hannah and she considerers her an adversary. Verses 6 and 7 let us know that Peninah pen-nin-uh didnít play around when it came to putting Hannah down. Notice how she perfectly timed her verbal attack on her so that it would have the deepest impact. She waited until they were at the holy place to worship God and she raked her over the coals by pointing out how God has closed her womb.

I can just see her towering over Hannah and bragging how God had blessed her with children and telling her how much better she was than Hannah. This of course caused Hannah to break out in tears because she wanted to give her husband children. She felt so bad that she did not feel like eating. When Elkanah sees Hannah, he wants to know why she is so distressed, which tells us that he had no idea what Peninah pen-nin-uh was doing to her.

1 Samuel 1:9 So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD. 10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish. 11 Then she made a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head."

Hannah was suffering and she knew that all she could do was pour her soul out to God through prayer and hope that it was His will for her to have a child. Not only does she pray for a son, she makes a vow that she will dedicate her son to the Lord for the rest of his life.

1 Samuel 1: 12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth. 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 So Eli said to her, "How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!"

Two things are happening here. First, we see Hannah praying, but she wasnít doing it out loud, she was doing it from her heart. When we pray to God, we do not have to yell or verbally say our prayer to get Godís attention. We certainly do not have to speak some beautiful or elaborate words to turn His head our way like the Pharisees like to do to receive the praise of men in the 1st century. No, our God can understand our very thoughts as if we had spoken them from our mouths. As,

Psalm 94:11 The LORD knows the thoughts of man Ö

The second thing we see from our text is that Eli jumps to conclusion and accuses Hannah of being drunk simply because she wasnít praying out loud. Again, I canít help but point out how easy it is to jump to conclusion. As Christians, we need to learn not to be like Eli and jump to conclusions based on appearances. Notice Hannahís response to Eli.

1 Samuel 1:15 And Hannah answered and said, "No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. 16 "Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now."17 Then Eli answered and said, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him."18 And she said, "Let your maidservant find favor in your sight." So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

Hannah wants Eli to know that she is not some wicked woman who is drunk, she was just a woman with a sorrowful spirit. When Eli realizes he made a bad judgment call, he basically tells her that he hopes what she was praying for will come to pass. After Hannah poured her soul out to God, she found peace and was no longer sad and was able to eat.

There is a great lesson for us to learn here. Whenever we have problems come up in our lives and they make us extremely sad let us never forget to pray. As Christians, we should know that we have access to thrown of God through prayer. No matter how big our problems may be, we can pour out our souls out to God and realize that we have put our problems into His hands. It should give us peace and remove our sadness knowing that God will take care of our problems in His way. If we can learn to be more like Hannah by leaving our problems with God, we can all experience the kind of peace that God wants us to have even when bad things are happening all around us.

1 Samuel 1:19 Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20 So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, "Because I have asked for him from the LORD."21 Now the man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "Not until the child is weaned; then I will take him, that he may appear before the LORD and remain there forever."23 And Elkanah her husband said to her, "Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him. Only let the LORD establish His word." So the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

Hannahís prayer was answered. She bore a son and called him Samuel. Before she gave her son over to the Eli, she was going to take care of him until he was weaned, which could have been anywhere from 3 to 5 years. Her husband agreed that she could keep him until that time. At least she was able to have a close relationship with her son during the first years. Today, they say that the first 5 years of a childís life will greatly influence the kind of person they will turn into, and Samuel would certainly be blessed by the influence from his godly mother.

1 Samuel 1:24 Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah e-fa of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh. And the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli. 26 And she said, "O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the LORD. 27 "For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition which I asked of Him. 28 "Therefore I also have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD." So they worshiped the LORD there.

We can only imagine how hard this was for Hannah. After all, she was barren for a long time and all she could think about was giving her husband a son. Now, that she finally had one and spent the last few years taking care of him, she now has to give him up and would only get to see him occasionally. She did this because she was a woman who kept her promise. At least she could be happy that he would be raised up to serve God.

As Christians, if we make a promise to God we should keep it. Too many people today will pray to God and say if you will make this happen, I will do this or that, but when the prayer is answered, the person doesnít do what they said they would. Now I am no way suggesting that we should go around making vows to God, but I am saying if we tell Him that we will do something then we should do our best to keep our promises. Not only should we keep our promises to God, we should also keep our promises we make to other people as long as those promises donít violate the Word of God.

After Hannah gives her son to Eli, she rejoices in God through prayer. I want you to listen carefully as I read her prayer.

1 Samuel 2:1 And Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. 2 "No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God. 3 "Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the LORD is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed. 4 "The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength. 5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, And the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, And she who has many children has become feeble. 6 "The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up. 7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up. 8 He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory. "For the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, And He has set the world upon them. 9 He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. "For by strength no man shall prevail. 10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed."11 Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child ministered to the LORD before Eli the priest.

All you mothers and father know it would have been difficult to give up your son, but she did not have a pity party or complain about the promise she made. Instead, she rejoiced in what God had done for her. She was satisfied with the fact that she was able to have a son and was able to spend at least some time with him. Sometimes Christians get caught up in the pity party game, but we need to be more like Hannah and be thankful for the time we had our blessings and to be satisfied with what we have. Paul understood this concept:

Philippians 4:11I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

All Christians should learn to be content. The chapter ends with these verses:

1 Samuel 2:18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod. 19 Moreover his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "The LORD give you descendants from this woman for the loan that was given to the LORD." Then they would go to their own home. 21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the LORD.

Every year Hannah would go see her son and make him a new robe every year. However, God was not finished blessing this godly woman. He opened her womb again and she bore three more sons and two daughters. This is another great example of how God sheds His wonderful blessings on those who faithfully seek after Him.

The final part of our lesson on Shiloh and the events that happened there will come from Chapters 2 and 3 of 1 Samuel, which focuses on Eli and his 2 sons and how Samuel takes Eliís place.

1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD.

This is a sad verse indeed. Eliís sons were born into the priesthood, and they were serving as priests for God, but they were corrupt or worthless. The reason they were corrupt was because they did not know God. Therefore, they had no regard for His laws. It amazes me that their father was such a Godly man and did a great job when it came to teaching Samuel about God, but he had neglected to train his own sons and discipline them. Letís read on and see what they did.

13 And the priests' custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling. 14 Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Also, before they burned the fat, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who sacrificed, "Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw."16 And if the man said to him, "They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires," he would then answer him, "No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force."17 Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.

These two boys were being greedy when it came to the portion they were supposed to receive from a sacrifice. Leviticus 7 and Deuteronomy 18 teach us that a priestís portion of a sacrifice only includes the shoulder, the breast, the cheeks, and the stomach. Yet these boys wanted it all including the fat, which was forbidden by the law of God. Their sins didnít just affect them, it started making the people despise giving their sacrifices because they came to give it to God not to these two men. Violating Godís Word this way calls for these men to be cut off before God, but this wasnít the only thing they were doing wrong.

1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

Not only did they violate Godís law about the sacrifices that were made, they were also indulging in fornication. These sons of Eli were out of control and needed to be dealt with.

23 So he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. 24 "No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD's people transgress. 25 "If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?" Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them. 26 And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men.

Here we see Eliís feeble attempt to deal with his sons, but they did not listen to him just like they had not listened to him their whole lives. Eli had failed miserable to raise his sons up in the way of the Lord so that they would respect him and God. Eli should have never let his sons serve as priests. He should not have neglected training his sons in the way of the Lord.

Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Though we all have a free will and can do what we want, most of the time if we raise our children in the way of the Lord, they will not depart from it. There were some hefty consequences that were allowed under the Old Testament for those children who rebelled against their parents and God. According to Deut. 21:18-21, a stubborn child who would not listen could be stoned to death. By all rights, this is exactly what needed to be done to Eliís two sons. Instead, he just gave them a slap on the wrist and allowed them to continue to serve as priests. In way of contrast, Samuel was nothing like Eliís two sons because he was a godly man who had found favor in sight of man and God. Notice the message that is given to Eli because of his lack of discipline.

27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house? 28 'Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? 29 'Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?

This messenger of God is talking about Aaron the priest. The messenger points out how God took care of the priest by allowing them to take part of the sacrifices that were made by the children of Israel, but Eliís two sons had become greedy and started taken the best part of the sacrifice for themselves and leaving the leftovers for God. Because of this, God wants to know, why are you giving more honor to your sons than to me? Now please pay close attention to these next verses.

30 "Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: 'I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.' But now the LORD says: 'Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

There is a powerful lesson here for us to learn, especially those in the religious world. Whenever God told Aaron that his house would walk before Him forever this was only true if his house remained true to God. Notice, God will not honor those who do not honor him. God has always had conditions in place that must be followed in order to be right with Him. If you do not follow His conditions, then He will cut you off. This teaches us that if we want to be able to embrace the promise of heaven given to us by God, we must honor Him by living faithful lives. However, if we turn on Him by doing our own thing like Eliís two sons did, then we will not make into heaven.

We also learn that we must always put God first even above our children. We should always honor our Father in heaven by upholding His Word no matter what. We should not allow our love for our children or anyone else to make us compromise Godís truth by justifying the sinful actions of our loved ones.

Notice the consequences of Eliís neglect of his two sinful sons as we read:

31 'Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 'And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33 'But any of your men whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age. 34 'Now this shall be a sign to you that will come upon your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall die, both of them. 35 'Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever. 36 'And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and say, "Please, put me in one of the priestly positions, that I may eat a piece of bread." ' "

It was considered an honor to have an older men within your household, but God is letting Eli know that this will not happen any longer because his sons would die in flower of their youth and God is going to take away the power from Eli and give the priesthood to another. To prove when this was going to begin, Eliís two sons would be killed in the same day, which happened just as it was foretold.

We learn from this Chapter how important it is that we teach our children about God and use discipline if they get out of line. How we train our children up by our words and actions will mold our children on how they will be when they are older. If they cannot see the love of God in us or how important He is to us, then most likely they will not grow up knowing God. This is why itís important for us to realize that we set the example for our children of what being a Christian is all about. So, we should be careful not to miss opportunities to teach our children about God by our words and our actions.

We have also learned that God wants us to honor Him and to respect his commandments. If we donít, there can be dire consequences.

1 Samuel 3:1 Then the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.

During this time it was rare for God to talk to anyone. However, Samuel was about to have his first encounter with the Lord.

1 Samuel 3:2And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see,3 and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the LORD where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down,4 that the LORD called Samuel. And he answered, "Here I am!"5 So he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me." And he said, "I did not call; lie down again." And he went and lay down. 6 Then the LORD called yet again, "Samuel!" So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." He answered, "I did not call, my son; lie down again."7 (Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him.)

Samuel must have been confused because the first two times the Lord calls out to him, he gets up and runs to Eli because he thinks Eli is calling his name. Each time he came to Eli, he sent him back to bed telling him he didnít call for him. Verse 7 says that Samuel did not yet know the Lord. Now I do not believe this is saying he didnít know about Him through the Scriptures because it has already been stated that He had grown in favor with God, but this is saying that he did not know God in the sense that he never received a revelation nor heard the voice of God.

8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. Then he arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you did call me." Then Eli perceived that the LORD had called the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, 'Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

Finally, after the third time Eli figures out that the Lord that is calling Samuel and he instructs him on what to say. But the news he is about to receive is not good news for the household of Eli.

1 Samuel 3:11Then the LORD said to Samuel: "Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. 12 "In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 "For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. 14 "And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever."15 So Samuel lay down until morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision.

Samuel was told the secret that Eli had been keeping to himself. Samuel obviously had great respect for Eli, and he did not want to share this news with him. Our text says he laid there till morning, but I bet he didnít go to sleep or at least I donít think I could have. I would be laying there in awe from the fact that God spoke to me and I would be greatly troubled about the message I received. One thing we know for sure is that Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision.

1 Samuel 3:16 Then Eli called Samuel and said, "Samuel, my son!" And he answered, "Here I am."17 And he said, "What is the word that the Lord spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that He said to you."18 Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And he said, "It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him."

Well, so much for not telling Eli the message of the Lord. Eli wants to know what it was, so Samuel must tell him the awful news. We can imagine what kind of emotions Samuel was experiencing because most of us have had to share bad news with those that we love and there is no easy way to do it. You feel like you are going to jump out of your skin and sometimes you may not be able to get through the bad news without breaking out in tears. These are the kind of emotions that Samuel was probably going through. Samuel tells Eli everything, and Eli accepts the message and the judgment God has made. All this did for Eli was reconfirm the previous message from God.

1 Samuel 3: 19 So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the LORD. 21 Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh. For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

Samuel became a prophet of the Lord. Since Samuel was faithful to the Lord, he was a well-respected prophet in all of Israel, and he fully knew the Lord. God continued to be with him and spoke with him.

This story shows us without a doubt that if you oppose God then he will oppose you, but if you embrace God and are faithful, God will bless you and He will be with you forever. So let us always strive to do our best to put God first in ever avenue of our lives.

In conclusion, there is much more I could say about Shiloh and the events that happened there, but I hope you will walk away today with a greater knowledge about this place and the events that happened there. I also hope you have learned some valuable lessons that you can apply to your life from some of these events we have examined today.