READ : 1 Samuel 3:10-18
“It is the Lord, let him do what seems good to him.” (v. 18)
Eli’s part in the Samuel story makes me more than just a bit uncomfortable. It’s not so much Eli himself that is the problem; it is God’s commitment to justice in his life. When justice is defined as God’s gracious promise to the oppressed, or God’s promised provision for the hungry, or God’s good intentions for those who haven’t experienced much good in their lives, then I like justice.
But in Eli’s story we see the other side of justice, the frightening side. The oppressor is called to the stand, the gluttonous are called to account, those who have been making everyone else’s life miserable get what they have been giving. Justice is served – and that makes me nervous.
Yet despite my discomfort I am amazed at Eli’s response: “It is the Lord, let him do what seems good to him.” When confronted by the pain-filled consequences of his sons’ broken ways, Eli glorified God by accepting God’s justice. He didn’t make excuses, he didn’t try to redefine reality, he didn’t pass the blame. He said, “It is the Lord, let him do what seems good to him.” I can learn a lesson from Eli. Maybe you can too.
Lord, I’m grateful for the promise of justice. Help me to praise you always.