Do You Want To Be Rescued?
By: Brian Mayo
There is a word that is not used much in our world, it is the word sin. What is sin? The American Heritage Dictionary defines sin as, “A transgression of a religious or moral law, especially when deliberate.”
That is a great definition of sin, in my opinion, but now another question crops up – What does the word transgression mean? The American Heritage Dictionary has defined one hard to understand word with a word even harder to understand-what is a transgression? Well that same dictionary defines transgression as, “The violation of a law, command or duty.”
If we put these two definitions together we might have this as our definition of sin: “The violation of a religious or moral law, especially when deliberate.”
Well, now we have the definition of sin, but I doubt if many of us still want to talk about it. As humans, we like to think of ourselves as good, and if we are good, we do not “violate” laws, certainly not deliberately.
But, unfortunately, in the Bible, the concept of sin is still used. Last week we read in the Bible about a place and time, Shiloh, Israel, 3050 years ago, where two priests, the son’s of Eli, were in charge of God’s holy place, the Tent of the Meeting. At the Tent of the Meeting the Israelite people came 3 times per year, brought a portion of the animals they raised and sacrificed them to God, for the forgiveness of their-you guessed it-sins! But, Eli’s sons mishandled the sacrifices. They were supposed to burn the fat and the ceremonial meat on the altar in front of the Tent of the Meeting and when they did that “an aroma pleasing to the Lord” (Leviticus 4:31) went up to heaven and “atonement” was made for the person making the sacrifice, and his family. But, the sons of Eli wanted the meat immediately, they did not perform the atonement/forgiveness ceremony, they sent a helper to take the meat before any of that happened.
This was not that big a deal, right? The ceremony was just a formality, God forgave the people in his heart, when they came to Shiloh with their animals, right? Not right. The ceremony was not a formality. God wanted to smell the meat burning on the altar, the smoke wafting up to heaven. And when he smelled it, he forgave. No pleasing aroma, no forgiveness. This all occurred because the two sons of Eli wanted their portion of the sacrifices immediately, they would not wait. The selfishness and greed of these two men left them and all of Israel in a sinful state.
What did God do? Well there was another priest at Shiloh, a young boy, named Samuel. He was not related to the sons of Eli. We will meet him now.
1 Samuel 3:1-11
“1 And the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days, there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he was not able to see, was laying down in his usual place. 3 And the lamp of God was not yet put out, Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 And the Lord called Samuel, and Samuel said,
“Here I am!” 5 And Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call you, return back and lie down.” So he went and laid down. 6 And the Lord again called once more to Samuel, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and he said, “Here I am; you called me.”
And Eli said, “I did not call you, my son, go back to bed.”
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 And the Lord again called to Samuel a third time and Samuel got up and went to Eli, and he said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling to the boy, 9 and Eli said to Samuel, “Go and lie down and if the Lord calls to you, say, ‘Speak Lord for your servant is listening.'” And Samuel went and laid down in his place.
10 And the Lord came and he stood there, and he called as he had before, “Samuel, Samuel.” And Samuel said, “Speak for your servant is listening.”
11 And the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.””
So, God calls to the young boy Samuel. He calls to Samuel because Samuel will replace the two son’s of Eli as God’s priest. God takes sin seriously and he takes action when his people are held in sin by others.
But sin is not a factor in our lives. We live in California, in Sonoma. We are nice, we wear nice clothes, our job has a nice work environment, and if we have kids, they are nice. We don’t hate people, except, maybe our ex-husband or ex-wife, and “you won’t believe what they did to me?” We don’t overindulge in food or alcohol, “Okay, well I never pass out.” And none of us lusts after younger women, “okay, I’m not as bad as I used to be.”
We think to ourselves that God’s emphasis on sin is really misplaced, it is really old-fashioned, or is it? Is sin lurking underneath our well kept exterior? Are strong feelings boiling inside you? That is okay, actually. God knows that you sin, he sent a savior to rescue you.
Do you want to be rescued?
A few things you should know…
CALLING ALL GOLFERS! Come out for a day of golf with your church family! SUNDAY, AUGUST 28TH at 1:30PM at OAKMONT GOLF CLUB. Entry fee of $55.00 gets you a round of golf, a golf cart and entry for prizes! This is a coed event. Hors d’oeuvres after at Jerry Owens’ home. For details or to sign up see Brian Mayo: [email protected] or Jerry Owens: [email protected]