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25/02/2023 - 26/02/2023 All day

"For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church?"  (I Tim 3:5)

In many respects Elli is famously known as a failed father. Anointed as a priest and blessed with sons he was in a privileged position to mentor them in the Lord's work. But something happened and his sons became a sore point denting his reign. It would be pointed out: "Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord"    (2 Samuel 12).

In a telling incident these sons masquerading as priests, would grab meat meant for holy sacrifice and gorge it to their full satisfaction. "If the person said to him, “Let the fat be burned first, and then take whatever you want,” the servant would answer, “No, hand it over now; if you don’t, I’ll take it by force"  (vv 16).

Of course with time people would reach out to Elli to handle these boys. "Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the Lord’s people is not good"           (vv 22-24).

Shouldn't Eli have been more firm in sanctioning these boys! Anyway, all this plea fell on deaf ears. Where Eli failed God would deal severely with his household. For the two scoundrels would die in the battlefield and once news reached Eli, "he fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led Israel forty years"  (I Samuel 4:18).

Eli's life did not end in a rapturous victory but instead the life of great man who anointed Prophet Samuel is noted as a failed leader. He seemed to have lost hold of his household. He died heavy with the burden of these sons who had caused him such shame and to cap it all the nation of Israel lost the Ark of God to the Philistines!

Examing his reign one may perhaps explain away the circumstances that caused all this, like advanced age, but it is quite clear Eli failed as a leader largely on account that he could not govern his household! And indirectly this also affected the nation he was leading!

Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray to exercise good and firm leadership in all my affairs, but most especially my household, this I pray in Jesus’s name.

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    “Vindicate me, my God, and plead my cause against an unfaithful nation. Rescue me from those who are deceitful and wicked” (Psalm 43:1)

    To be vindicated is to be cleared of blame or suspicion. Someone is vindicated when he is eventually proved right or justified. In his reign as King of Israel, David was not short of enemies. One was his very son Absalom who divided his people and mounted a coup that threw him off the throne. After Absalom had raised enough support, “a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom..” (1 Samuel 15:13-14).

    Pushed out of power, David longed to be vindicated. His situation is no different from any person who has been mistreated, done poorly and cast out of a position for apparently no fault of his. So often one comes across innocent public servants who have been put on katebe, the local speak for being made redundant. Intrigues being part of life there is never a day that passes without someone somewhere conspiring and scheming against a blameless person. False rumors are spread and before long one is forced out of his job.

    Where do you turn when your enemies are having you for a field day? Quite obvious there are those who give in to bitterness and use the evil ways their enemies exceled in to launch a counter attack. If their enemies bribed their way to power, so they do. If they spread malice, so they embrace. If they sought out occult powers, they arm themselves with these.

    Pushed out of power, David, rather sought the Almighty God. He went “to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God” ( 2 Samuel 15:32). He prayed that his enemy Absalom would fall pray to his evil devices through foolish counsel, causing him confusion. The Lord answered David’s prayer and his army went to battle with Absalom and defeated him, leading to his death at the hand of David’s General Joab (2 Samuel 18).

    Today, should you be grappling with a situation where you feel done wrong, do not let your enemies have the better part of you, but turn to God, who will vindicate you. “For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants” (Psalm 135:14).

    Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I pray for you to vindicate me in all my affairs, where I have been falsely accused, done poorly, and that glory may go to you, this I pray in Jesus’ name!