Not Acting on What You Know

Eli was looking for news about the war with the Philistines.  He was anxious about the ark seemingly more than he was anxious about his sons.  He knew that taking the ark into battle was a cheap trick with no automatic results.  He knew his sons were corrupt.  He knew a lot of things, but he didn’t act.  He knew that it was corrupt to claim the fat parts of a sacrifice before it was eaten.  He did that anyway and his weight contributed to his death.

If we know the good that we should do and do not do it, we sin.  Sin frequently carries its own consequences.

1 Samel 4:12-22

12 That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head. 13When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry.

14Eli heard the outcry and asked, “What is the meaning of this uproar?”

   The man hurried over to Eli, 15 who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes had failed so that he could not see. 16He told Eli, “I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day.”

   Eli asked, “What happened, my son?”

17The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.”

18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli 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[b]Israel forty years.

19 His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. 20As she was dying, the women attending her said, “Don’t despair; you have given birth to a son.” But she did not respond or pay any attention.

21 She named the boy Ichabod,[c] saying, “The Glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”

Questions

  1. What news does the meseenger bring to Eli?
  2. How does Eli react?
  3. How does his daughter-in-law react?
  4. When has someone you know persisted in sin and endured the consequences?
  5. Is there something that you are aware of but are not changing?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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16 Responses to Not Acting on What You Know

  1. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. The messenger tells Eli that Israel fled before the Philistines, his sons were dead, and the Ark of God had been captured.
    2. Eli reacts by falling backwards out of his chair and dying.
    3. His daughter-in-law reacts by going into labor and dying.
    4. My friend persisted in sin with her boyfriend and endured great consequences.
    5. There are things in my life that I am aware of but are not changing.

  2. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.What news does the meseenger bring to Eli?
    – It was that Israel fled. Also Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.
    2.How does Eli react?
    -Eli fell backward off his chair. His neck was broken and he died.
    3.How does his daughter-in-law react?
    -She went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains.
    Then she kept saying “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.” while she was dying.
    4.When has someone you know persisted in sin and endured the consequences?
    – I can’t think of anyone.
    5.Is there something that you are aware of but are not changing?
    – wise time-management

  3. spiritandtruth1128 says:

    1. What news does the mesenger bring to Eli? The messenger tells Eli that his sons are dead and that the ark was captured.
    2. How does Eli react? When Eli heard about the ark he fell and broke his neck which caused him to die.
    3. How does his daughter-in-law react? She goes into labor and then she died after giving birth.
    4. When has someone you know persisted in sin and endured the consequences? I can only speak for myself, I feel like these past two years I haven’t been doing the right thing with a certain area of my life. I wasn’t “doing anything wrong” but I wasn’t doing the correct thing. Ultimately it has made me feel empty and seeking for more. Thankfully this past month I have been able to do something about it and am confronting it today.
    5. Is there something that you are aware of but are not changing?
    I think there are a lot of things I can change about myself, but I haven’t. One area that I have noticed is my dedication to studying. I am so busy this semester and the free time that I do have I normally only spend half of it on homework, which kind of reflects my quiz grades. I think I need to change my priorities when it comes to managing my time correctly.

  4. Cassie Clark says:

    1.His sons are dead and the ark has been captured.
    2.When told of the ark (not his sons) he falls out of his chair, broke his neck and died.
    3.She goes into labor!
    4.My parents.
    5.There is probably much that I am aware of but continue to be passive in. I will ask God to show me those areas and to kick me out of my passivity.

  5. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. The messenger brings news that his two sons are dead and that the ark of God has been captured by the Philistines.
    2. He fell off his chair and broke his neck.
    3. She goes into labor and then dies from it.
    4. There are times in my own life that I have persisted in sin and had to suffer the consequences afterward.
    5. I need to rearrange my priorities to reflect what I say is important to me.

  6. Rebecca Langer says:

    1.What news does the meseenger bring to Eli?
    the message told Eli that his sons were killed, the Philistines had defeated Israel and that the Ark of the Covenant was captured.
    2.How does Eli react?
    Eli is very upset and falls back in his chair and died.
    3.How does his daughter-in-law react?
    She realizes the crisis that has just happened and goes into labor. She ends up dying in labor.
    4.When has someone you know persisted in sin and endured the consequences?
    I know a guy who has consistly not really had much integrity with how he reacts in situations, and because of that he loses opportunities to accomplish really great things.
    5.Is there something that you are aware of but are not changing?
    I think there are certainly several areas of my life that I am in the process of changing, but sometimes change is a slow process. I try to correct my behavior as the Spirit reveals things to me. There are certainly areas where I need to kick it up a notch.

  7. Sokloon Dy (Lizzy) says:

    1. that his sons are dead and that the ark has been captured.
    2. he fell backward off his chair and died.
    3. she went in labor and then died.
    4. my friend in high school.
    5. a good balance between my social life and education.

  8. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.What news does the meseenger bring to Eli?
    – The messenger told Eli that his two sons were dead and the Ark of God had been captured.
    2.How does Eli react?
    – He fell backward off his chair, so his neck were broken and he died.
    3.How does his daughter-in-law react?
    – His daughter-in-law was shocked because her husband and father-in-law had died. She bore his son but she died.
    4.When has someone you know persisted in sin and endured the consequences?
    – I cant think of one around me.
    5.Is there something that you are aware of but are not changing?
    – There is a certain thing of my life that I try to change, but it has been a really slow process.. I try not to do something if I know that is not a good habit.

  9. Amy Kringle says:

    1. That Israel had fled, that the ark was captured, that his 2 sons had died.
    2. He reacted in shock and maybe fainted and when he fell over he died.
    3. She went into shock and had premature labor and died.
    4. a close highschool friend
    5. yes

  10. Grace Yoo says:

    1. The messenger told Eli that Israel has fled from the Philistines, his two sons were dead, and that the ark of God has been captured.

    2. He was in shock and fell off his chair and died.

    3. The daughter-in-law went into labor and gave birth.

    4. I remember a student in high school would constantly cheat on his quizzes and tests. Eventually, he endured the consequences by getting caught and getting in trouble by his teachers.

    5. Yes, there are.

  11. 1. That Eli’s sons were dead, and that the ark of God was gone.
    2. He fell off of his chair and immediately died.
    3. She had a baby, but then she died as well.
    4. Oh I know several people… in fact, I know that we all do it. There is one sin that each of us falls into more easily than others…. some are “better” at lying, cheating, being unfaithful, being dishonest, etc. And we do endure the consequences if we do not repent.
    5. Look above 🙂 haha. We all struggle… it’s human nature. I also think it’s human nature to resist changing for God… like, if I knew that I struggle with doing drugs (FOR EXAMPLE. haha), but I knew it was wrong and didn’t want to change… then, that’s me giving in to my flesh. I truly believe that when others are praying for us and God knows the time is right, He wills our hearts to change so that we will stop the bad behavior, repent, and go back to Him.

  12. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. The messenger brings the news that Eli’s sons have died and the ark has been stolen.
    2. Eli is distressed that the ark has been stolen more than he is distressed out about the death of sons, and when he heard about it he fell back and died.
    3. She went into labor and then she died.
    4. I have known of someone who persisted in gambling and then lost a lot of money and their family fell apart.
    5. I am aware of my lack of prayer and how I waste my time often, and yet often I do nothing to change this, which I should.

  13. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) the messenger tells Eli that his sons have died and that the ark was captured.
    2) when he heard about the ark being captured, he fell over, passed out and died.
    3) She goes into labor suddenly and dies in childbirth.
    4) I know many people who have lost their effectiveness in minstry due to sin.
    5) I am aware that I am often overcommitting myself and wanting to do as much as I can for God, rather than spending enough time sitting at his feet.

  14. Moon [ED 2203;Mon 6:00pm class] says:

    1.What news does the meseenger bring to Eli? Israel fled before the Philistines, the ark of the Lord was captured, and his sons died
    2.How does Eli react? He got shocked and fell backward. and his neck was broken so he died
    3.How does his daughter-in-law react? she went to labor and gave birth but she died also
    4.When has someone you know persisted in sin and endured the consequences? i haven’t seen anyone near me like this, but i have heard some stories such as a pastor cheated his wife and at last they got divorced.
    5.Is there something that you are aware of but are not changing? yes.
    sometimes, when i am aware that i have to, not just pray about it, actually change my action, but still i don’t make efforts to change my action and blame God not listening and answering my prayers… “ah Lord…”

  15. Kristen Patush says:

    1.What news does the meseenger bring to Eli?

    The Ark was captured and his sins had died in battle.

    2.How does Eli react?

    he fell back from his chair by the gate, broke his neck, and died.

    3.How does his daughter-in-law react?

    He went into labor, giving birth to a son, but dies in child- birth.

    4.When has someone you know persisted in sin and endured the consequences?

    One of my family members has gotten so heavy into durgs, that he spent five years in prison as a result of his decision to pollute his mind with drugs.

    5.Is there something that you are aware of but are not changing?

    I am so eager to serve him and go into the world for him, but rarely am I eager to be silent before him am=nd let him speak to me.

  16. aaron wright says:

    1. sons dead! and the ark is gone
    2. fell back and died
    3. went into labor. died
    4. friend pursued party life at college. hes miserable.
    5. cant think of much, but i know i struggle in a lot of issues

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