by Fred Lowery


Characteristics of the Age (RR82)
1,. Religious corruption led to spiritual destitution(lS@A 2:12-17)
The priest sons of Eli perverted the law. Changed the system
of sacrifice to suit themselves.
2. it was a period of intellectual blindness k'ISA 3:1,4:1-11)
God refused to speak to the people through the unclean lips
of Hophni' and Phinehas. When people have no access to the
word of God, they become intelectually blind. Lose their vision.
Went against the Philistines in battle at Ebeneezer and was
smiten-losing four thousand men. The elders decided to take
the Ark of Covenant from Shiloh and carry it into battle that
it might save them from defeat (4:3). This was an act of
idolatry. It was showing they were looking on the Ark as a
good luck charm - had mistaken a token for the presence of
God instead of the actual presence of God. This revealed
blindness. They were defeated by the enemies more thoroughly
than before. They lost 30,000 men (4:10). The Ark was
captured., The Ark became a curse to the Philistines. Placed
in the temple beside Dagon the false god, strange things began
to happen. The image fell on its face before the Ark of the Lord.
They set it upright and the next morning it was lying flat again
with -the head and both hands broken off. They were smitten with
boils and became very ill. They were plagued with devastating
invasion of field mice (ch 6:4-5).
3. Heart hunger for Jehovah "Israel lamented after the Lord"
(lSA 7:2). It took 20 years after the Ark got back for the
state of real repentance to begin. During the last part of the
20 year period, Samuel was growing in influence as he moved
among the people and preached with telling effect. His prophets'
labors bore fruit.


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