Snacks. Oh, I know a lot of them aren’t the most healthy stuff in the world to put in your body. But when you’re driving, I view them as something that helps with an essential function. It’s called staying alive. As in staying awake at the wheel, you know. A number of times I’ve asked my wife to open up some cookies or chips or some other goodies for me, only to find that when she passed them to me that they weren’t all there. At first, I thought maybe the company had robbed me. No. No, see, I only had to look across the seat to the passenger side to find the culprit. It was the woman I love. Yeah, the crumbs on her lip and the chewing in her mouth; that was my first clue. Our conversation predictably would go like this: I would say, “What happened?” Then, with a whimsical smile, she would answer: “Tax. There was a small service tax.” Right!
I’m Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about “A Morsel for Me.”
It’s no big deal when your spouse snatches a little of what’s yours. It’s a very big deal when you do that with something that belongs to God; which a whole lot of us do, maybe without even knowing it. That’s why we need the story in our word for today from the Word of God. It’s in 1 Samuel 2, beginning with verse 12. It’s more than a story. It is a sober warning.
Eli was the Chief Jewish Priest, and the Bible says, “Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord. Now it was the practice of the priests with the people that whenever anyone offered a sacrifice and while the meat was being boiled, the servant of the priest would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand. He would plunge it into the pan…and the priest would take for himself whatever the fork brought up.”
Now remember, this is a sacrifice that belongs totally to the Lord. The Bible goes on: “The sin of the young men was very great in the Lord’s sight, for they were treating the Lord’s offering with contempt.” And then Eli learns how his sons have even “slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.”
God announces the price tag to Eli: “Your two sons…will both die on the same day. I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind.” I told you the lesson here was sobering. God will not continue to tolerate someone who is using what is God’s for their own benefit.
Does that happen today? Oh, way too much! It’s so easy to be serving the Lord while sticking your fork in to get something for yourself. Some people stick their fork into God’s work or God’s people to get a little glory for themselves, to get a little attention or recognition for themselves; maybe some money or some strokes. Jesus taught us to pray to God, “Thy Kingdom come.” Well, for too many, it’s all about, “My kingdom come.”
If you’re using what is God’s to meet your needs, to somehow advance yourself, you are stealing from the Lord God Almighty. That can’t have a happy ending. God’s work, God’s people were never meant to be a base from which you could have some personal power trip, a place to feed your ego, your lust, your selfishness. That’s holy ground you’re on!
Jesus modeled something so radically different from being a self-serving servant. The Bible says, “He made Himself nothing…He humbled Himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). How dare we, in the name of this One who gave up everything for us, try taking for ourselves?
Look in the mirror. Search your heart. Search your motives. Have you been using the work of God or the people of God to get something for yourself? Face it. Repent of it before God comes to take back what you have stolen from Him.