The Faithful Priest of a Sure House

Benjamin Franklin once said, “…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Of course, we know that was an oversimplified cynical remark which isn’t completely true. There are several other things we can see are certain if we know the Bible and history well enough. One such certainty is the fact that promising nations quickly go bad when evil leaders arise. That’s a sobering truth witnessed in Israel at the time when Eli was high priest with his sons serving under him.

If we unpack Eli’s actions, we see several characteristics typical of evil leaders regardless of the time period (including certain political leaders in the news this year), such as the following:
(1) They take advantage of their positions to selfishly enrich themselves;
(2) They let their family members get away with unethical, immoral, and/or illegal behavior;
(3) They know their ways are evil, but even when confronted about their evil, they refuse to change;
(4) They use religious ideas to blaspheme God and to try to make him look bad.

Eli displayed all of these in 1 Samuel 2-3. Things got so bad under his leadership that God sent a prophet to confront him and to tell him that judgment was coming. Yet in the midst of the sharp words against Eli, the Lord gave some hopeful promises that were good for God’s people, but bad for Eli and his loser sons. In 1 Samuel 2:35, the Lord said:

And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.

That’s a promise jam-packed with a whole bunch of truths for the saints to embrace, but I’ll just cover a few. In the shorter term, God was referring to the priestly line of Zadok who served from David all the way up to the time of the return of Judah out of Babylonian captivity. In the longer term, this was a prophecy about the Lord Jesus Christ. Hebrews 2:17 tells us Christ is the “faithful high priest” who carries out God’s will (his heart and mind) for the sake of God’s people and the Father’s glory.

We also know from scripture that not only did the Father raise the Lord Jesus up as a faithful priest, he also built up Christ’s church to be his “sure house” by adopting into his household through Jesus Christ those of us who were lost. It’s a house built on the Rock, not the sinking sand of the world’s wicked whims. It’s also a house that’s so enduring, established, and reliable, that not even the gates of hell shall prevail against it. No matter what Prime Minister, President, Prince, King, Queen, imam, guru or other antichrist does to try to force ungodly principles or violations against or onto the body of Christ, Christ’s sure house will never give in to them even when counterfeit Christians in their midst cave to the ungodly. No man is strong enough to take us out of the Lord’s hands even if they kill our physical bodies. Their efforts will be shown to be failures in the end when God’s judgment comes and when Christ returns.

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