Tuesday, May 11, 2010

God's "two" wills

"But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the LORD to put them to death" (1 Samuel 2:25).

Implication: Eli's sons were doing God's will.

"And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind" (1 Samuel 2:35)

Implication: Eli's sons were not doing God's will.


  1. You have the implications backwards. Perhaps you should fix them.

  2. Vytautas,

    In the first passage, the will of the Lord was to put Eli's sons to death; therefore, they did that which was necessary to be killed.

    So the implication Evan brings up is right.

    The second passage is about Samuel, but the implication (heh) is that God's will is that priests "shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind." Thus, God wants priests to obey Him, yet God wanted Eli's sons to disobey and therefore be killed.

    Therefore, Evan's second implication is also correct. They're not backwards.

    By the way, as further evidence (since I just had a bit of an email discussion on this very passage), you also have the fact that God commands children to honor their parents. In 1 Samuel 2, Eli made a passionate plea that his sons repent, and it is in response to that plea that the verse Evan quoted is used. To honor their father, Eli's sons should have obeyed his command to repentance. God's *command* is to obey their father, yet His will was to put them to death.

    So Evan's point is demonstrated yet again. :-)

  3. Law and Grace

    v25 - God's will was to demonstrate His justice and wrath by rightly punishing the sins of Eli's sons.

    v35 - God's will was to demonstrate His mercy and grace by giving a new priest who would follow after God's mind and heart.

    v35 is not about priests in general, but is a short term specific prophecy about Samuel and a long term type or image of the perfect priest, Jesus.

  4. Good observation. Incidents similar to this seem to be recorded throughout scripture. But the first thing that passed through my mind as I read this was a bit of humor:

    "I just want to do God's will...

    uh, wait a minute!"

    The difference between following these two wills of God is not that his will is contradictory, for it is not. It is that our desire is either for him or against him. In either case we incur his will and cannot resist it.