Sermons

Anglican Orthodox Church
Worldwide Communion

  • Register

Sermon Notes 2nd Sunday after Trinity, 25 June 2017 Anno Domini

Sermon Notes 2nd Sunday after Trinity, 25 June 2017 Anno Domini

St Andrews Anglican Church

    1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. 2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; 3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. 8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. 15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision. 16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 17 And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee. 18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good
. (I Samuel 3:1-18)

             Samuel was a child that came by way of the direct miracle of God just as Adam had come to be; just as Isaac was born to Sarah long past child-bearing years; and John the Baptist by the same means; and even like unto that greatest of all miracles of birth – Jesus Christ by means of a young virgin. It is heart-breaking to read of the sorrows of Hannah and the humiliation she experienced from Peninnah (1 Sam 1:2) the fruitful wife of Hannah’s husband, Elkanah. Though to man, it was not possible for Hannah to bear a child, yet she took her burden before the Lord in grief and longing and He granted her conception (just as He grants to every mother of children common to mankind).  Of course, the gift of conception was not without obligation – and neither is the birth of any child given without obligation. Even at the instant of conception, God is forming, not that which will BECOME a boy or girl baby, but a boy or girl that He has already created though conception – it is purely and wholly a human life – make no mistake about it. In the case of Hannah, her obligation was a particular one based upon her promise to the Lord: And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. (1 Sam 1:11) Not all mothers are bound by such a particular vow, but they are definitely bound by the natural law of God to nurture the child physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We, in the Anglican Church, even provide a backup in fulfilling that role of the mother and father in the provision of Godparents who vow to do all possible to see to the child’s spiritual nurturing.

            Today’s narrative begins with a curious introduction: “And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. May I point out from the start that the Word of the Lord is always precious, but the value of a precious stone is always increased by its rarity! The true and untarnished (by modern translation manipulations) is enhanced in value for our day due to its growing rarity. 11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD: 12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it. (Amos 8:11-12)

            When we observe the moral ruins of our modern landscape, particularly in America, we are forced to admit that there is no open vision for the things of God, or even a high regard for His Holy Word (even in most churches). The comparative states of modern America and Israel of that day enjoy many parallels. Just as America, having escaped the bondage of Europe, came into being through the Beneficence and Providence of God through the labors of our Godly Founding Fathers, so did Israel come out of Egypt into the Promised Land after experiencing the challenges of the Wilderness Journey. Having crossed Jordan Waters into the Land of Promise, they had only God to be their Ruler, and they were most blessed among all nations of the earth.  The same was true of the Founding documents of America which appealed to God for protection and guidance. But, as disobedience to God’s Law grew out of a complacent regard for the Holiness of God, Israel was given judges to divide and interpret the laws of society. Israel began to reject God as her King and choose, rather, the fashions and customs of those ungodly nations over which God had given them the preeminence. The descent into the dark abyss is never partial, but is expedited by the powerful draw of the central maelstrom toward which they have drawn nearer and nearer. Judges, though begun in earnest intent, will always lead to the errors of man if unrestrained by the biblical constitution. The rule of the Judges led to a chaotic society in which every man did according to whatever he could get advantage in doing. There will forever be a king over a people whether of God, or of faulty men:  In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25) If God is not our King, we will presume to be our own king. When god is not our Ruler, lawlessness and a failure of honor will always result. Wake up, America!

            Now, God has a means of providing an “open vision” for Israel just as He did for America at our own founding. He will raise up a man through whom He may provide that vision – the prophet Samuel! Long before Hannah ever made her first journey with Elkanah up to Shiloh to worship, God had called Samuel from the misty dawn of Eternity Past to be a Prophet in Israel for such a time as this. God had, and used, a means whereby Hannah would be drawn to dedicate her first-born, Samuel, to the service of the Lord. It was not Hannah’s real decision, but one which God caused her to see and do. Are we, who call ourselves by the Name ‘Christian’ following that will of God as He rules in our lives, our do we judge for ourselves the things that seem “right in (our) own eyes.”

            Need I tell you that all men do not equally hear the Voice and summons of the Lord – even those to whom is given the authority of Holy Orders by the Church!  Eli was a priest; however, he had not raised up his own sons in the godly admonition of the Lord (a sin) and was not worthy of the same level of revelation received by the fair young child, Samuel. (see 1 Samuel 2:11-18).  Please observe the manner in which God calls Samuel – the keen ears of Samuel in hearing god’s call, and the dull ears of Eli to hear the same Voice! Read carefully the following passage: ; 3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. 8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

            Noteworthy is the fact that Samuel, even before he knew the Lord, heard that Voice calling from the dark shadows of the Temple; but the priest of the Lord who presumably knew Him, could not hear. Aren’t the works and mysteries of the Lord in His ways beyond our finding out? Another important observation in the calling of Samuel is the fact that God does not relent in calling His chosen vessel. If the Call is not comprehended at first, God will (as the Hound of Heaven) continue calling until the message is received and acted upon.  It may also be observed that the called of God continue to need counsel from others. There are no Know-It-Alls in the Kingdom of Heaven except the All-Knowing Triune God. Samuel sought confirmation continually from his elder in the Temple. I hope and pray that we, as the servants of the Lord (every Christian), will hear and respond to the Voice of the Lord in all our ways.

            There is a sharp-edged warning to parents in America, and all places, in the words of the Lord rendered against Eli for failing to: 1st) raise up his sons in the nurture and truth of God’s Law, and, 2ndly) for not restraining his sons for doing evil. The parents of our nation face a great judgment of God for our failure to raise our children under the Godly model. Read what God says to Samuel: 11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. 12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. 13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever. When God brings judgment, He often brings the final condemnation with it. It is interesting to note that Eli died of a broken neck following the loss of the Ark in battle to the Philistines. Beware the judgment of God when it comes, for it brings with it the suffering of the innocent along with the guilty. Israel was roundly defeated by the avenger – the Philistines because of their own sins, and particularly the sins of their priesthood. What of the sins of the modern clergy of churches who call good, evil, and evil, good? They have been complicit with the enemies of God and shall be the means by which a great and Godly nation has fallen.

            Moral cowardice and greed are the tow prongs of the modern ministry that has led America down the primrose path to moral depravity and materialism.  Such devices may lead us individually down the same path as well. It is not enough to hear and know the Voice of the Lord, we must have the courage to proclaim it – even to those who hold the sway of power over us: 15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision. 16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I. 17 And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee. 18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.  Even the weak and wavering Eli recognize the authority and intent of god once spoken to him by Samuel, the young prophet recently called of God. Are we, fellow Christians, fearful of showing the vision of God to others, particularly those in government? Or do we allow the deleterious will of Satan to go unchecked in the name of governmental authority. There is no division or separation of church and state in the US Constitution, but there is a protection of the Church FROM state. “Congress shall make NO law respecting the establishment of religion, or PROHIBITING the FREE EXERCISE thereof.” How much plainer could this clause be? If the Congress has made NO law respecting the establishment of religion, which law is it that the US Supreme Court is ruling upon that forbids the free expression and exercise of religion at all times and at all places?

            I believe America is entering into a judgment of God that has been preceded by innumerable warnings and amazing acts of God. Like Eli, we have not heard God’s Voice in the earthquake, the destroying winds, and the vulnerability of our tall towers to the wicked intent of the enemy.  America has lost her vision (there was no open vision in Israel). We have turned “as the dog to his vomit, and as the sow to wallowing in the mud.”  But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2:22) We have even been encouraged to do so by the modern church. Israel grew weary of having God as their King and petitioned, later, to Samuel to give them a king ‘like all the other nations.” This broke Samuel’s heart, but God told Samuel to give them a king according to their desires – such a king would rob and steal all their substance including their sons and daughters. Do we not see the same in our own day? This warning of God applies to nations as well as individuals: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Gal 6:7) The window for repentance of the nation draws narrow. Shall we hear the Voice and repent in time to forego that horrible judgment that is surely coming to our fair shores? Shall we again have God as our King, or shall we prefer Mammon?

 

 

Recent

Donate

Amount: 

Contact Us

Email:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Those interested in joining our church may do so by either letter or baptism. If you are interested in visiting our church, please contact Bishop Ogles for more information and directions.

St. Andrews Church
Enterprise, AL
(334) 498-7181

If you would like more information regarding the Anglican Orthodox faith, our churches, or worship, please feel free to contact our National Headquarters in Statesville, N.C. Our National Headquarters can be contacted via mail, phone, or e-mail.

Anglican Orthodox Church
National Headquarters
P.O. Box 128
Statesville, N.C. 28687
704-873-8365

Head Office Email:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.