1 Samuel 3:17-18 (KJV)
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.
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.
Years ago I heard the testimony of a man who had, at one time, been a pastor of a large church but who had gotten involved in some illegal activity and had lost his ministry. After doing his jail time he began receiving court ordered counseling. It was during that counseling that he said he came to understand what had been going on in his head. He said that people he had pastored would ask him how he could stand in the pulpit and preach the messages he did, all the while being involved in the sort of illegal activities he was. Through counseling he came to call it “compartmentalization”.
- There was the one compartment that desired to do the right thing, to honor God and to serve God’s people.
- There was the other compartment that desired the things of this world; wealth, riches and luxury.
He was able to perform in both spheres because they were two separate compartments of the same man. The Bible would call them the old and new natures.
Eli wrestled with his own two compartments.
- On the one hand, his flesh had driven him to complacency with his sons. They did not know the Lord and they had no discipline from their father. It was this fleshly compartment that led to the eventual downfall of the family as the line of High Priests.
- On the other hand, his spirit was submissive to the Lord. It was this spiritual side of him that, though not quickly, recognized that God was speaking to the child Samuel and that, when once hearing from God, willing accepted the will of the Lord.
Eli served the Lord and eventually surrendered to His judgment. But it was too late to save his sons or the destiny of his family.
There is in each saved person these same two compartments: a sinful fleshly compartment and a spiritual, Christ seeking compartment. These two compartments are at war with one another. Good wisdom says to aide the spiritual.
1 Samuel 3:17-18 (KJV) Compartmentalization
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