Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
"Eli's sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for [did not know] the LORD." 1 Samuel 2:12
"Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." 1 John 4:7
Bible Reading1 SAMUEL 2:12-17
The sons of Eli were scoundrels, "worthless men" (RSV). Usually it is said that they were so ill-behaved and godless because their father was too soft. It is true that Eli was not strict enough (1 Sam. 3:13), but that does not yet explain why his sons were godless. No doubt Samuel was a much better disciplinarian, but Samuel's sons did not walk in the ways of the Lord either (1 Sam. 8:3).
The sons of Eli did not know the Lord. Our TNIV text and other translations say "they had no regard for the Lord." That's just what "not knowing the Lord" means, of course. But the Bible could simply say of a person who steals from God's offerings and commits deeds of immorality in God's house: "He does not know the Lord."
These two young men had been exposed to religious instruction. They were the sons of the high priest! If they were living in our days, we would say that they had gone to Sunday school and Bible class and church services. But they did not know the Lord.
Here we feel our inability to teach anyone the knowledge of the Lord, for "knowing the Lord" is a personal thing. If we don't have a personal relationship with God, we cannot know him.
Knowing the Bible is a condition for knowing the Lord. And ignorance of God is most commonly related to lack of Bible knowledge. But it is conceivable that someone could memorize the Bible without knowing the Lord.
"Everyone who loves ... knows God." This does not mean that "a lover" or "a warm personality" or anyone like that has the true knowledge of God. What the text means is that the life and love of God flows through his children. We know God only when we have experienced his love. And when we have experienced God's love, we ourselves are able to love.
When we give evidence of Christian love in our own lives, we know God.
How can others tell that you "know the Lord"?
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published by Paideia Press in 1977. This updated edition is copyright 2009 by Faith Alive Christian Resources. You can order a copy of this revised version of the book directly from the publisher.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this updated edition of Daylight are from the Holy Bible: Today's New International Version copyright 2001, 2005 by the International Bible Society.
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