Restraining Evil

English: Worshiping the golden calf, as in Exo...
English: Worshiping the golden calf, as in Exodus 32:1-35, illustration from a Bible card published 1901 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 Samuel 3:11-14 says, “Then the Lord said to Samuel: ‘Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.’”

It is interesting the price Eli paid. The chief issue God had against him was in verse 13 – he refused to restrain the evil. He refused to confront, rebuke or raise up a plumbline. Eli was the second seeker-sensitive priest in Scripture.  The first seeker-sensitive priest who refused to restrain evil was Aaron. When Aaron’s hands helped fashion what the people wanted – the golden calf emerged, costing 3,000 people their lives. Do we recognize today’s golden calves?  We may well be parking our car and walking into one on Sunday morning. It is the compromise in refusing to confront sin and restrain evil that transforms the altar of a church into a golden calf.  The gold of the calf is the size of the church that looks successful and instills great pride!  “Look at our huge church,” we have all heard people say. If the pulpit never restrains sin, you may be sitting in a golden calf. If where you visit every Sunday morning, or what you watch on television gives mostly happy messages rarely restraining evil, then you are in a golden calf!  May God, help us! This abomination is neutering the church. Where are we spending our Sundays?  Are we parked in a golden calf or are we getting the Word coming from a pure altar?

Rev. Al Houghton
Word At Work Ministries