Last week we saw how the Lord acted in judgment against Eli, and his wicked sons Hophni and Phineous. The wicked religious establishment in Israel ignored the Promises of God and displayed contempt for the sacrifices and offering given to the Lord. This week we will see how God acts triumphantly against a Philistine religious establishment that attempted to to ridicule Him. In both cases the Lord brought the central religious figure tumbling to the ground.
1 Samuel 2:30 Those who oppose the Lord will be shattered; he will thunder in the heavens against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give power to his king; he will lift up the horn of his anointed
1 Samuel 2:30 For those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disgraced.
God promises, “I am in control” and “I will punish sin.”
This week we will see these promises realized as the Lord continues His enacting judgments against both non-Israelites (Philistines) and Israelites who display a lack of respect for Him (1 Samuel 2:30). The Lord acts without regard to geographical boundaries, with equal competence on foreign soil and in Israel’s Promise Land. His actions confirm the Torah’s teaching that he is indeed “the Judge of the whole earth” (cf. Gen 18:25; 1 Sam 2:10).
A common thread binds together the Lord’s judgment found in 1 Samuel 5:1–7:17. At the heart of each of the stories is a terrifying and deadly action carried out without human help. The Lord can act as a divine warrior (Exodus 15:3; Isaiah 42:13; Jeremiah 20:11) without human intervention. He can break out in judgment against any or all who violate His holiness. But He enforces His judgment especially—when the objects of His judgment are His own earthly representatives.