Sinning Against God
“If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?” 1 Samuel 2:25
Eli the priest had two “worthless” sons. Worthless!? Why? Because “they did not know the Lord.” How do we know that? Because they stole the best part of offerings for themselves. Their offering-theft revealed hearts that chose their benefit over God. “Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord.”
How might we be in jeopardy of sinning against the Lord directly? How might we be in jeopardy of being called worthless?
The place many of us toy with this great and direct sin against God is in the area of our stewardship. While there is truth that every sin is ultimately a sin against God, giving the first portion of our finances back to God might be the best corollary to the sons of Eli. There is a directness in refusing to offer back the first fruits of what was God’s to begin with.
How few Christians give back the first portion to God? How many of us whittle down our tithe with mental gymnastics. Surely it is true that there is not a clear New Testament demand for the tithe to be the standard. But just as surely every Old Testament standard is raised in Christ (see the Sermon on the Mount).
Do my finances tell you if I know God? My tithe is not my heart. But it reflects my heart. And I’m in dangerous ground if I somehow think that I can play a game with God that has me taking back from him what was intended for him.
The sin of Eli’s sons ought to give us pause to consider the state of our heart. Let us not play games with the Almighty.