Success God's Way | 1 Samuel 13:15-14:23

1 Samuel 13:15-14:23 (CSB)

Then Samuel went from Gilgal to Gibeah in Benjamin. Saul registered the troops who were with him, about six hundred men.

Saul, his son Jonathan, and the troops who were with them were staying in Geba of Benjamin, and the Philistines were camped at Michmash. Raiding parties went out from the Philistine camp in three divisions. One division headed toward the Ophrah road leading to the land of Shual. The next division headed toward the Beth-horon road, and the last division headed down the border road that looks out over the Zeboim Valley toward the wilderness.

No blacksmith could be found in all the land of Israel because the Philistines had said, “Otherwise, the Hebrews will make swords or spears.” So all the Israelites went to the Philistines to sharpen their plows, mattocks, axes, and sickles. The price was two-thirds of a shekel for plows and mattocks, and one-third of a shekel for pitchforks and axes, and for putting a point on a cattle prod. So on the day of battle not a sword or spear could be found in the hand of any of the troops who were with Saul and Jonathan; only Saul and his son Jonathan had weapons.

Now a Philistine garrison took control of the pass at Michmash.

That same day Saul’s son Jonathan said to the attendant who carried his weapons, “Come on, let’s cross over to the Philistine garrison on the other side.” However, he did not tell his father.

Saul was staying under the pomegranate tree in Migron on the outskirts of Gibeah. The troops with him numbered about six hundred. Ahijah, who was wearing an ephod, was also there. He was the son of Ahitub, the brother of Ichabod son of Phinehas, son of Eli the Lord’s priest at Shiloh. But the troops did not know that Jonathan had left.

There were sharp columns of rock on both sides of the pass that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine garrison. One was named Bozez and the other Seneh; one stood to the north in front of Michmash and the other to the south in front of Geba. Jonathan said to the attendant who carried his weapons, “Come on, let’s cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will help us. Nothing can keep the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.”

His armor-bearer responded, “Do what is in your heart. You choose. I’m right here with you whatever you decide.”

“All right,” Jonathan replied, “we’ll cross over to the men and then let them see us. If they say, ‘Wait until we reach you,’ then we will stay where we are and not go up to them. But if they say, ‘Come on up,’ then we’ll go up, because the Lord has handed them over to us—that will be our sign.”

They let themselves be seen by the Philistine garrison, and the Philistines said, “Look, the Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they’ve been hiding!” The men of the garrison called to Jonathan and his armor-bearer. “Come on up, and we’ll teach you a lesson!” they said.

“Follow me,” Jonathan told his armor-bearer, “for the Lord has handed them over to Israel.” Jonathan climbed up using his hands and feet, with his armor-bearer behind him. Jonathan cut them down, and his armor-bearer followed and finished them off. In that first assault Jonathan and his armor-bearer struck down about twenty men in a half-acre field.

Terror spread through the Philistine camp and the open fields to all the troops. Even the garrison and the raiding parties were terrified. The earth shook, and terror spread from God. When Saul’s watchmen in Gibeah of Benjamin looked, they saw the panicking troops scattering in every direction. So Saul said to the troops with him, “Call the roll and determine who has left us.” They called the roll and saw that Jonathan and his armor-bearer were gone.

Saul told Ahijah, “Bring the ark of God,” for it was with the Israelites at that time. While Saul spoke to the priest, the panic in the Philistine camp increased in intensity. So Saul said to the priest, “Stop what you’re doing.”

Saul and all the troops with him assembled and marched to the battle, and there the Philistines were, fighting against each other in great confusion! There were Hebrews from the area who had gone earlier into the camp to join the Philistines, but even they joined the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. When all the Israelite men who had been hiding in the hill country of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were fleeing, they also joined Saul and Jonathan in the battle. So the Lord saved Israel that day.

The Victorious King | 1 Samuel 11

1 Samuel 11 (HCSB)

Nahash the Ammonite came up and laid siege to Jabesh-gilead. All the men of Jabesh said to him, “Make a treaty with us, and we will serve you.”

Nahash the Ammonite replied, “I’ll make one with you on this condition: that I gouge out everyone’s right eye and humiliate all Israel.”

“Don’t do anything to us for seven days,” the elders of Jabesh said to him, “and let us send messengers throughout the territory of Israel. If no one saves us, we will surrender to you.”

When the messengers came to Gibeah, Saul’s hometown, and told the terms to the people, all wept aloud. Just then Saul was coming in from the field behind his oxen. “What’s the matter with the people? Why are they weeping?” Saul inquired, and they repeated to him the words of the men from Jabesh.

When Saul heard these words, the Spirit of God suddenly took control of him, and his anger burned furiously. He took a team of oxen, cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout the land of Israel by messengers who said, “This is what will be done to the ox of anyone who doesn’t march behind Saul and Samuel.” As a result, the terror of the Lord fell on the people, and they went out united.

Saul counted them at Bezek. There were 300,000 Israelites and 30,000 men from Judah. He told the messengers who had come, “Tell this to the men of Jabesh-gilead: ‘Deliverance will be yours tomorrow by the time the sun is hot.’” So the messengers told the men of Jabesh, and they rejoiced.

Then the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Tomorrow we will come out, and you can do whatever you want to us.”

The next day Saul organized the troops into three divisions. During the morning watch, they invaded the Ammonite camp and slaughtered them until the heat of the day. There were survivors, but they were so scattered that no two of them were left together.

Afterward, the people said to Samuel, “Who said that Saul should not reign over us? Give us those men so we can kill them!”

But Saul ordered, “No one will be executed this day, for today the Lord has provided deliverance in Israel.”

Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let’s go to Gilgal, so we can renew the kingship there.” So all the people went to Gilgal, and there in the Lord’s presence they made Saul king. There they sacrificed fellowship offerings in the Lord’s presence, and Saul and all the men of Israel greatly rejoiced.

Hiding in the Baggage | 1 Samuel 10:17-27

1 Samuel 10:17-27 (HCSB)

Samuel summoned the people to the Lord at Mizpah and said to the Israelites, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I brought Israel out of Egypt, and I rescued you from the power of the Egyptians and all the kingdoms that were oppressing you.’ But today you have rejected your God, who saves you from all your troubles and afflictions. You said to Him, ‘You must set a king over us.’ Now therefore present yourselves before the Lord by your tribes and clans.”

Samuel had all the tribes of Israel come forward, and the tribe of Benjamin was selected. Then he had the tribe of Benjamin come forward by its clans, and the Matrite clan was selected. Finally, Saul son of Kish was selected. But when they searched for him, they could not find him. They again inquired of the Lord, “Has the man come here yet?”

The Lord replied, “There he is, hidden among the supplies.”

They ran and got him from there. When he stood among the people, he stood a head taller than anyone else. Samuel said to all the people, “Do you see the one the Lord has chosen? There is no one like him among the entire population.”

And all the people shouted, “Long live the king!”

Samuel proclaimed to the people the rights of kingship. He wrote them on a scroll, which he placed in the presence of the Lord. Then Samuel sent all the people away, each to his home.

Saul also went to his home in Gibeah, and brave men whose hearts God had touched went with him. But some wicked men said, “How can this guy save us?” They despised him and did not bring him a gift, but Saul said nothing.

1 Samuel 9

1 Samuel 9 (HCSB)

There was an influential man of Benjamin named Kish son of Abiel, son of Zeror, son of Becorath, son of Aphiah, son of a Benjaminite. He had a son named Saul, an impressive young man. There was no one more impressive among the Israelites than he. He stood a head taller than anyone else.

One day the donkeys of Saul’s father Kish wandered off. Kish said to his son Saul, “Take one of the attendants with you and go look for the donkeys.” Saul and his attendant went through the hill country of Ephraim and then through the region of Shalishah, but they didn’t find them. They went through the region of Shaalim—nothing. Then they went through the Benjaminite region but still didn’t find them.

When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to the attendant who was with him, “Come on, let’s go back, or my father will stop worrying about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”

“Look,” the attendant said, “there’s a man of God in this city who is highly respected; everything he says is sure to come true. Let’s go there now. Maybe he’ll tell us which way we should go.”

“Suppose we do go,” Saul said to his attendant, “what do we take the man? The food from our packs is gone, and there’s no gift to take to the man of God. What do we have?”

The attendant answered Saul: “Here, I have a piece of silver. I’ll give it to the man of God, and he will tell us our way.”

Formerly in Israel, a man who was going to inquire of God would say, “Come, let’s go to the seer,” for the prophet of today was formerly called the seer.

“Good,” Saul replied to his attendant. “Come on, let’s go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was. As they were climbing the hill to the city, they found some young women coming out to draw water and asked, “Is the seer here?”

The women answered, “Yes, he is ahead of you. Hurry, he just now came to the city, because there’s a sacrifice for the people at the high place today. If you go quickly, you can catch up with him before he goes to the high place to eat. The people won’t eat until he comes because he must bless the sacrifice; after that, the guests can eat. Go up immediately—you can find him now.” So they went up toward the city.

Saul and his attendant were entering the city when they saw Samuel coming toward them on his way to the high place. Now the day before Saul’s arrival, the Lord had informed Samuel, “At this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him ruler over My people Israel. He will save them from the hand of the Philistines because I have seen the affliction of My people, for their cry has come to Me.” When Samuel saw Saul, the Lord told him, “Here is the man I told you about; he will rule over My people.”

Saul approached Samuel in the gate area and asked, “Would you please tell me where the seer’s house is?”

“I am the seer,” Samuel answered. “Go up ahead of me to the high place and eat with me today. When I send you off in the morning, I’ll tell you everything that’s in your heart. As for the donkeys that wandered away from you three days ago, don’t worry about them because they’ve been found. And who does all Israel desire but you and all your father’s family?”

Saul responded, “Am I not a Benjaminite from the smallest of Israel’s tribes and isn’t my clan the least important of all the clans of the Benjaminite tribe? So why have you said something like this to me?”

Samuel took Saul and his attendant, brought them to the banquet hall, and gave them a place at the head of the 30 or so men who had been invited. Then Samuel said to the cook, “Get the portion of meat that I gave you and told you to set aside.”

The cook picked up the thigh and what was attached to it and set it before Saul. Then Samuel said, “Notice that the reserved piece is set before you. Eat it because it was saved for you for this solemn event at the time I said, ‘I’ve invited the people.’” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. Afterward, they went down from the high place to the city, and Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof.

They got up early, and just before dawn, Samuel called to Saul on the roof, “Get up, and I’ll send you on your way!” Saul got up, and both he and Samuel went outside. As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Tell the attendant to go on ahead of us, but you stay for a while, and I’ll reveal the word of God to you.” So the attendant went on.

Give Us a King | 1 Samuel 7:15-8:22

1 Samuel 7:15-8:22 (HCSB)

Samuel judged Israel throughout his life. Every year he would go on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah and would judge Israel at all these locations. Then he would return to Ramah because his home was there, he judged Israel there, and he built an altar to the Lord there.

When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. His firstborn son’s name was Joel and his second was Abijah. They were judges in Beer-sheba. However, his sons did not walk in his ways—they turned toward dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.

So all the elders of Israel gathered together and went to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not follow your example. Therefore, appoint a king to judge us the same as all the other nations have.”

When they said, “Give us a king to judge us,” Samuel considered their demand sinful, so he prayed to the Lord. But the Lord told him, “Listen to the people and everything they say to you. They have not rejected you; they have rejected Me as their king. They are doing the same thing to you that they have done to Me, since the day I brought them out of Egypt until this day, abandoning Me and worshiping other gods. Listen to them, but you must solemnly warn them and tell them about the rights of the king who will rule over them.”

Samuel told all the Lord’s words to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “These are the rights of the king who will rule over you: He will take your sons and put them to his use in his chariots, on his horses, or running in front of his chariots. He can appoint them for his use as commanders of thousands or commanders of fifties, to plow his ground or reap his harvest, or to make his weapons of war or the equipment for his chariots. He can take your daughters to become perfumers, cooks, and bakers. He can take your best fields, vineyards, and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He can take a tenth of your grain and your vineyards and give them to his officials and servants. He can take your male servants, your female servants, your best young men, and your donkeys and use them for his work. He can take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves can become his servants. When that day comes, you will cry out because of the king you’ve chosen for yourselves, but the Lord won’t answer you on that day.”

The people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We must have a king over us. Then we’ll be like all the other nations: our king will judge us, go out before us, and fight our battles.”

Samuel listened to all the people’s words and then repeated them to the Lord. “Listen to them,” the Lord told Samuel. “Appoint a king for them.”

Then Samuel told the men of Israel, “Each of you, go back to your city.”

Repent and Turn | 1 Samuel 7

1 Samuel 7 (HCSB)

So the men of Kiriath-jearim came for the ark of the Lord and took it to Abinadab’s house on the hill. They consecrated his son Eleazar to take care of it.

Time went by until 20 years had passed since the ark had been taken to Kiriath-jearim. Then the whole house of Israel began to seek the Lord.

Samuel told them, “If you are returning to the Lord with all your heart, get rid of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths that are among you, dedicate yourselves to the Lord, and worship only Him. Then He will rescue you from the hand of the Philistines.” So the Israelites removed the Baals and the Ashtoreths and only worshiped the Lord.

Samuel said, “Gather all Israel at Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord on your behalf.” When they gathered at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out in the Lord’s presence. They fasted that day, and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the Israelites at Mizpah.

When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered at Mizpah, their rulers marched up toward Israel. When the Israelites heard about it, they were afraid because of the Philistines. The Israelites said to Samuel, “Don’t stop crying out to the Lord our God for us, so that He will save us from the hand of the Philistines.”

Then Samuel took a young lamb and offered it as a whole burnt offering to the Lord. He cried out to the Lord on behalf of Israel, and the Lord answered him. Samuel was offering the burnt offering as the Philistines drew near to fight against Israel. The Lord thundered loudly against the Philistines that day and threw them into such confusion that they fled before Israel. Then the men of Israel charged out of Mizpah and pursued the Philistines striking them down all the way to a place below Beth-car.

Afterward, Samuel took a stone and set it upright between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, explaining, “The Lord has helped us to this point.” So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israel’s territory again. The Lord’s hand was against the Philistines all of Samuel’s life. The cities from Ekron to Gath, which they had taken from Israel, were restored; Israel even rescued their surrounding territories from Philistine control. There was also peace between Israel and the Amorites.

Samuel judged Israel throughout his life. Every year he would go on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah and would judge Israel at all these locations. Then he would return to Ramah because his home was there, he judged Israel there, and he built an altar to the Lord there.

He Is Able | 1 Samuel 6

1 Samuel 6:1-21 (HCSB)

When the ark of the LORD had been in the land of the Philistines for seven months, the Philistines summoned the priests and the diviners and pleaded, "What should we do with the ark of the LORD? Tell us how we can send it back to its place."

They replied, "If you send the ark of Israel's God away, you must not send it without [an offering]. You must return it with a guilt offering, and you will be healed. Then the reason His hand hasn't been removed from you will be revealed."

They asked, "What guilt offering should we send back to Him?"

And they answered, "Five gold tumors and five gold mice [corresponding to] the number of Philistine rulers, since there was one plague for both you and your rulers. Make images of your tumors and of your mice that are destroying the land. Give glory to Israel's God, and perhaps He will stop oppressing you, your gods, and your land. Why harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened theirs? When He afflicted them, didn't they send Israel away, and Israel left?

"Now then, prepare one new cart and two milk cows that have never been yoked. Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up. Take the ark of the LORD, place it on the cart, and put the gold objects in a box beside it, which you're sending Him as a guilt offering. Send it off and let it go its way. Then watch: If it goes up the road to its homeland toward Beth-shemesh, it is the LORD who has made this terrible trouble for us. However, if it doesn't, we will know that it was not His hand that punished us--it was just something that happened to us by chance."

The men did this: They took two milk cows, hitched them to the cart, and confined their calves in the pen. Then they put the ark of the LORD on the cart, along with the box [containing] the gold mice and the images of the tumors. The cows went straight up the road to Beth-shemesh. They stayed on that one highway, lowing as they went; they never strayed to the right or to the left. The Philistine rulers were walking behind them to the territory of Beth-shemesh.

The people of Beth-shemesh were harvesting wheat in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they were overjoyed to see it. The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh and stopped there near a large rock. The people of the city chopped up the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD. The Levites removed the ark of the LORD, along with the box containing the gold objects, and placed them on the large rock. That day the men of Beth-shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the LORD. When the five Philistine rulers observed [this], they returned to Ekron that same day.

As a guilt offering to the LORD, the Philistines had sent back one gold tumor for each city: Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. The number of gold mice also [corresponded] to the number of Philistine cities of the five rulers, the fortified cities and the outlying villages. The large rock on which the ark of the LORD was placed is in the field of Joshua of Beth-shemesh to this day.

God struck down the men of Beth-shemesh because they looked inside the ark of the LORD. He struck down 70 men [out of] 50,000 men. The people wept because the LORD struck them with a great slaughter. The men of Beth-shemesh asked, "Who is able to stand in the presence of this holy LORD God? Who should the ark go to from here?"

They sent messengers to the residents of Kiriath-jearim, saying, "The Philistines have returned the ark of the LORD. Come down and get it."

1 Samuel 5:6-12 | The Hand of God

1 Samuel 5:6-12 (HCSB)

The LORD severely oppressed the people of Ashdod, terrorizing and afflicting the people of Ashdod and its territory with tumors. When the men of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, "The ark of Israel's God must not stay here with us, because His hand is severe against us and our god Dagon." So they called all the Philistine rulers together and asked, "What should we do with the ark of Israel's God?"

"The ark of Israel's God should be moved to Gath," they replied. So the men of Ashdod moved the ark. After they had moved it, the LORD's hand great panic. He afflicted the men of the city, from the youngest to the oldest, with an outbreak of tumors.

The Gathites then sent the ark of God to Ekron, but when it got there, the Ekronites cried out, "They've moved the ark of Israel's God to us to kill us and our people!"

The Ekronites called all the Philistine rulers together. They said, "Send the ark of Israel's God away. It must return to its place so it won't kill us and our people!" For the fear of death pervaded the city; God's hand was very heavy there. The men who did not die were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.

John 3:1-15

John 3:1-15 (HCSB)

There was a man from the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Him at night and said, " Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher, for no one could perform these signs You do unless God were with him."

Jesus replied, " I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

"But how can anyone be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked Him. "Can he enter his mother's womb a second time and be born?"

Jesus answered, " I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. The wind blows where it pleases, and you hear its sound, but you don't know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

"How can these things be?" asked Nicodemus.

"Are you a teacher of Israel and don't know these things?" Jesus replied. "I assure you: We speak what We know and We testify to what We have seen, but you do not accept Our testimony. If I have told you about things that happen on earth and you don't believe, how will you believe if I tell you about things of heaven? No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven --the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in Him will have eternal life.

1 Samuel 5:1-5

1 Samuel 5:1-5 (HCSB)

After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod, brought it into the temple of Dagon and placed it next to his statue. When the people of Ashdod got up early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen with his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. So they took Dagon and returned him to his place. But when they got up early the next morning, there was Dagon, fallen with his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD. [This time], both Dagon's head and the palms of his hands were broken off and lying on the threshold. Only Dagon's torso remained. That is why, to this day, the priests of Dagon and everyone who enters the temple of Dagon in Ashdod do not step on Dagon's threshold.

Listen to the Word | 1 Samuel 3

1 Samuel 3 (HCSB)

The boy Samuel served the LORD in Eli's presence. In those days the word of the LORD was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread. One day Eli, whose eyesight was failing, was lying in his room. Before the lamp of God had gone out, Samuel was lying down in the tabernacle of the LORD where the ark of God was located. Then the LORD called Samuel, and he answered, "Here I am." He ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "I didn't call," Eli replied. "Go and lie down." So he went and lay down. Once again the LORD called, "Samuel!" Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, "Here I am; you called me." "I didn't call, my son," he replied. "Go and lie down." Now Samuel had not yet experienced the LORD, because the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. Once again, for the third time, the LORD called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli understood that the LORD was calling the boy. He told Samuel, "Go and lie down. If He calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for Your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The LORD came, stood there, and called as before, "Samuel, Samuel!" Samuel responded, "Speak, for Your servant is listening." The LORD said to Samuel, "I am about to do something in Israel that everyone who hears about it will shudder. On that day I will carry out against Eli everything I said about his family, from beginning to end. I told him that I am going to judge his family forever because of the iniquity he knows about: his sons are defiling the sanctuary, and he has not stopped them. Therefore, I have sworn to Eli's family: The iniquity of Eli's family will never be wiped out by either sacrifice or offering." Samuel lay down until the morning; then he opened the doors of the LORD's house. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, but Eli called him and said, "Samuel, my son." "Here I am," answered Samuel. "What was the message He gave you?" Eli asked. "Don't hide it from me. May God punish you and do so severely if you hide anything from me that He told you." So Samuel told him everything and did not hide anything from him. Eli responded, "He is the LORD. He will do what He thinks is good." Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let nothing he said prove false. All Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a confirmed prophet of the LORD.

Sin & the Savior | 1 Samuel 2:22-36

1 Samuel 2:22-36 (HCSB)

Now Eli was very old. He heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they were sleeping with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. He said to them, "Why are you doing these things? I have heard about your evil actions from all these people. No, my sons, the report I hear from the LORD's people is not good. If a man sins against another man, God can intercede for him, but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to their father, since the LORD intended to kill them. By contrast, the boy Samuel grew in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men. A man of God came to Eli and said to him, "This is what the LORD says: 'Didn't I reveal Myself to your ancestral house when it was in Egypt and belonged to Pharaoh's palace? I selected your house from the tribes of Israel to be priests, to offer sacrifices on My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in My presence. I also gave your house all the Israelite fire offerings. Why, then, do all of you despise My sacrifices and offerings that I require at the place of worship? You have honored your sons more than Me, by making yourselves fat with the best part of all of the offerings of My people Israel.' "Therefore, the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Although I said your family and your ancestral house would walk before Me forever, the LORD now says, "No longer!" I will honor those who honor Me, but those who despise Me will be disgraced. " 'Look, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your ancestral family, so that none in your family will reach old age. You will see distress [in the] place of worship, in spite of all that is good in Israel, and no one in your family will ever again reach old age. Any man from your [family] I do not cut off from My altar will bring grief and sadness to you. All your descendents will die violently. This will be the sign that will come to you concerning your two sons Hophni and Phinehas: both of them will die on the same day. " 'Then I will raise up a faithful priest for Myself. He will do whatever is in My heart and mind. I will establish a lasting dynasty for him, and he will walk before My anointed one for all time. Anyone who is left in your family will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread. He will say: Please appoint me to some priestly office so I can have a piece of bread to eat.' "