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A research ship off the coast of Florida, was gathering data to protect the environment; but the ship hit a reef, punctured its fuel tanks, and polluted the very waters it hoped to preserve. Like this research ship, people charged with leading others can fail morally, and harm the very ones they should protect. That happened in ancient Israel. The sons of Eli were leaders. Their job was to oversee the sacrifices people brought as offerings, and to teach them God’s laws. But they were corrupt; they took advantage of people, and brought shame on the entire nation. Eventually, God acted. First, He withheld children from Hannah to strengthen her faith. He then rewarded her faith with a son. She was so grateful she dedicated him to God. Her son grew up to replace the wicked sons of Eli. Samuel had a pivotal role in the nation. He was a priest, a judge, a prophet, and a counselor. He anointed both Saul and David to become kings of Israel. Through David’s line, Jesus the Messiah came. Eli’s sons failed, but God’s plans did not. God’s wisdom and sovereignty controlled the events of history to fulfill His purpose. In the same way, God works to fulfill His purpose for us, and to fill our lives with meaning. Our part is to humbly submit to him and aim to do His will.

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