Don’t Wear the Dunce Cap

Most of us have an area of our life where we don’t excel. Somewhere we just cant figure out. I have a few in my life. One is backwards cuts on crown molding. Cant figure it out for the life of me

This guy Eli in this story is somewhat like that- He had some simple instructions from God- and for whatever reason he couldn’t make it happen. In this story we see his stupidity

Eli is watching the battle between the Israelites and the philistines. He hears the cry of the battle and asks what is going on- this guy tells him that its Israel losing, his sons dying and the ark being captured. Eli is so overcome with emotion he falls back, breaks his neck and dies.

We’ll get into it- but Eli was a dunce. You can learn how to not be a dunce.

  1. Don’t be spiritually blind
  • Theres an interesting part of this story- Eli is “there was Eli, sitting on a seat by the wayside watching” v13 but also “15 Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were so dim that he could not see.”
  • What was going on? Could he see or not see? Was he watching or were his eyes so dim he couldn’t see. Which one was it? Faking it- he was Watching but not seeing
  • Physical blindness in the Bible isn’t always about spiritual blindness- but I think Eli was spiritually blind as well as physically blind- He ignored the challenges from Samuel, ignored the rebukes from God, Ignored the initial battle casualties. I’d say he’s spiritually blind. Faker.
  • There were spiritually blind people in the OT or else Isaiah 42:7 To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.
  • Some blindness you can’t see. It comes on you without knowing.
  • Only GOD can cure spiritual blindness! Mark 4:12 so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’ ”
  • Glaucoma most blindness in US, 3m Have it, Many don’t know because no symptoms
  • There ARE symptoms of spiritual blindness- Inability to see things for what they are, inability to see God, inability to see yourself, inability to see the truths of scripture, inability to see salvation
  • John 9:39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Are you spiritually blind? Are you faking it? Do you sit up and look like you’re seeing, but really blind? A fair assessment of your blindness and necessity for sight is important. You can’t lie
  • Jesus came to cure spiritual blindness!
  • John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
  • Acts 26:18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’
  • But blindness is RAMPANT in this day- many people think they know the truth but are BLIND
  • 2 Corinthians 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
  1. Don’t be spiritually deaf
  • Interesting part of this story Eli asks “What does this tumult mean?” Seriously dude? How could you not know- Their in battle- you’ve been watching the battle- You know what it means.
  • You heard the screams, you heard the battle, you heard the tumult. You just want to believe it wasn’t what it was- You’re being deaf. You’re pretending you don’t hear what you hear.
  • Like many people- Listening but not hearing. Only hearing what they want to hear and nothing else. Come on Eli! Quick acting like you cant hear. You heard it and you know it
  • God promised hearing! Isaiah 35:5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, And the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.
  • Psalm 38:14 Thus I am like a man who does not hear, And in whose mouth is no response.
  • Spiritually deafness is a real thing- not only can you not see, you can’t hear either.
  • Ezekiel 12:2 “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see, and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.
  • This was the story of Israel so many times! Hearing but not doing anything about it!
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Are you spiritually deaf? You may be- you may not even know it- you can sit here and listen to a sermon and not really even listen. On your phone- or somewhere else. But not here
  • Clue into what is being said! Don’t turn it off!
  • If you suffer from spiritual deafness- you can be led astray-
  • 2 Timothy 4:4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
  • You do not want to be turned aside to fables- You do not want to be led astray!
  • Prov 28: 9 One who turns away his ear from hearing the law, Even his prayer is an abomination
  • How do you fight spiritual deafness? You read the word of God! You mediatate on it and you make sure you know what it says about every last part of your life
  • Then you live like it, and you don’t care what anyone else says about it because its TRUE
  1. Don’t be spiritually stupid
  • Now- some might be upset with me using a word like stupid- but it’s a bible word here-
  • “for the man was old and heavy.” This is actually not a fat joke- this word in the Hebrew means more about heavy in his thinking- thick headed- a dunce. The dude was stupid
  • “severe, difficult, stupid” slow, thick. The writer of Samuel is saying- this dude was stupid
  • Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.
  • Eli had many opportunities to make it right. He had many times to repent- stupidly didnt
  • Psalm 32:9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you.
  • I’m sorry- if you’re stupid- you’re stupid. Bad word? You just killed 34k and your sons!
  • All because you refused to listen to the standards of God and implement them in your life
  • This is what spiritual stupidity looks like- clear instructions from God and no desire to apply them to your life. Just being spiritually dumb.
  • We still describe people this way- if you mess up something simple- you’re stupid
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Don’t be spiritually stupid. Don’t wear the dunce cap.
  • 2 Timothy 3:7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
  • If there are things that you struggle with in the things of God- reach out and ask someone about it and seek out some help.
  • James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
  • I know some uneducated people in the worlds eyes who have a fantastic working knowledge of the things of the Lord. They destroy the idea of a book education necessary to have knowledge
  • Again- if you’re stupid- Jesus will call you out on it! So will Paul! Don’t be spiritually Stupid
  • Luke 24:25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
  • Gal 3:1-4 Foolish Galatians! Don’t earn your salvation by works, but by FAITH
  1. Love the Things of God
  • There’s a point here I want to make- Eli in the end showed his true colors- he may have been spiritually blind, deaf, and stupid but his love for the things of God shined through in the end.
  • He didn’t die when Israel lost, didn’t die when his sons died, it was when the ark was gone
  • His love for God and his presence was what put him over edge.
  • He loved God He lost his way, but he loved him and what God was about..
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Love the things of God!
  • His word, his people, his church, worshipping Him and HIM. If you don’t love these things you don’t love God.
  • Church is important! Its not just a club- Meeting is the most important thing we do!
  • 1 Timothy 3:15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
  • Jesus is our leader and this is his BRIDE. We should love it!
  • Colossians 1:18 And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.
  • Love the word
  • Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,And in His law he meditates day and night.
  • What are the things of God
  • Love the fellowhsip
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