Tale of Two Youth Groups
I Sam. 3
Intro: A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. With over 200 million copies sold, it is the most printed original English book, and among the most famous works of fiction.
It depicts the plight of the French peasants that were demoralized by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same time period.
The book starts out like this:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”
I can’t think of a better way to describe the story tonight in II Samuel.
Here in I Samuel, we find the tale of Two Youth Groups
- It was an amazing time, and yet it was an appalling time.
- It was an age of godly wisdom, and it was an age of unbelievable foolishness.
- It was an age of faith and belief, and it was an age of doubt and skepticism.
- It was a season of Light, and it was a season of Darkness. (3:3)
- It was a time of hope, and it was a time of despair.
- They had everything, and they had nothing.
- Some were going directly to Heaven, some busted Hell wide open.
The difference was determined by which youth group you were in.
There were two – the one Samuel was in, and the one that Hophni and Phinehas
These young people had the same pastor, went to the same church, grew up in the same household, had the same training, exposed to the same Bible, they had the same everything – but produced two different results.
Here are several very obvious Biblical contrasts between these two youth groups.
- Samuel – his parents begged God for him – 1:10
- Hophni & Phineas – God begged his parents for them – 3:12, 13
- Samuel – ministry was a life – 2:11; 2:18; 3:1
- Hophni & Phineas – ministry was a lie – 2:29
- Samuel – was respected by the people – 2:26
- Hophni & Phineas – were repulsive to the people – 2:23, 24
- Samuel – opened the door of the church – 3:15
- Hophni & Phineas – offended the door of the church – 2:22
- Samuel – God talked to him about the man of God – 3:11, 12
- Hophni & Phineas – The man of God talked to them about God – 2:27-36
- Samuel – wore his ephod with honor – 2:18
- Hophni & Phineas – wore their ephod with dishonor – 2:28-30 (right clothes: wrong heart.)
- Samuel – hurried at the voice of his father – 3:5, 6, 8
- Hophni & Phineas – hearkened not to the voice of their father – 2:25
- Samuel – the word of God was alive to him – 3:21
- Hophni & Phineas – the word of God was a loophole for them – 2:15 – 17
- Samuel – he hid nothing from his authority – 3:18
- Hophni & Phineas – they hid everything from their authority – 2:23, 24
- Samuel – he was established before the people – 3:19-21
- Hophni & Phineas – they were bad examples before the people – 2:24
- Samuel – he reverenced God’s appearance – 3:10
- Hophni & Phineas – they rejected God’s appearance – 2:27
- Samuel – God gave him a sure house – 2:35
- Hophni & Phineas – God gave them a sad house – 2:36
- Samuel – he shall walk before mine anointed for ever – 2:35
- Hophni & Phineas – in one day they shall die; both of them – 2:34