Corruption Begets Corruption

Turn the news on and within seconds, you will find some governmental agency under investigation concerning allegations of corruption. Not long after an investigation is underway for that agency, another organization tied to that first agency is also under investigation. While this is not always the rule of thumb it does happen and the citizens of America lose just a little more confidence in their Federal government as a whole.

Solomon says in the first chapter of Ecclesiastes in latter part of verse 9, “And there is nothing new under the sun.”

Listen to what Moses says to the children of Israel just prior to his death: Deuteronomy 31:25-29 NKJV (25) that Moses commanded the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying: (26) "Take this Book of the Law, and put it beside the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there as a witness against you; (27) for I know your rebellion and your stiff neck. If today, while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the LORD, then how much more after my death? (28) Gather to me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their hearing and call heaven and earth to witness against them. (29) For I know that after my death you will become utterly corrupt, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you. And evil will befall you in the latter days, because you will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke Him to anger through the work of your hands."

Just as Moses predicted, God’s people chose foreign gods and Joshua exhorts them: Joshua 24:23-24 NKJV "Now therefore," he said, "put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD God of Israel." (24) And the people said to Joshua, "The LORD our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!"

Let us flash forward through the 24 years of Joshua’s conquest and over the 360 soul-wrenching years of Judges to the beginning of 1st Samuel. Here at the beginning of 1st Samuel were two amazing judges, Eli and Samuel. While they served Israel well, their children were quite the opposite (1st Sam. 2:12; 8:3). These sons were so corrupt that they drove the children of Israel to say, “Give us a king to judge us” (1st Sam. 8:6).

And so God relented: 1 Samuel 8:7 NKJV And the LORD said to Samuel, "Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them.

God’s word is full of exhortation, comfort and encouragement, but here in verse 7 of chapter 8, this is a warning to God’s people of today. When something comes up contrary to God’s will, we ought to echo the words of Peter, “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).

One of my favorite hymns is “Let The Lower Lights Be Burning.” The main idea of the song is that there are two lights necessary to guide ships into the harbor (an upper and lower light). If one was out, it was extremely difficult to tell which light remained lit and so making the harbor becomes a treacherous gamble at best.

The boys of Eli and Samuel drove the children of Israel to desire something less than what God had already given His people. It is obvious that Israel had a dodgy record of accomplishment already. While Eli and Samuel were standing to be the upper lights, their boys kept blowing their own lower lights out with abhorrent actions against the people.

The last verse of “Let The Lower Lights Be Burning” says:

“Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;

Some poor seaman tempest-tossed,

Trying now to make the harbor,

In the darkness may be lost.”


  1. Let us, as God’s people, always strive to be the righteous light in a dark world (Luke 1:76-69).

  2. How confusing it must have been for the children of Israel to see Eli’s and Samuel’s sons acting so corruptly in the midst of holy sacrifices to God. (A confidence buster for sure)

  3. As long as people are on this planet, there will be corruption. Let us make sure we have no part in it (Acts 5).

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