Discernment is the ability to see and understand people, things, or situations clearly and intelligently… often beyond the facts or empirical data — it is an element of wisdom.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Having the highest respect for God and His Way is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 1:7).
Understanding is the interpretation of facts and discernment in using knowledge. It is being able to comprehend the difference between good and evil.
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
It is a Necessity
Matthew 10:16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Then there is a necessity to distinguish how someone is acting or where they are coming from.
Is someone pulling the wool over your eyes? Are they being sincere? What is their basis and are they being Godly or ungodly?
Children Do Not Have It
Deuteronomy 1:39 ‘Moreover your little ones and your children, who you say will be victims, who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they shall go in there; to them I will give it, and they shall possess it.
Isaiah 7:15-16 Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.
Jonah 4:11 And should I not pity Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot discern between their right hand and their left—and much livestock?”
They Must Grow In It
Jesus Christ has some fairly strong words for the people of his time who were adults and still had not shown discernment
Luke 12:54 Then He also said to the multitudes, “Whenever you see a cloud rising out of the west, immediately you say, ‘A shower is coming’; and so it is.
Luke 12:55 And when you see the south wind blow, you say, ‘There will be hot weather’; and there is.
Luke 12:56 Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how is it you do not discern this time?
Luke 12:57 “Yes, and why, even of yourselves, do you not judge what is right?
They did it then and the same will happen in the future. There will be those who say wrongly here is Jesus Christ and there is Jesus Christ and it won’t be the time. And then when it is the time, they won’t see it but be fooled by lying wonders etc…
The Greek word for discern (here in verse 56) means to test, to prove, to examine [to what end – to come to the right conclusion]. So it is not a matter of just glancing at something. Discernment takes a very careful look and scrutinizes. We have to look into the deeper parts of it and separate it out.
They Had Not Grown Spiritually
Notice what they should have been doing…
Ezekiel 44:23 “And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.
Ezekiel 44:24 In controversy they shall stand as judges, and judge it according to My judgments. They shall keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed meetings, and they shall hallow My Sabbaths.
Although this is speaking of the priesthood and a future time, it is what God wants and expects of us now. We are to be priests in the Kingdom of God applying then what we are learning to apply now.
Spiritual Children Must Do the Same
Hebrews 5:11 Of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
Hebrews 5:13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.
Hebrew 5:14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
We are not ready as soon as we get baptized. It comes with practice of God’s ways.
Holy righteous character which we are building is knowing right from wrong and choosing right. We have to know what is right in Gods eyes, to become Godlike, to make a decision as he would and to be able to make godly decisions. To be able to take a matter or an issue and come to the “right” decision.
We are presented with opportunities as we grow to put to use that which we have learned and differentiate between good and evil.
This is what it is and why we need discernment.
How do we get discernment?
1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,
1 Corinthians 2:5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
1 Corinthians 2:6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.
1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory,
1 Corinthians 2:8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
1 Corinthians 2:10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?
Story of the judge in the case where the facts didn’t support a clear victory.
Even So No One Knows the Things of God Except the Spirit of God
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
1 Corinthians 2:13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man [the physical man in the world] does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
We have spiritual discernment given to us by God to know what is good and what is bad – what is right and what is wrong – the world does not have this ability to the extent that we possess it.
Why, because the Law of God – that teaches us right from wrong, is being written upon our hearts.
1 Corinthians 2:15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
1 Corinthian 2:16 For “WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD THAT HE MAY INSTRUCT HIM?” But we have the mind of Christ. [that is, if we have put into practice that which we know and hold so dearly and have grown in Spiritual discernment]
IT is a gift!
1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:
1 Corinthians 12:4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord.
1 Corinthians 12:6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.
Proverbs 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility.
Pride wars against honor. Humility is doing things God’s way … Humility is; I don’t have all the answers.
Notice Why These Gifts are Given
1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
1 Corinthians 12:8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
1 Corinthians 12:9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,
1 Corinthians 12:10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
1 Corinthians 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. [Not as we want; or that we can just take it because we want it.]
Discerning the spirits is not just recognizing demon possession but influence. Do we see it around us? Do we recognize when something is not from God?
We know who the power of the air and who the god of this world is. How he holds people captive and works on the sons of disobedience. Discerning of spirits is recognizing Satan’s and his demons influence at any level. Something that we desperately need.
Jesus tells of several events preceding His return. Deception, false prophets, false miracles, and a warning not to fall for these things.
2 Corinthians 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
1 John 4:2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,
1 John 4:3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
If Satan transforms into a minister of righteousness we need to have the wherewithal to tell him apart from the real ones. Without this discernment we will fall for the tricks that are being perpetrated.
2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,
2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,
2 Thessalonians 2:12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Even Though it is a Gift We Can Get it by Asking For It
Proverbs 2:3 Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding,
Solomon: A Good Example
1 Kings 3:3 And Solomon loved the LORD, walking in the statutes of his father David, except that he sacrificed and burned incense at the high places.
1 Kings 3:4 Now the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place: Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings on that altar.
1 Kings 3:5 At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask! What shall I give you?”
1 Kings 3:6 And Solomon said: “You have shown great mercy to Your servant David my father, because he walked before You in truth, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; You have continued this great kindness for him, and You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
1 Kings 3:7 Now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.
1 Kings 3:8 And Your servant is in the midst of Your people whom You have chosen, a great people, too numerous to be numbered or counted.
1 Kings 3:9 Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
1 Kings 3:10 The speech pleased the LORD, that Solomon had asked this thing.
1 Kings 3:11 Then God said to him: “Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked long life for yourself, nor have asked riches for yourself, nor have asked the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern justice,
1 Kings 3:12 behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you.
1 Kings 3:13 And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days.
1 Kings 3:14 So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.”
The Story of Dividing the Son of the Harlots
1 Kings 3:15 Then Solomon awoke; and indeed it had been a dream. And he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the LORD, offered up burnt offerings, offered peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.
1 Kings 3:16 Now two women who were harlots came to the king, and stood before him.
1 Kings 3:17 And one woman said, “O my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house.
1 Kings 3:18 Then it happened, the third day after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth. And we were together; no one was with us in the house, except the two of us in the house.
1 Kings 3:19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him.
1 Kings 3:20 So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom.
1 Kings 3:21 And when I rose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead. But when I had examined him in the morning, indeed, he was not my son whom I had borne.”
1 Kings 3:22 Then the other woman said, “No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.” And the first woman said, “No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” Thus they spoke before the king.
1 Kings 3:23 And the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son, who lives, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! But your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’ ”
1 Kings 3:24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king.
1 Kings 3:25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.”
1 Kings 3:26 Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!” But the other said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.”
1 Kings 3:27 So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.”
1 Kings 3:28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.
It Also Comes by Knowing and Keeping His Commandments
Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.
This also implies knowing them, else how would we know what to keep?
We have to know what is good and what is evil and Gods Word is the only way.
Discernment Can come Through Chastisement
Proverbs 19:25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge.
Barnes: Words which embrace nearly the whole theory of punishment. If the man who offends is a “scorner,” hardened beyond all hope of reformation, then punish him by way of retribution and example, and let the penalty be sharp, that even the unwary and careless may beware. If the man be “understanding,” then let the punishment take the form of discipline. Admonish, reprove, educate.
If we begin to slip away or turn a blind eye, the scary part is that in the same way it comes, it disappears – we can’t feel it. When our eyes were opened, we didn’t feel anything, but everything became so clear. When we leave the Word of God in some way we don’t feel the understanding slipping away
The problem also is that we KNEW that we had understood at one point and think we still do. But God says: A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. All of them! In other words, if you are to have discernment, you must be living a Godly life
By departing from God’s truth, a person loses discernment.
I Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.
Consequences of losing discernment
1 Samuel 1:9 So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD.
1 Samuel 1:10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish.
1 Samuel 1:11 Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”
1 Samuel 1:12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli watched her mouth.
1 Samuel 1:13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore, Eli thought she was drunk.
1 Samuel 1:14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”
1 Samuel 1:15 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.
1 Samuel 1:16 Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.”
1 Samuel 1:17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”
1 Samuel 1:18 And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
1 Samuel 2:11 Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child ministered to the LORD before Eli the priest.
1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD.
1 Samuel 2:13 And the priests’ custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling.
1 Samuel 2:14 Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.
1 Samuel 2:15 Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw.”
1 Samuel 2:16 And if the man said to him, “They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires,” he would then answer him, “No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.”
1 Samuel 2:17 Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.
1 Samuel 2:18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod.
A transition is taking place
1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
1 Samuel 2:23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.
1 Samuel 2:24 No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD’s people transgress.
1 Samuel 2:25 If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless, they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them.
This really was a gentle chiding at best. It came seemingly more so as a father than as coming from the High Priest and Judge of Israel.
1 Samuel 2:26 And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men.
Once again we see the contrast as God is transitioning who He is going to use in the future.
1 Samuel 2:27 Then a man of God [interesting that he is not named, because it didn’t matter who it was, just what it was that he had to say] came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the LORD [before he had heard from others, but now he is hearing from God via this servant]: ‘Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house? [of the line of Aaron]
1 Samuel 2:28 Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire?
1 Samuel 2:29 Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering [why do you kick dirt in my face as it were; a complete lack of respect for God and the things:] which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me [Here is where Eli fell short. He did not discern the right course of action because he put physical family before God’s will.], to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’
And now because of this….
1 Samuel 2:30 Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the LORD says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.
1 Samuel 2:31 Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.
1 Samuel 2:32 And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever. But any of your men whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age.
1 Samuel 2:34 Now this shall be a sign to you that will come upon your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall die, both of them.
Now I find this interesting. God didn’t execute the pronouncement right away. So knowing all of this was going to come to pass, what would you do?
1 Samuel 3:1 Now the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.
Why was that? Could it be because of the lack of discernment that Eli and his sons were displaying? Was it because of their sinful ways? Was it because they were not right with God?
1 Samuel 3:2 And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see,
1 Samuel 3:3 and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the LORD where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down,
1 Samuel 3:4 that the LORD called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!”
1 Samuel 3:5 So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down.
1 Samuel 3:6 Then the LORD called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”
1 Samuel 3:7 (Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him.)
1 Samuel 3:8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived [same word as in 1Kings 3:9] Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”
Though it was after 3 times, nonetheless we see that discernment can wane though it may not disappear completely, that the LORD had called the boy.
1 Samuel 3:9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
1 Samuel 3:10 Now the LORD came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”
1 Samuel 3:11 Then the LORD said to Samuel: “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.
1 Samuel 3:12 In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.
1 Samuel 3:13 For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.
1 Samuel 3:14 And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
1 Samuel 3:15 So Samuel lay down until morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision.
1 Samuel 3:16 Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son!” He answered, “Here I am.”
1 Samuel 3:17 And he said, “What is the word that the LORD spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that He said to you.”
1 Samuel 3:18 Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him.”
This now the 3rd time Eli has been witnessed against
1 Samuel 4:4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, who dwells between the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
1 Samuel 4:5 And when the ark of the covenant of the LORD came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook.
They felt God was with them and no one could defeat them because of that.
1 Samuel 4:6 Now when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the sound of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp.
1 Samuel 4:7 So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp!” And they said, “Woe to us! For such a thing has never happened before.
Nevertheless, they fought and actually won! How could this be?
The ark was a symbol. God had actually left them.
1 Samuel 2:24 No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD’s people transgress.
Not only were the spiritual leaders corrupt, but the people who followed them were becoming that way as well. They showed a lack of discernment. They followed corrupt spiritual leaders and suffered alongside of them.
Many had to know the report that was delivered previously to Eli. The first witness to Eli was through the people. They knew the things that Hophni and Phinehas did and what Eli allowed them to continue to do. I am sure many were at the butt of the statements they made like we read where they said, ” you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.” They were still willing to follow the lead of these ungodly men.
1 Samuel 4:10 So the Philistines fought, and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent. There was a very great slaughter, and there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers.
1 Samuel 4:11 Also the ark of God was captured; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
1 Samuel 4:12 Then a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line the same day, and came to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dirt on his head.
1 Samuel 4:13 Now when he came, there was Eli, sitting on a seat by the wayside watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told it, all the city cried out.
1 Samuel 4:14 When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, “What does the sound of this tumult mean?” And the man came quickly and told Eli.
1 Samuel 4:15 Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes were so dim that he could not see.
1 Samuel 4:16 Then the man said to Eli, “I am he who came from the battle. And I fled today from the battle line.” And he said, “What happened, my son?”
1 Samuel 4:17 So the messenger answered and said, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter among the people. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead; and the ark of God has been captured.”
1 Samuel 4:18 Then it happened, when he made mention of the ark of God, that Eli fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.
All because of a lack of spiritual discernment. Eli chose poorly the way in which he dealt with his sons. Of course his sons did not discern rightly the consequences of their actions in their positions as priests and they lead the people away from God. The people knew this and continued following them, showing once again, poor discernment. What a mess!
1 Corinthians 3:18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.
Ephesians 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
1 John 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
Wisdom: is the insight and character to rightly apply knowledge and understanding in our lives
Wisdom does not come naturally. Just by joining a church group or being a church leader will not insure that you will have wisdom…
A key to discernment is that if it is Godly, it parallels the word of God or is in conjunction with it. The fruit of the spirit is manifest, and it reflects every word of God and is not of the works of the flesh.
Proverbs 2:10 When wisdom enters your heart, And knowledge is pleasant to your soul,
Proverbs 2:11 Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you.
When do we expect to learn to make decisions? Right now is our opportunity to develop discernment and to learn to judge. We must learn to discern!
“Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more things that pertain to this life?” (1 Corinthians 6:3)
“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” (John 7:24)
Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment,
Philippians 1:10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,
Philippians 1:11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.