One of the big lessons of 1 Samuel is that it really matters who is leading Gods people - in particular it really matters who is the priest over Gods people. Because this poor man has the terrifying responsibility of representing his people to God, and representing God to his people. That means that the relationship between God and his people to some extent rests on his conduct (talk about pressure!) And so this week we are introduced to a man who, slightly inevitably, has completely stuffed the job up. His name is Eli and he has let his two sons use their position as priests to steal from God, and to procure sexual favours - its a tabloid headlines moment. And Gods response to Elis sin is uncompromising: he and his whole family are thrown out of the priesthood; and his two sons are killed; and instead God replaces Eli with a young man called Samuel. And wonderfully, the fate of the whole nation is then turned around through the leadership of this new godly priest Samuel...for a while. Because just as everything seems to be going so well, we discover that history is repeating itself: Samuels two sons turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice (1 Samuel 8:3). And so the big question we are left asking is where on earth are we going to find a faithful priest to represent us to God, who is not going to stuff the whole thing up in the end?