Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the LORD. Now it was the practice of the priests that, whenever any of the people offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being boiled and would plunge the fork into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. . . . This sin of the young men was very great in the LORD’s sight, for they were treating the LORD’s offering with contempt.
Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. . . . If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the LORD, who will intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the LORD’s will to put them to death. And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with people. 1 Samuel 2:12-26
Eli’s sons were scoundrels! They had no regard for the LORD! Those two young men showed total disrespect for God and the things of God.
They helped themselves liberally and even forcefully to the sacrifices the Israelites brought to the House of God. They focused on satisfying themselves even before the sacrifices were given to God. They showed utter contempt to the rules God had given concerning the burnt offerings at the temple. They even had the audacity to sleep with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Nothing was sacred to them! Nothing was off-limits. They totally abused their power and showed utter contempt to the Holy God they were supposed to be serving. The complaints of the people and their father’s rebuke rolled off their backs!
But God would not be mocked. Their wickedness was about to end in disaster. The Bible says, “It was the LORD’s will to put them to death.” The words of Eli to his sons, send shivers down my spine: “If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?” In spite of that frightening admonition, Eli’s sons continued with their evil ways. To them, sinning against the Almighty God was one big joke! They had become used to it. Sin numbs us after a while!
As we ponder over this narrative, may our hearts be stirred into contrition and repentance by the words of Eli. May you and I never take the holiness of God for granted. May we live in genuine fear of God at all times. May we never become comfortable with taking God and the things of God for granted. When mere mortals treat God with contempt and refuse to repent, who can intercede for them? God is Holy, Mighty and Awesome. He deserves our Highest Honor!
Prayer: Father, may my heart be filled with a genuine fear of you at all times. Amen.