1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD.

 

This is a sad verse indeed. Eliís sons were born into the priest hood and they were serving as priest for God but here we see that they were considered corrupt or worthless and the reason why they were this way was because they did not know God so therefore they had no regard for his laws. It amazes me that there father was such a Godly man and he seemed to great job when it came to teaching Samuel about God but he had neglected to train his own sons and discipline them. Letís read on and see what they did.

 

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.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.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."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."17 Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.

 

Here we find out that these two boys were being very greedy when it came to the portion they were supposed to receive from a sacrifice. Leviticus 7 and Deuteronomy 18 tells us that a priestís portion of a sacrifice only includes the shoulder, the breast, the cheeks, and the stomach. Yet these boys wanted it all including the fat which was forbidden by the law of God. There sin didnít just affect them it started making the people start to despise giving their sacrifice because they came to give it to God not to these 2 men. Violating Godís Word this way calls for these men to be cut off before God. But this wasnít the only thing they were doing wrong.

 

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.

 

Not only did they violate the Godís law about the sacrifices that were made, they were also indulging in fornication. These sons of Eli were out of control and they needed to be dealt with.

 

23 So he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.24 "No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD's people transgress.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.26 And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men.

 

Here we see Eli feeble attempt to deal with his sons. But they did not listen to him just like they had not listened to him their whole lives. Eli had failed miserable to raise his sons up in such away that they respected him and God. Eli should have never let his sons serve as priest. He should not have neglected training his son in the way of the Lord.

 

Proverbs 22:6Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

 

Though we all have a free will and can do what we want, most of the time if we raise our children in the way of the Lord they will not depart from it. Now there were some very hefty consequences that were allowed under the Old Testament for those children who rebellious against their parents and God. According to Deut. 21:18-21, a stubborn child that would not listen could be stoned to death. By all rights this is exactly what needed to be done to Eliís 2 son but instead he just gave them a slap on the wrist and allowed them continue on serving as priest. In way of contrast we see that Samuel was nothing like Eliís 2 sons because he was godly man who had found favor by both man and God. Notice the message that is given to Eli because of his lack of discipline.

 

27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the LORD: 'Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house?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?29 'Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?

 

This messenger of God is talking about Aaron the priest. Then he makes the point about how God took care of the priest by allowing them to take part of the sacrifices that were made by the children of Israel, but Eliís 2 sons had become greedy and started taken the best part of the sacrifice for themselves and leaving the leftovers for God. Because of this God wants to know, why are you giving more honor to your sons than to me. The phrase ďWhy do you kick at my sacrificeĒ is one that describes a over fed beast who becomes unmanageable and is always trying to throw its yoke or its harness off. That describes Eliís rebellious sons to a T and these verses also describe Eliís neglect to make sure that God was honored instead of his sons. Now please pay close attention to these next verses.

 

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.

 

There is a powerful lesson here that we need to learn and especially those in the religious world. Whenever God told Aaron that his house would walk before forever this was only true if his house remained true to God. Notice God will not honor those who do not honor him. God has always had condition when it comes to being right in his sight and if you are not he will cut you off and you will be separated from him. This tells you and I that if we want to be able to embrace the promise of heaven given to us by God that we must honor him by living faithful lives but if we turn on him and we start doing our own thing like Eliís two sons did then we will not make into heaven. This verse shows clearly that just because a person becomes saved and is in good standing with God doesnít mean that they canít fall from the grace and once again be in unsaved condition because God demands that we honor him and if we fail to do this we can and we will lose our salvation.

 

We also learn that we must always put God first even above our children. We should always honor our Father in heaven first by upholding His Word. We should not allow the love for our children or anyone else to make us compromise Godís truth by justifying the sinful actions of our loved ones.

 

Letís not read the consequences of Eliís neglect of his two sinful sons.

 

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.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.33 '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.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.35 'Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever.36 'And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and say, "Please, put me in one of the priestly positions, that I may eat a piece of bread." ' "

 

It was considered an honor to have older men within your household but God is letting Eli know that this will not happen any longer because these men would die in flower of their youth and God is going to take away the power from Eli and give the priesthood to another. To prove when this was going to begin, Eliís two sons would be killed in the same day.

 

We learn from this Chapter how important it is that we teach our children about God and use discipline if they get out of line. How we train our children up by our words and action will mold our children on how they we be when they are older. If they cannot see the love of God in us or how important He is to us, then most likely they will not grow up knowing God. This is why itís important for us to realize that we set the example for our children of what being a Christian is all about. So, we should be careful not to miss our opportunities to teach our children about God by our words and our actions.

 

We have also learned that God wants us to honor him and to respect his commandments. If we donít, there can be dire consequences.

 

1 Samuel 3:1 Then 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.

 

During this time it was very rare that God was talking to anyone. However, Samuel was about to have his first encounter with the Lord.

 

1 Samuel 3:2And 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,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,4 that the LORD called Samuel. And he answered, "Here I am!"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.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."7 (Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him.)

 

Samuel must have been confused because the first 2 times the Lord calls out to him that he gets up and runs to Eli because he thinks Eli is calling his name. Each time he came to Eli, he sent him right back to bed telling him he didnít call for him. Now verse 7 says that Samuel did not yet know the Lord. Now I do not believe this is talking about that he didnít know about Him through the Scriptures because it has already been stated that He had grown in favor with God, but this is saying that he did not know God in the sense that he never received a revelation nor heard the voice of God.

 

8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. Then he arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you did call me." Then Eli perceived that the LORD had called the boy.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.

 

Finally after this third time Eli figures out that is the Lord that is calling Samuel and he instructs him on what to say. But the news he is about to receive is not good news for the household of Eli.

 

1 Samuel 3:11Then the LORD said to Samuel: "Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.12 "In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.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.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."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.

 

Samuel had been let in on the secret that Eli had been keeping to himself. But Samuel obviously had great respect for Eli and he did not want to share this news with him. Now the text says he laid there till morning, but I bet he didnít go to sleep or at least I donít think I could have. I would be laying their in awe from the fact that God spoke to me and then also wouldnít be able to put the dreadful message out of my mind. One thing we know for sure is that Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision.

 

1 Samuel 3:16 Then Eli called Samuel and said, "Samuel, my son!" And he answered, "Here I am."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."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."

 

Well so much for not telling Eli the message of the Lord. Eli wants to know what it is now Samuel must tell him this awful news. We can imagine what kind of emotions Samuel was experiencing because most of us have had to share bad news with those that we love and there is no easy way to do it. You feel like you are going to jump out of your skin and sometimes you may not be able to get through the bad news without breaking out in tears and this exactly the kind of emotions that Samuel was probably going through. Samuel tells Eli everything, and Eli accepts the message and the judgment God has made. All this did for Eli was reconfirm the previous message from God.

 

1 Samuel 3: 19 So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the LORD.21 Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh. For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

 

We learn here that Samuel became a prophet. Since Samuel was faithful to the Lord, he was a well-respected prophet in all of Israel, and he fully knew the Lord. God continued to be with and spoke with him.

 

This story shows us without a doubt that if you oppose God then he will oppose you, but if you embrace God and are faithful then God will bless you and he will be with you forever. So let us always strive to do our best and try to put God first in ever avenue of our life.