“Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded … and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?”1 Samuel 2:29 NKJV
Eli had been a dedicated priest, faithfully serving God and His people. Then, something changed. Something so serious that God removed his family from the line of priests. What happened? As people chosen to be His priests, Eli and his family had been given specific responsibilities. They were called to represent God, speak His words, and enforce His standards.
But the Bible says that Eli’s sons had become “corrupt” (v. 12). They took advantage of their role as priests for personal gain, committed “very great” sins, and “abhorred the offering of the Lord” (v. 17). The sad conclusion? “They did not know the Lord” (v. 12).
This was unacceptable for men chosen to be God’s representatives. Yet Eli continued to tolerate their behavior and “honor” his sons more than God Himself (v. 29).
The Bible declares that God wants us concerned about our families. He certainly wanted Eli to care about his sons. The problem was that he had the wrong priorities. He had failed in his responsibility to be “a faithful priest” who would do what was in God’s heart and mind (v. 35).
Any of us can be guilty of mistakes like these. This is why we need to be sensitive to the Spirit, careful to obey God’s Word. Let’s be people of prayer, seeking to please God. Seek first His kingdom. Be committed to being His representatives, always serving Him.
Father, serving You is my highest priority. Purge me of selfishness and sin. May others see Jesus through me. In Jesus’ name, amen.