Them That Honor Me…
…them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. (1Samuel 2:30)
Eli was the Lord’s High Priest. He knew a lot about being the High Priest and knew a lot about the law of God. But he was an easy-going kind of man and this carried over into his relationship with his sons who were also in the priesthood. His sons were bad apples and Eli was a softie with their bad behavior.
Eli’s sons were demanding to cut themselves some choice meat before it was cooked and before the fat was burned off. In verse 22 we learn that his sons were picking out women at the door of the Tabernacle to have sex with. Eli knew about these things but did not restrain his sons. He should have put them out of the priesthood as an example to the rest of the priests. Finally, God’s patience ran out with Eli.
And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house? And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? (1Samuel 2:27-28)
(The priests who received the offerings could take a small amount of the meat of the offerings for themselves, to feed their families. But they were to take it after the fat had burned off and after fire had thoroughly cooked the rest.)
Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? (1Samuel 2:29) This is plain.
Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. (1Samuel 2:30)
God didn’t change His mind about the promise made to Eli’s father. Eli had messed up so bad that he had dishonored his father and dishonored the Lord. God was going to have to do something about it.
That should have been enough to cause Eli to straighten up and take his sons in hand, but the warning fell on Eli’s deaf ears. He did give them a little pep talk and reasoned with them. We do not negotiate with God. We obey Him!
We are not in Eli’s position. His sons were under him in employment. We cannot force grown children to obey the Lord. We can only pray for them and urge them to follow the Lord.
But, if children are under our roof, they are under our authority and under our rules; especially in the teen years. That can be a really tough time. Many hours of prayer, pleading, example and firm enforcement of the rules go into those years. Eli did not do his best. We are to do our best. Parents do not do their children a favor by trying to be buddies with them. You are not a buddy; you are an authority figure. Wear it.
Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. (1Samuel 2:22)
And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD'S people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them. (1Samuel 2:22-25)
“….the Lord would slay them.” God knows hearts. He knows when self-will is so set against God that a man is not going to change. No need to talk to these young men any more. Their days were numbered.
Now we have the scenario with the child Samuel. And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD. (1Samuel 3:19-20)
The end of the story is that God sent Eli’s sons into battle and they were killed. When Eli received the news that his sons were dead and that the Ark of God had been taken in battle, Eli went into shock, fell off his seat and broke his neck.
God is serious about people honoring Him and serious about people who despise Him and His word. Eli didn’t lose his salvation. But he certainly lost his life. There is a sin unto death in the Old Testament and a sin unto death in the New Testament. The sin unto death can happen to a Christian. All sin is not the same. There is a sin unto death. Most sins are not unto death. Therefore, all sins are not the same in the sight of the Lord. We should train ourselves to honor the Lord in everything we do. That will keep us from running into the trouble Eli got himself into. Ω
●This article is edited and reprinted from September 15, 2015
Read Through the Bible in a Year
NOVEMBER 17, 2017 - FRIDAY
A.M Ezekiel 16 P.M Hebrews 12
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
Good Verse to Memorize:
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Song for Today:
I Have Decided to Follow Jesus (2:39) (Gaither)
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