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 CUTTING li’s sons were cutting themselves some choice meat, raw meat, before the fat was burned off. That violated God’s explicit commands. 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)
● And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire for a sweet savour: all the fat is the LORD'S. (Leviticus 3:16)
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. Eli’s sons argued with the people who came to sacrifice until the people despised the offering of the Lord. Eli’s sons were insisting on having raw meat before the fat was burned off. Below is a recorded conversation of the contention that went on. The people were wondering: “Why does God let this go on?”
Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force. Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD. (1Samuel 2:15-17)
●ELI IS REPRIMANDED. 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 HIS INSTRUCTIONS TO THE PRIESTS, which included Eli’s father-priest. Eli had messed up so bad that he had dishonored his earthly father and disobeyed 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 gave his wicked sons a little pep talk and reasoned with them. We do not negotiate with God──we obey Him! Eli’s sons were under him in employment. Outside of an employment setting, parents cannot force grown children to obey the Lord. We can only pray for them and urge them to follow the Lord. But, Eli was the employer of his sons and he was under the direct supervision of 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 tough time. Many hours of example, prayer, pleading, and firm enforcement of the rules go into those years. Eli did not do his best. We are to do our best. Parents do their children NO favor by trying to be buddies with them. You are not a buddy; you are an authority figure. Wear it. “Under my roof – under my rules.” James Dobson called it: “Tough Love.” His book by that name is still available for as little as $1.00 through several outlets online.
I HAD TO PRACTICE THIS. Once, I had to open the kitchen door and offer one of my sons a choice between my-roof-and-rules or the street outside. I meant it and after staring into the dark and the street for a minute or two, he decided my roof and rules were a better choice. It was never brought up again. Tough love is not easy. Before I was married, I had talked with people on the streets, in jails and rescue missions and I saw what rebellion would do to young people. I knew that a loving but firm hand is a must.
WHEN I WAS 14, MY DAD BROUGHT A YOUNG MAN HOME WITH HIM from the sawmill. He worked on Saturday at putting in new fence posts for the pasture field. Sunday morning, he went to church with me in the big farm truck. After church, I couldn’t find him. He had hitchhiked to an old friend’s house who was in the army. His friend came home unexpectedly and found the young man I took to church, in bed with his wife. The soldier split his head with a double-bladed axe. I don’t know if this young man had ever experienced tough love from a loving father. All I knew was that he was a bloody mess and dead, and it happened fast. Breakfast at our table and the funeral home that night.
BROTHER ROLOFF HAD A HEART FOR TRASHED TEENAGERS AND BROKEN HOMES and named his radio broadcast: Family Altar. Many of the rebellious kids in his homes were children of pastors. They knew Bible verses and Amazing Grace, but they were rebels. Pastor Kent Kelly and I ate breakfast with him in his home kitchen in Texas. He couldn’t eat for the phone ringing. He paced back and forth in the kitchen as he took a desperate call from Germany.
READ THE BIBLE AND PRAY WITH YOUR CHILDREN. Live what you preach. Listen to them without chewing them out. Compliment them for what they do right. Hold them accountable for doing wrong. That’s part of your job.
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 anymore. Their days are 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 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. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. (1John 5:16-17)
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. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (1Corinthians 11:30-32)
We must 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 and November 17, 2017
Read Through the Bible in a Year
NOVEMBER 7, 2019 - THURSDAY
A.M Jeremiah 46-48 P.M Hebrews 4
(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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I intended to let Brother Roloff sing this morning, but this one got to me. Let’s follow Jesus.