In continuation of my study of 1 Samuel, let’s look at chapter 2. This chapter is full of good points, from start to finish! Hannah’s poetic prayer sings praises to our holy God who truly holds everything in His hands, who exalts the humble and resists the proud. But the part that stuck out the most to me was the part about the priest Eli and the corruption of his sons.
We see the selfishness of Eli’s sons, who use their God-given ministries for their own gain, to the point that men began to “abhor” even bringing their offerings before the LORD (v.17). They took the best part of the sacrifices for themselves instead of giving it to the Lord and committed sexual immorality at the very doorstep of the tabernacle.
The text tells us that Eli knew what they were doing, and that he did rebuke them. But apparently “his bark was worse than his bite.” His actions were passive; he did little or nothing to stop them, and even participated in the fruits of their wrongdoing without a whole-hearted fight (v. 29). Ultimately, God condemned him for honoring his sons more than the LORD, and vowed to bring an end to Eli’s line and to raise up “a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind” (v. 35a).
Which leads to more personal takeaways:
- Am I a humble person or a proud one? For as Hannah testifies, God exalts the humble and resists the proud.
- Do I, or have I, ever used ministry for my own gain, instead of making it my sole purpose to glorify God?
- Have I participated in the sins of others by failing to actively try to stop them?
- Would God call me “faithful”, or would He feel the need to raise up someone else to do His work?