If the temple at Shiloh was ancient Israel's most valuable asset, Eli the chief priest's handling of his son's disdain for the house of God did not represent its worth. While the Lord had no problem with Eli delegating responsibility in the temple to his sons, Hophin and Phinehas, He chastised their father for failing to intervene when their vileness was discovered. In terms of parental direction and discipline, Eli failed miserably.
"For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for iniquity which he knoweth, because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not" (1 Samuel 3:13).
It's upsetting to discover that those who should be models of good behavior in God's house are the cause of filth. This was clearly a more egregious demonstration of disdain for righteousness.
God has to step in and save the day. He sent someone to tell the priest of the impending judgment, which would put an end to Eli's priesthood and kill Hophni and Phinehas in one day, according to 1Samuel 2:27-36. Their family would likewise be removed from the priestly lineage. Finally, it was predicted that Samuel would take Eli's place.
There are three key lessons to be learned here. First, claiming to please God solely on the basis of being a worker in God's vineyard is insufficient. Second, because “he hath purchased (it) with his own blood,” God does not take dishonouring his precious Church lightly (Acts 20:28). Finally, family and church members must be vigilant in disciplining errant brethren so that the entire fold is not brought down when God judges sin; for “if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31). On this planet and in eternity, God will punish sinners. To avoid God's wrath, repent today, forsake all your sins, receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, and live a holy lifestyle.
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