RAF: As Eli’s sons treated the offering of the Lord with contempt, so may we. The word contempt here means to hate by treating something as though it has no value, to scorn, spurn or reject it. We can do this when we treat Christ – lightly. Paying little attention to His Word. Neglecting the things He has put before us as holy and worthy of our attention. Treating His family as though we can do without them. Thinking that worship, praise, thanksgiving and prayer are light things which do not command our devotion. When we put our immediate desires before His honor. Oh Father, how often you are merely worked into our lives, rather than our lives being built around you and your purposes. Forgive us Father. And lead to honoring Christ in every action, word and attitude. Keep us back from treating Christ and the Cross lightly in any way whatsoever.
2 – 1 Samuel 2:21c (ESV) 21 And the young man Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.
RAF: What a most sublime thing this is. Is this not a great thing to contemplate ourselves? That our chidren grow up in the presence of the Lord. May we see to this. What greater thing can we do for them?
3 – 1 Samuel 2:34-36 (ESV) 34 And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day. 35 And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever. 36 And everyone who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and shall say, “Please put me in one of the priests’ places, that I may eat a morsel of bread.” ’ ”
RAF: What is so haunting in this account is not that Eli and his sons will be called into account, but rather, having been confronted, there is no repentance. No record of either Eli or his sons crying out for forgiveness or mercy. And this, especially in light of the fact that the generations after them are to be so affected. God, give us hearts that melt at your rebuke, that we might know your mercy toward us.
4 – 1 Samuel 3:13 (ESV) 13 And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.
RAF: While Eli could not stop them from sinning period, as High Priest, he certainly could have removed them from their duties. He could have stripped them of their office and stopped them from sinning the public way they were, and in the grave matters they were sinning in as Priests. But he would take no action against them other than rebuke. It was not enough. And clearly, God had given Eli time to act.
5 – 1 Samuel 4:22 (ESV) 22 And she said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”
RAF: The glory of the Lord is nothing other than His presence manifested. The Ark represented His presence. He was said to dwell between the cherubim. That is where He made Himself known to them. But they had long ago failed to live as though God was present among them. Their wickedness in how Eli sons conducted themselves is proof. There can only be woe to God’s people when His presence is not near, for this is what makes God’s people to BE His people. And there can only be woe to those who imagine they can dwell in God’s presence when they are not His – as the Philistines will soon learn. Unde rthe New Covenant, God’s presence is in each believer, and not in any external physical location. What glory indeed!
6 – 1 Samuel 12:20 (ESV) 20 And Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. Yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.
RAF: It is still our natural tendency, like it was for Adam and Eve, to flee from God when we have sinned. But He makes it known that He desires we flee to Him when we’ve sinned. For it is in Him alone that there is forgiveness and restoration. We would put ourselves in some sort of self-imposed exile, but He does not. He bids us come. He bids us back to the Cross. Sin has its lone remedy in Christ Jesus our Lord. We cannot go off somehwere and make ourselves acceptable again and then return. We must come to Him while the blood of our sins is still on our hands.