Scripture: 1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord 13 or for the duties of the priests to the people. When anyone offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14 and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the one who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.” 16 And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take whatever you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now; if not, I will take it by force.” 17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord; for they treated the offerings of the Lord with contempt.’
Observation: In the book of Judges the military/political leaders of Israel were found to be corrupt, inept, or both. Now in the book of 1 Samuel we see shortcomings among the priests, whose purpose was to assist the Israelites in making offerings to God at the temple. V.12 tells us that the sons of the priest Eli had “no regard” for the Lord or their duties as priests. Essentially, this means they acted badly out of ignorance. They didn’t know better. Hence while the sons of Eli were scoundrels, the blame lies mostly with their priestly father. The sons acted as they did because Eli failed to teach them the right way. In the end, they all paid for Eli’s failure.
Application: This passage got my attention as a father. As a mentor. As a supervisor to others. Parenthood/leadership/mentorship has consequences. What we do – and don’t do – matters. There’s no question I’ve made lots of mistakes in this regard over the course of my life. There are things I would do differently. There are things I would say differently, or perhaps not at all. Our passage for today reminds us that as parents/leaders/mentors/supervisors we have a great responsibility.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give us grace today to live up to the responsibilities you give to us as parents/leaders/supervisors/mentors. Forgive us when we fall short. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.