1 Samuel 2:30
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.
Eli the Priest had two sons that would have followed in his footsteps, but the scripture is clear on who they had become in 1 Samuel 2:12 “Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.” They were unsaved, idolatrous men that certainly knew better. They and Eli were aware of what the responsibilities of leadership was, and yet the sons took their disrespect of the house of God to the furthest extreme and because of it they had caused the congregation of the Lord to sin. Eli knew of this and confronted them in verse 24 when he said “Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord’s people to transgress.” But that’s as far as Eli took it. He continued to allow his sons to be in a position of authority and influence until finally God had had enough and killed them both. But now…judgment had come and Eli had lost his sons. God’s point was made, and the punishment was doled out. For the sons it was death, for Eli it living with the fact that he contributed to their demise by treating his sons’ sins too lightly. It’s a harsh lesson in leadership this morning for me because I too have been guilty of taking the righteousness of God too lightly and not wanting to offend someone.
A lesson in the teen class this week had us examining the question of whether or not our relationships with our earthly father influenced our attitude with our Heavenly Father. I believe whole heartedly that it does. My earthly father was one of the sweetest men you’d ever know, and a pretty passive fellow. He stood his ground on what he believed but he was not a strong disciplinarian nor was he very confrontational. I’m pretty sure I’ve viewed God much the same. I don’t take Him nearly as serious as I should. Please don’t misunderstand… I’m not blaming my Dad for my transgressions, I am without excuse. But I do believe as leaders we have to be careful about imputing our ideas of Who God is from our earthly role models.
My Dad as wonderful as he was, did not have the power of life and death in his hands. He could not change a man’s fate for the better or worse. He did not have the power to elevate someone or lower their estate. But God does! He’ll honor those who honor Him, and those who don’t… well…. You might be in trouble.
But now, the Lord saith and we should listen. Call sin, sin; in your life and those you lead. Don’t justify it, deny it or overlook it. That’s not honoring God. The “But Now” study has once again hit pretty close home for me which is why I write. It’s therapeutic and cleansing. I just take you along with me like a kid in trouble going to the wood shed; hoping their father won’t embarrass them by tannin’ their hide in front of their friends. That never works for me; it didn’t work for Eli either.