Eli had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. These men were considered worthless; they didn’t know and despised the offering of the Lord. Their sins were as great as the rest of the nation.
Eli was old and he heard all the wrong things his two sons were conducting towards Israel and laying with the women who served at the door of the Tent of Meeting.
I Samuel 2:23 (AMP)
And he said to them, Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.
I Samuel 2:25 (AMP)
If one man wrongs another, God will mediate for him; but if a man wrongs the Lord, who shall intercede for him? Yet they did not listen to their father, for it was the Lord’s will to slay them.
Eli acknowledged and spoke to his sons but he didn’t counsel the Lord. He reprimanded how he saw appropriately. He warned them of the danger of going against God but the sons didn’t listen to Eli.
Eli had to go to the Lord for his children and even though it was the Will of the Lord to put the sons to death, I’m assured that the Lord would have given Eli instructions on how to deal with the sons and save himself.
As parents, we love our children and want the best in every aspect of their lives. When they do wrong, do we warn and just leave it alone? No, we have to warn them, help them to understand that when they do something, there is a result that comes from it; cause and effect plays a role every time.
Webster’s Dictionary meanings
Cause – something that brings about an effect or a result
Effect – something that inevitably follows an antecedent (as a cause or agent)
Proverbs 22:6 (AMP)
Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.
We have a responsibility to the Lord to train our children based on the principles He has given us. Children don’t forget how their parents raise them. In fact, many today are affected by the simple act on neglect of “love.” The lack of this four letter word, as small as it is, has caused many of us to have various psychological problems as teens and into adulthood because of lack or too much of it. Combine this with generational and environmental habits that form our character and we have a complex individual.
Proverbs 13:24 (AMP)
He who spares his rod [of discipline] hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines diligently and punishes him early.
The Bible says if we don’t discipline our children; we don’t love them; we actually hate them.
intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.
But those who do love their children, disciplines accordingly, and punishes at the right time.
Eli didn’t take the discipline further; he stopped. How many of us do the same? We stop because we don’t have the time or we get tired of the same hassle. It’s easier to give in and give the child what he/she wants. We are doing an injustice to the ones who are depending on us for their present/future psychological health.
In I Sam. 2:27-36, God proceeds to curse Eli for the disobedience of his two sons. This is an example of the responsibility we have over our children. Many parents believe that once the children reach the age of 18, they are on their own. In the legal system of our government that may be the case but that’s not how God’s system works. If our children are not in accordance to what the word says, it’s our duty to lovingly correct them and guide them to the right way. If they decide not to listen to us, we have the authority to remove them from a position as Eli should have done, or go to our knees and fast and pray for our loved ones. We have to show the actions of being obedient to God’s Word.
The other morning as I was correcting my son. I had mentioned that he has to be obedient to my words. He likes to push the limits and at times goes beyond those limits; as any child does at his age. After having the discussion of what does obedience to my words mean, I finished saying that he obeys me because I’m his parent and he has to obey papi, grandma, and other family members and authority. Just as I have to obey Jesus and other authorities. Then the Lord started to speak to me in regards to obedience and obeying. He said, “We all obey and bow down to someone or something in our life. Whether it be Me, the devil, or other gods (idolatry); we all serve. Now, it’s your decision to decide who you’ll obey and serve.” As I repeated in my head what the Lord said, I started to think about it and it’s a true fact. We can’t live without being obedient to someone or some thing. Think about it and ask yourself who are you obeying?
What are the gods in your life? Now, remember that we’re not a culture to publicly bow down to images. But our gods come in forms of what is our #1 priority in our life. Are we working too hard, replacing our Lord with other people in our life? Are they taking that #1 position that is rightfully the Lords’ place? Are we busy with things in life that is taking away time away with the Lord? We may not know what these things are. If it’s challenging to identify the gods in your life, take a pen/paper, sit down, pray, and ask the Lord to show you what they are. Then ask Him to reorganize your life. You’ll be amazed how He will take away, add, and fulfill you with His busyness and not our own.