Read 1 Samuel 2
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Scripture- 1 Samuel 2:22a- Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel.
Observations- The problem here wasn't merely the disobedience and violation of many of God's boundaries by Hophni and Phineas; rather it was also Eli's inability or unwillingness to hold his sons accountable for their disregard and disrespect for living out the truth they had received and knew quite well from God. Hophni and Phineas were well aware of the commitment as priests that was expected of them, but they chose to do as they pleased.
Application- Since Eli chose not to rein in his sons, God would find other ways to hold them accountable for their behavior. God was at the same time also raising up Samuel to faithfully execute and live out the values that He had made so clear to His people. We are accountable to one another in Jesus' Church. We lift one another up. We encourage one another to do what is right in God's eyes, and we also need to find ways to appropriately and gracefully hold one another accountable. We need our leaders, our Eli's, to challenge the behaviors of our Phineas and Hophni's when they go astray. If not, God will certainly find a way to do so.
Prayer- Lord, we pray for our spiritual leaders. They have a hard task of seeking to live out the truth with grace in a way that gets loving accountability just right. Sometimes our leaders do too little. Sometimes they do too much. Give them and us guidance and wisdom. Lead us in ways that help us avoid the blatant failures of not only Hophni and Phineas, but of Eli as well. Amen.
"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable." (Hebrews 4:13),
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