Eli’s Negligence—-A Derelict Father
Book of 1 Samuel Chapter 2 (Note: 1 Chronicles 2)
What is a derelict father?
The word derelict means to abandon or to throw away or to have left.
Therefore a derelict father is one who has thrown away his children or left them to themselves!
Spiritual instruction is absolutely vital to our well-being, though most reject this idea.
BUT, not just any spiritual instruction, it must come from the Word of God, the Gospel of Jesus Christ!
Our nations are failing because our morals have sunk to such a low estate.
Remembered the theme of the Book of Judges.
Jdg 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
This verse says that Israel had no King. Israel did not need a King, what Israel needed was God.
This the same for any nation. Does a nation need a government? Sure, but that government needs God’s direction!
We will see again that through Samuel, God would save this nation of Israel.
Our lesson today does not cover the first eleven verses in this chapter. This passage is known as the "Song of Hannah". This passage is not only a song of praise but it is also a song of prophecy and should be studied on its own.
*****1Sa 2:11 And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest.
Hannah and Elkanah returned to Ramah, leaving their son in Shiloh. Their hearts were full of joy and they had great expectations to see what the Lord would do with Samuel.
These parents were dedicated to the Lord, and worshiped Him together, and prayed to Him together, and trusted in His Word.
Hannah had once had a broken heart but the Lord gave her peace because she prayed and submitted to His will.
We will now see the contrast in Eli, who was High Priest and judge of Israel, but not so much a parent.
*****1Sa 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.
We will read in the next few passages just how evil these priestly sons of Eli were.
1) They were lost and unsaved.
2) They regarded Belial, (which is wickedness), as compared to the true God.
They were "worthless" in God’s ministry!
Jesus said in the Book of Matthew:
Mat 13:38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; [but the tares are the children of the wicked one]
Hophni and Phinehas were "tares"!
3) They were stealing those offerings from God not the people.
4) They bullied the people of God, rather than assist them with their sacrifice to the Lord.
5) They committed adultery inside the tabernacle showing disdain for the House of God.
6) They ultimately caused God’s people to sin.
They were servants of Satan but inside God’s House!
No one can ignore or violate God’s Word and escape the consequences of their actions!
*****1Sa 2:13 And the priests’ custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand;
1Sa 2:14 And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.
First we see this phrase "the priests’ custom". This means that this was not according to the law of God given to Moses.
The priests’ servants in this case would be the sons of Eli.
There were 5 offerings made to the Lord. Each offering is actually a "type" of Christ.
The "Peace Offering" was the only offering where the sacrifice could be eaten by the people and may be the least understood of the 5!
We need to understand the order followed here:
The offerer brought his offering to the altar, laid his hand on it, and slew it.
Laying his hand on the animal showed his affection for the animal and its worthiness. It also represented a transfer of the sin of the one who offered onto the animal of sacrifice.
The priest then sprinkled the blood upon the altar and around it.
The animal was then cut up, and God’s portion (almost entirely fat, besides the two kidneys) was placed on top of the already burning "Burnt Offering" and "Meal Offerings".
Then the priest received the breast and right shoulder for himself and his own children.
The offerer received the remainder of the animal to eat. However, it had to be eaten within one day if it was a thanksgiving offering or within two days if it was a vow or voluntary offering.
If any remained on the third day, it had to be burned.
In this process, the major teaching of the peace offering is revealed.
This was the only offering that the animal did not have to be perfect and it represented complete peace with God.
In addition, since all parties (God, priest, and man) share the same meal and satisfaction, it shows that all are in a peaceful communion or fellowship together.
Because it was placed in sequence on top of the other two offerings, the peace offering is directly connected to them, and thus it depicts the effect of perfect devotion to God and man: peaceful satisfaction and fellowship, the fruit of devotedly keeping the two great commandments of the law.
What are those two commandments?
Jesus said it this way to the Pharisees:
Mat 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
In this sacrifice Christ, "in type", plays all three parts:
Christ is the offering, sacrificing His life in service;
Christ is the priest, serving mankind at the altar as Mediator;
Christ is the offerer, bringing His sacrifice to the altar.
The altar, the place of meeting for all three, represents sacrificial services and devotion to God that gave Him satisfaction and resulted in our acceptance.
The peace offering shows man, as Christ: accepted, fed, strengthened, and satisfied by sacrifice.
This teaches that sacrifice is indeed the essence, the heart and core, the essential element, of "Love" whether to God or man!
More specifically, it shows us that sacrifice plays a major role in acceptance before God.
In other words, spiritual feeding and therefore spiritual strength, and spiritual satisfaction!
Devoted people sacrifice for those they love!
Thus, sacrifice indicates devotion to God (burnt offering) and devotion in service to man (meal offering).
Another aspect of this offering is important for us to consider more closely: The priest’s children are also specifically named to receive of the peace offering!
Whom do the priest’s children "in type" represent?
This is important because they were also to eat directly of the offering and be satisfied!
We have already seen that Christ is symbolically portrayed in several ways here, as the Offerer, the Offering, and the Priest.
We must remember that Christ is one with His church.
We are parts of His body; we are "in Him!"
Knowing these things we can see that all the meat in the flesh pot belonged to the offerer that brought the offering, as God had already provided the breast and the right quarter for the priests.
These 2 sons of Eli made a mockery of this special offering designed by the Lord to simulate His "Grace" and the Church in complete fellowship with Our Maker!
*****1Sa 2:15 Also before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.
So before the burnt offering was made, which symbolizes Christ, and belonged to the Lord, and should be made before all other offerings.
Before God got His required offering, these sons of Eli came and demanded a share of what did not belong to them!
They liked roasted meat better than boiled meat and the flesh hook did not always bring up the best piece of meat.
They wanted the best pieces of meat for themselves! This was not God’s plan!
*****1Sa 2:16 And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.
The priest of the tabernacle were entitled to receive the breast and the right thigh of the animal being sacrificed.
Lev 7:34 For the wave breast and the heave shoulder have I taken of the children of Israel from off the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them unto Aaron the priest and unto his sons by a statute for ever from among the children of Israel.
But this could only happen after the fat had been burned on the altar!
Lev 3:3 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of the peace offering an offering made by fire unto the LORD; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards,
Lev 3:4 And the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the flanks, and the caul above the liver, with the kidneys, it shall he take away.
Lev 3:5 And Aaron’s sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt sacrifice, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the LORD.
Eli’s sons ignored both of these requirements!
Notice that the people were more concerned for the honor and glory of God than the priests. They were willing to lose their own property but could not bear the fact that the Lord should be dishonored and so rudely treated.
They were willing that these priest should take what they pleased of theirs but they desired that the Lord be served first as it always should be.
To take the flesh of the sacrificial animal and roast it before this offering had been made was a crime which was equivalent to robbing God and therefore the worst crime that the sons of Eli committed.
It was a crime that would result in capitol punishment under Mosaic Law.
We should remember that the people did what they thought was right in their own eyes and rejected the Word of God, even the priests.
Jeremiah wrote of these things:
Jer 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, [and the priests bear rule by their means]; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?
*****1Sa 2:17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.
This was a very great sin in the sight of God. But even robbing God was a small sin in comparison with causing hatred of the sacrifice themselves.
It caused the people to despise making an offering to the Lord.
*****1Sa 2:18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.
1Sa 2:19 Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
In verse 11, we read were Samuel did minister unto the Lord but before it Eli the priest.
But now in this verse we read that Samuel ministered before the Lord.
Samuel had not been corrupted by seeing these evil practices and was now involved in higher services which he could perform without the assistance of Eli.
The linen ephod meant that Samuel was dressed as a priest but not as the High Priest.
It was made of fine linen and consisted of two pieces, which hung from the neck and covered both the back and front over the outer garment.
That outer garment, was a coat made by Samuel’s mother that was a long garment and had sleeves and Hannah made her son a new one every year while he was serving at the Tabernacle.
*****1Sa 2:20 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home.
1Sa 2:21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.
Eli had taken Samuel under his wing and had pronounce God’s blessings upon Elkanah and Hannah for their faithfulness and willingness to surrender their son to the Lord’s service.
God will always bless us when we keep our vows before him.
So Samuel was the first of six children God that granted to Hannah.
*****1Sa 2:22 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
1Sa 2:23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.
The women mentioned here were those women who have dedicated themselves to the service of the tabernacle. They had renounced worldly things and had given themselves to the Lord service.
There were some women that gave themselves to the Lord this continued even until the days of Jesus:
Luk 2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
Luk 2:37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
But, Hophni and Phinehas were guilty of fornication with these young women even causing them great sin.
All these things were terrible sin in the eyes of God. To the Canaanites that were left in the land this was an acceptable practice because they were accustomed to presence of sacred prostitutes in their temple worship.
The Tabernacle of God was to be considered "holy"!
The Tabernacle of the congregation was the appointed place where the Lord would meet with His people!
Hophni and Phinehas committed their most heinous sins at the entrance of God’s courtyard that was set aside for God’s people to come and meet Him!
Eli was very old and had lost control of his sons but their sins were well known to the people of Israel.
AND, No amount of rebuke of Eli could change the actions of his sons.
All Israel saw these things go on continuously!
*****1Sa 2:24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress.
1Sa 2:25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.
The fact that Eli was old was no excuse for his easy-going attitude toward his sons.
We have already seen how quick he was to judge Hannah and there were probably many others.
Eli was the High Priest!
Eli was the judge of all Israel.
Any other man of Israel guilty of these things could be sentenced to death but his two sons paid him no attention.
Eli warned that since they had sinned against God that they were left without an advocate who could plead their case in his presence.
Even this fell on deaf ears!
Eli had not been a godly father nor a spiritual leader to his sons and nor to Israel.
Remember our word "derelict" meant to throw away or dispose of and Eli had done this to his own sons.
It’s a tragic thing when an earthly father loses his influence over his own family because in the end they can only wait for God’s hand of judgment to fall.
Remember Lot’s wife, Lot lost his influence with his family.
Remember King David, after David sinned with Bathsheba he lost influence over his sons.
Hophni and Phinehas had no respect for the Lord!
They had no respect for God’s house!
They had no respect for the office of High Priest!
And they had no respect for Israel!
And they had no respect for their earthly father nor their Heavenly Father!
So all God could do was to judge them for their sin.
Sin against God and His Word are more dangerous than sin against people!
*****1Sa 2:26 And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.
But Samuel not only grew in his stature but he also grew in grace and in all aspects toward the Lord.
He grew better while Eli sons grew worse!
These things were noticed by all of Israel.
And Samuel also grew in favor with the Lord!
*****1Sa 2:27 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house?
1Sa 2:28 And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel?
That phrase "the man of God" is used 76 times in the King James Bible and usually refers to a prophet.
This man of God appeared in Shiloh to declare God’s judgment on Eli and his family.
This man of God first reminded Eli of the past and how he had chosen the tribe of Levi above all the other tribes of Israel to be his priestly family.
Eli had to bear the blame for coddling his sons rather than protecting the offerings of God, the Tabernacle, and those that brought sacrifices by the commandment of the Lord.
*****1Sa 2:29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?
God, through this prophet, asked Eli why he was trampling on the sacrifices.
In other words why had he allowed the sacrifices to be despised by the children of Israel?
All the sacrifices are "types" of Christ.
The Apostle Paul taught us all that the Old Testament was our schoolmaster until Christ came.
Eli had honored his sons above the Lord.
It was a privilege for the high priest and his sons to offer sacrifices on the brazen altar and to wear the sacred garments and to eat of the holy offerings.
As a father Eli had the authority to discipline his sons.
But as High Priest, Eli not only had the authority but was commanded by the Lord to do so and Eli knew all these things.
And as judge, the judgment of Eli would not have been questioned if he had followed the Word of God!
Eli had done none of these things but had made himself rich, through his two sons, with the best of all the offerings of Israel.
Remember these words of Jesus:
Luk 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
*****1Sa 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.
That word "wherefore" means "because of these things", judgment was set for the family and house of Eli.
By the anointing of Aaron a right was given to him and his family to be high priest among the Jews forever.
But now God says since you have walked unworthily this would no longer happen.
God told Jeremiah to write these words:
Jer 18:10 If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.
God will not allow His Word to be trampled on!
Since the house of the high priest had lightly esteemed the things of the Lord, they too would be esteemed as nothing!
This is a plan from which God will never depart!
Every promise that is ever made is in reference to these words,
"They that honor God will be honored; they who despise him shall be lightly esteemed!"
*****1Sa 2:31 Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house.
1Sa 2:32 And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever.
God said, "I will destroy the strength, the power, and the influence, of the family of Aaron".
We know when this happened:
Heb 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
Heb 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
Eli’s house, by its own actions, had proved itself unworthy of continuing the priestly office!
Part of this prophecy was fulfilled when Solomon banished Abiathar and replaced him with Zadok.
1Ki 2:27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
Eli witnessed the defeat of the Israelites, the capture of the Ark, and the death of his wicked sons.
He witnessed these things before he met his own tragic death!
Eli did not get to witness the wealth of Israel during the time of Solomon.
It was during this time of Israel’s riches that Eli’s family was turned away from the priesthood.
*****1Sa 2:33 And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age.
Of Eli’s family they could now only become common priest.
This verse is better explained in verse 36.
1Sa 2:36 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests’ offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.
Those who are not cut off in the flower of their youth shall be worse off than those who are, because they will have to beg for their bread or their food.
*****1Sa 2:34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.
Eli would live long enough to see his own two sons die, both of them in one day.
The proof of this is in chapter 4:
1Sa 4:11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.
*****1Sa 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.
Although the priesthood had been promised to Aaron’s descendants perpetually, this promise was conditioned on faithfulness, and Eli and his sons had forfeited this claim.
This promise of a faithful priest, with a sure house, is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Heb 2:7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
Jesus had these word for the Apostle Peter:
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Jesus was not talking about Peter, He was talking about the truth of the Gospel, The Word of God
Sin has a far-reaching and deadly consequence!
Because Israel had not been taught properly they did not behave properly!
Hophni and Phineas did not know the Lord and their behavior brought disgrace to their families and failure to their nation.
We must realize that we will reap what we have sown.
We see in our own nation today that sin still has a far-reaching and a deadly consequence and it does in every nation!
When our preachers do not preached the truth, nor stand on the Word of God, it will bring disgrace to our nation and it has.
What is the duty of a father?
Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Though we fail as earthly fathers.
We have a Father in Heaven who can never fail!