Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD. The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron 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. Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw.” And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force.” Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD, for the men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt.
Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy clothed with a linen ephod. And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the LORD give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the LORD.” So then they would return to their home.
Indeed the LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the LORD.
Comment: Eli’s own sons were rotters! They didn’t care about God much, if at all. They saw sacrifices offered by the people as somehow their right to take as they wanted for self gratification. They could, by the law of Moses, have boiled meat after the sacrificed parts of the animal had been offered to God, but they liked roasted meat and they wanted it even before the animal had been offered to God. They were unfair on the devotees, denying their proper sacrifice, but even worse they were treating God with contempt. We’ll have to wait and see what happens to them, but to act like that with God is courting danger!
Meanwhile Hannah proved fertile and Samuel, given a new robe every year when the family came to worship was busy growing up in God’s service.
Prayer: Help me to not treat You with irreverence or contempt, most Holy God.