Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting. And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad. If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the LORD to put them to death.
Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favour with the LORD and also with man.
Comment: Eli’s sons were truly bad. Not only, as we saw yesterday, were they usurping their rights about the sacrifices offered but they were either raping or falsely claiming sexual rites with the worshippers as part of what God required as true worship. It was common knowledge among the population. Their old father, who should have acted earlier, spoke with them but was ignored. It sounds as if God was totally fed up with them and they did not change their ways. Elsewhere it says that God speaking says ‘My Spirit will not always strive with man!’ Meanwhile both the worshippers and God saw the character of the boy Samuel as he was growing up.
Prayer: Help me to keep short accounts with You, O God. May my sorrow and repentance be real.