Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the Lord. And the priests’ custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling. Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw.” And if the man said to him, “They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires,” he would then answer him, “No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.” Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord. 1 Samuel 2.12-17
Hello, ladies and gentleman!
During my Bible reading today, I meditated on these verses and the Holy Spirit revealed to me the risk we take in wanting to serve God and His people our way.
I am going to explain the relevant points of this meditation.
The sons of Eli, the prophet, were not sons of God, but of belial. To understand the depth, importance and significance of this word, sons of belial means the same as sons of the devil. Read this brief explanation carefully:
The term belial (בְלִיַּעַל bĕli-yaal) is a Hebrew adjective meaning “worthless”, formed by two common words beli- (בְּלִי “without”) and ya’al (יָעַל “value”). It appears 27 times in the Masoretic Text, in verses such as the following:
“A cruel man (in Hebrew adam beli-yaal)” – Book of Proverbs 6.12
Of the 27 times it appears, the expression “sons of belial” (בְּנֵֽי-בְלִיַּעַל beni beliyaal) is used 15 times to indicate unworthy people, including idolaters (Deuteronomy 13.13), the men of Gibeah (Judges 19.22; 20.13), the sons of Eli – Nabal and Shimei (1 Samuel 2.12). In the King James Version of the Christian Bible, they appear as “Belial”, beginning with a capital letter:
“The sons of Eli were sons of Belial” – (KJV – TRANSLATION FROM ORIGINAL GREEK).
In more recent versions, they are usually read as a phrase:
“Eli’s sons were scoundrels” – (NIV – CATHOLIC TRANSLATION).
In the Hebrew text, the phrase is “sons of Belial”, or simply “sons of worthlessness”. However, the phrase “sons of” are a common Semitic expression like “sons of destruction,” “sons of lawlessness”.
Well then, why were the sons of Eli, the prophet:
1 – sons of belial?
2 – dishonest sons?
3 – of destruction?
4 – of uselessness?
5 – unworthy?
6 – expressionless?
7 – cruel?
8 – worthless???
For 6 reasons.
Take a look…
First reason: Because they tried to serve a Lord they did not know;
Second reason: They turned Holy Work into their livelihood, as if it were just a regular job;
Third reason: They were trying to serve the Lord and His people in the manner they thought correct, their way, in the flesh and not in the Spirit, with a conscious faith;
Fourth reason: They took advantage of the good faith of the people for their own advantage; they wanted meat, comfort, because they were of the flesh;
Fifth reason: They demanded a faith from the people that was not theirs; they stipulated the offerings and demanded it from them, forcing something that should be voluntary and holy;
Sixth reason: Their actions and reactions were the result of their contempt for the Lord’s Offerings (which was offered to the Lord – Work), as stated in the last verse:
Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord. 1 Samuel 2.17
Every sin is serious, but treating the Lord’s Offering with contempt is VERY GRAVE!!!
Meditate on what you have just read and talk about it with your wife or husband.