I Samuel 2:12(NLT) Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord
The Prophet Eli was a character of contradiction. He served also a Priest and Intercessor in Israel. And when you read what he says, it all sounds fine and right at first. But there’s a telltale sign that something was wrong underneath the surface. His sons were corrupt and didn’t submit their lives to the Lord. Do you have family members or friends whose lives are not submitted to the Lord? And they don’t really want anything to do with the Lord!
Eli’s sons really were disconnected from the Lord. These sons, who also served in the priesthood, became notorious for abusing their priestly privileges and bringing sin upon something that was supposed to be sacred. It gets so bad that Eli eventually addresses his sons:
Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did, So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people…No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear.” (1 Samuel 2:22-24 NKJV)
Notice that it says Eli spoke out against his son’s sin when he was very old. Why then and not sooner? Surely, he must have gotten wind of what they’d been up to before then. It’s as if Eli fights for something that should have been fought for a long time ago. By then, the respect of his sons had been lost, and their appetite for sin was irreversibly entrenched in their hearts. Eli neglected his sons’ spiritual state, and when he finally showed concern, it was too late.
If there’s a “moral of the story” that cries out to us from Eli’s life it would be, “Don’t neglect your duty!” Do what you’re supposed to do today. Don’t put it off until tomorrow. Be engaged in the battle while the battle is on. Otherwise, we run the risk of losing the war, as Eli did in the case of his sons.
May God help us to identify what duties we may be in danger of neglecting, and may He empower us to fulfill them when it counts the most, which is right now!