Life-Lesson: A heart that pleases God fears Him and fears sin.
Certain things, if not seen as lovely or detestable, are not being correctly seen at all. – C. S. Lewis
Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth. – John Wesley
Character is in part formed by what we hate, because we move to be different from whatever that is. – Henry Cloud, 9 Things You Simply Must Do
How seriously does God take sin? Num. 32:23; Ezek. 18:20; Gal. 6:7; Rom. 12:9
Sin does not serve well as a gardener of the soul. It landscapes the contour of the soul until all that is beautiful has been made ugly; until all that is high is made low; until all that is promising is wasted. Then life is like the desert – parched and barren. It is drained of purpose. It is bleached of happiness. Sin, then, is not wise, but wasteful. It is not a gate, but only a grave. – C. Neil Strait
Things Sin Will Damage:
It will affect my thinking negatively.
It will change my behavior significantly.
It will affect my feelings irrationally.
It will sour my testimony indefinitely.
It will tarnish my closest relationships painfully.
THE SINS OF ELI’S SONS (12-17, 22)
The words “wicked” or “worthless” (belial) men are meant to shock us
They were guilty of the sins of stealing, contempt for the Lord, sexual immorality, greed, disrespect for their father, and exploitation of their office. The bottom line is that they had no respect for God or other people – only an absorption with themselves. Note that the sin was very severe in the presence of the Lord (1 Sam. 2:17).
ELI’S RECOGNITION OF THEIR SINS (22-25)
While Eli’s words were true and right, there is something pathetic about them. There was not a direct rebuke and demand for repentance, but a pleading “Why?” He did not address them directly as sons of worthlessness (12) that they were, but appealed to them as “my sons” (24). We sense a certain helplessness in Eli’s imploring speech.
God had given them up to their contempt for Him and His ways (Ro. 1:24,26,28; He. 6:4-6)
Their hardness was both their own choice and God’s judgment on them for that choice.
Eli’s failure to provide discipline for his sons - The writer implies that Eli neglected his parental responsibilities earlier in life (Dt. 6:7; 21:18-21).
The Paths of Discipline –
There is formative discipline (involves teaching and training) and corrective discipline (involves rebuke and correction)
See 2 Timothy 3:16 - the Word can be used to teach, train, rebuke (or convict), and correct
Psalm 94:12; Proverbs 3:11-12; 5:12,23; 12:1; 13:24; 15:5,10; 19:18, 20; Hebrews 12:6
The wise person loves discipline! He chooses it when things are good (formative), and he receives it humbly when things are bad (corrective).
THE CONFRONTATION FROM THE MAN OF GOD (27-34)
When a holy man or people allow sin to reign, God will often send a warning through another of God’s servants.
Conviction of Eli’s sin: Reminder of clear revelation (27). Contrast of dishonor and honor (29-30). Severe consequences to come (31-34).
The greater the man, the dearer price he pays for a short season of sinful pleasure. – F. B. Meyer
A similar, chilling confrontation: 2 Samuel 12:7-14
Once David crawled into bed with Uriah’s wife on that moonlit spring night, never again did he know all the former joys of close family ties, public trust, or military achievement.
This wasn’t his family’s fault or the public’s fault or the Philistine’s fault or the prophet Nathan’s fault. It was David’s fault, full-on. – Charles Swindoll
When sin needs to be confronted:
When it is outward – it affects other people.
When it is serious – it has devastating consequences.
Also, sin should be addressed according to the level of knowledge and influence.
One cannot be kinder than God. Menninger has noted in his book Whatever Became of Sin? all sorts of people carry loads of guilt around because modern constructs of human problems do not allow for the concept of sin and thus do not allow for forgiveness. The cruelest thing a counselor can do is to consign a guilty person to a state of nonforgiveness by eliminating the biblical constructs of lawbreaking and sin. The modern tendency is to shift blame onto others or one’s circumstances, the data you receive from counselees will often be shaped by a victim theme. – Jay Adams, How to Help People Change
Remember: Those who honor Me, I will honor!
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