Summary: A study of Eli and his evil sons.
Eli was a great preacher, a fine priest and a Judge. As High Priest he alone could enter the most holy place once a year to offer atoning sacrifice on behalf of the nation. But as a Father, Eli was passive, inactive, and unconcerned. He turned a blind eye to the sins of his own sons.
1. Disintegrating Families have parents who are preoccupied with an occupation to the exclusion of family needs.
b. Hopni & Phinehas didn’t know God! Even though they were Priests! Even though they were raised by the High Priest! They were in the Tabernacle every day! The sights and sounds of worship surrounded them every day! But relationship was ever formed between these men and God.
d. 1 Samuel 2:15-17 – Priests were supposed to take what’s left! They were to trust in God to provide for them and their families.
e. 1 Samuel 2:22 – These men not only took advantage of God they took advantage of the weak women in the community.
f. Their Father had not instilled a sense of respect and awe for God in these men as children. He didn’t take time to know them and teach them the most important facts of this life!
2. Disintegrating families have parents who refuse to face the severity of their children’s actions.
a. 1 Samuel 2:23-25 – Talk is cheap! Disipline!
b. 1 Samuel 3:12-14 – God sends a message through Samuel.
c. 1 Samuel 3:15-18 – Eli’s response! Careless, apathetic and naive!
d. Proverbs 19:18 – Discipline your children while there is still hope! Without discipline children can destroy themselves!
e. Do whatever it takes to save them, don’t empower them to do more wrong! Don’t be an enabler!
f. Illustration of Juvenile Delinquent, (his family went and took him away from the help he desperately needed).
g. Families must face these problems and overcome them together!
3. Disintegrating families rationalize wrong behavior, and thereby become part of the problem.
a. As great a man as Eli was, he actually participated in his son’s behavior.
b. 1 Samuel 2:29 – Eli was passive and rationalized their behavior. Eating meat that was stolen from the Alter of God.
c. By doing nothing to stop wrongs, we are in effect participating! Take a stand. Romans 1:29-32.
d. The pain of rejection in this life is no comparison to the pain we’ll feel from rejection of God because we didn’t do what was right!