I was reading 1 Samuel 1-3 this morning
and came upon this passage
1 Sam 2 27 One day a man of God came to Eli and gave him this message from the Lord: “I revealed myself[h] to your ancestors when the people of Israel were slaves in Egypt. 28 I chose your ancestor Aaron[i] from among all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the priestly vest[j] as he served me. And I assigned the sacrificial offerings to you priests. 29 So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel!
30 “Therefore, the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I promised that your branch of the tribe of Levi[k] would always be my priests. But I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me. 31 The time is coming when I will put an end to your family, so it will no longer serve as my priests. All the members of your family will die before their time. None will reach old age. 32 You will watch with envy as I pour out prosperity on the people of Israel. But no members of your family will ever live out their days. 33 Those who survive will live in sadness and grief, and their children will die a violent death.[l] 34 And to prove that what I have said will come true, I will cause your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to die on the same day!
35 “Then I will raise up a faithful priest who will serve me and do what I desire. I will establish his family, and they will be priests to my anointed kings forever. 36 Then all of your surviving family will bow before him, begging for money and food. ‘Please,’ they will say, ‘give us jobs among the priests so we will have enough to eat.’”
It made me think about greedy church leaders who take more than they need just because they can and in so doing dishonor God, also about civic leaders who do the same. Eli’s sons had been taking the offerings of the people for themselves, more than the ammount they were allowed to live on, Eli was turning a blind eye to this and there sexual misbehavior.
22 Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle.
29 So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel!
This sounded quite a bell as it seems to be the same these days as well, Child abuse by clergy, Ministers using church funds for there own use instead of helping those who need it. Let alone the misuse of public funds by civil leaders.
What was Gods response?
31 The time is coming when I will put an end to your family, so it will no longer serve as my priests.
God will stop them being leaders and raise up new ones. If we look back over the history of the Christian church we will see that that has happened many times, unfortunately, these new leaders also fall into sin and start acting this way.
What can be done?
Well like then the people need to call to the Lord for help. Notice they didn’t stop worshiping but asked God for help. We need to do the same, yes there are many things in the organised church which is wrong, but we are to still worship while calling for it to be different.
So if you belong to a body of worshipers and feel that your leaders have lost there way, pray to God about it, complain about it and expect the Lord to do something to restore His honor. Do not give up your faith and worship or you will be losing out yourself, rather pray for change and a deeper faith in those in leadership, pray for there removal.
For those in charge like Eli, well do not turn a blind eye or you will be as guilty as those you cover for. Stand up for God and what is right even if it is your own family which is doing wrong. Sweep out the wrong doing and protect the worshipers from abuse.