29 Apr The Priest’s Fork
<detest, hate, loathe, despise>
<regard with disgust and hatred>
Strong, strong words, my friend.
Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the LORD..
Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD..
Now the sons of Eli were evil and good-for-nothing men, having no knowledge of the Lord.
Now Eli’s sons were despicable men who didn’t know the LORD..
<Evil, despicable, good-for-nothing men>
Even stronger words, my friend.
Hophni and Phinehas, Eli’s sons, had been raised in the full knowledge of the law of the Lord.
Yet this in no way hindered them from fully indulging their fleshly desires – greed being the foremost.
Whenever there was a sacrifice, Scriptures say, these two “priests” would shamelessly pilfer some of the sacred meat, right out of the cooking pot.
They would thrust their forks into the boiling cauldron and lustily help themselves to whatever came up.
This was thoroughly against the law of Moses, and the two men were fully aware of it.
Eli, their father, eventually discovered what they were doing, as the people had began to complain.
“Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.” he despaired.
But the lads were set in their ways, and refused to heed the voice of their father.
They indulged themselves in even more wickedness, preying on the women at the tabernacle by extracting sexual favours from them.
Sin, it appears, begets even more sin.
And their flock, the Israelites, were quite understandably appalled. Disgusted.
It was not long before they began to hate visiting the House of God and giving the prescribed offering to the Lord.
All on account of the greedy, selfish acts of these two men, Hophni and Phinehas.
This, dear reader, is how the Bible sums up the greatest tragedy in this matter.
“Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.”
Yes, the Children of Israel began to detest the very act that the Lord Himself had commanded them to do.
Hophni and Phinehas had in effect robbed them of their desire to worship the Lord.
Taken from them the sweet fellowship of the tabernacle, and deprived them of the blessings that were to be obtained in the presence of God.
Old Eli had been right when he had fearfully cried out;
“No, my sons! ..it is not a good report I hear. You make the Lord’s people transgress..”
“If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?” he had warned.
And so one day, just as had been prophesied, Hophni and Phinehas were struck down and died, in a fierce battle against the Philistines.
They had finally paid the consequences of their sins.
God certainly cannot be mocked and it was only a matter of time before the two suffered their ultimate fate.
But the point of the story, I believe, is this;
If there happens to be, in the House of God, a man (or woman) who constantly meddles in the cooking pot, he should not, even for a moment, be confused for a genuine servant of God.
No, dear reader, not at all.
He is simply a charlatan and scoundrel who has no respect for the Lord, and has absolutely no business “ministering” in the House of God.
- The verse describing the sons of Eli, 1 Samuel 2:12, has been taken from the following versions; New Living Translation, English Standard Version, The Bible in Basic English, Common English Bible.
- The full story of Eli and his sons can be found in the book of 1 Samuel 2-4.
Image Courtesy: Sweet Publishing