Eli was looking for news about the war with the Philistines. He was anxious about the ark seemingly more than he was anxious about his sons. He knew that taking the ark into battle was a cheap trick with no automatic results. He knew his sons were corrupt. He knew a lot of things, but he didn’t act. He knew that it was corrupt to claim the fat parts of a sacrifice before it was eaten. He did that anyway and his weight contributed to his death.
If we know the good that we should do and do not do it, we sin. Sin frequently carries its own consequences.
1 Samel 4:12-22
12 That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head. 13When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry.
14Eli heard the outcry and asked, “What is the meaning of this uproar?”
The man hurried over to Eli, 15 who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes had failed so that he could not see. 16He told Eli, “I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day.”
Eli asked, “What happened, my son?”
17The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.”
18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led[b]Israel forty years.
19 His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. 20As she was dying, the women attending her said, “Don’t despair; you have given birth to a son.” But she did not respond or pay any attention.
21 She named the boy Ichabod,[c] saying, “The Glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”
- What news does the meseenger bring to Eli?
- How does Eli react?
- How does his daughter-in-law react?
- When has someone you know persisted in sin and endured the consequences?
- Is there something that you are aware of but are not changing?