“Why do you . . .honor your sons more than me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel my people . . . now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.’” - 1 Samuel 2:29-30 NKJV
Eli had a conflict. As the very priest of God, he was the spiritual leader of His people, and God’s personal representative. But he also was a father. The question was, what had the highest priority? Which was more important? God, or his sons?
While clearly caring about serving God, he allowed his attitude toward his sons to become dominant, even when they took advantage of their position. God told Eli that he had made himself “fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel my people.”
Through His actions, God was demonstrating the importance He places on the honor of His name.
There are many reasons why we might honor other people. But we always must give God first place in our lives. Yes, we are to love and honor spouses and other family members. But God must be our highest priority.
Jesus expressed this truth this way: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26).
We see this principle in action in the life of Abraham and Isaac. The day would come when Abraham would give Isaac everything (Genesis 25:5). But first he had to prove to God that he honored Him even more than Isaac, his only son, by offering him on an altar (Genesis 22).
In your life, make sure that you have the right priorities. Seek to make God first in your life, and that you serve Him at all times.
PrayerFather, help me to have Your priorities in my life. Help me to have the right perspective. Above all else, I desire to honor and worship You, and bring You praise. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Extended Reading1 Samuel 2