The sons of Eli were corrupt. They did not know the Lord. They were already adult men, but they never really had the benefit of a father who corrected them at a malleable age. These men got what they wanted when they wanted it. This multiplied sin in their lives. This is what will happen in our homes apart from the grace and mercy of God.
The Character and Conduct of Evil Sons
- They were corrupt (2 Samuel 2.12). These two men were very wicked and evil men. Yet they claimed to occupy themselves in the Lord’s work. Paraphrasing one man, they were children of the devil in the tabernacle of God. There is much corruption in both fathers and sons who attend churches today as well.
- They were covetous (2 Samuel 2.13-14). These men thrust a three-pronged flesh-hook into the caldron of the Israelite worshipper. They were base men who were concerned only with physical, temporal appetites. Living for temporal satisfaction mens never being satisfied.
- They were coercive (2 Samuel 2.16). They took food from the people by force. The aggressive nature of men is simply intensifying today. If they don’t get what they want, they bully families, classmates, and society into getting it for them.
- They were contemptible (2 Samuel 2.17, 22). They caused men to abhor the offering of the Lord due to their sin. They even abused women and had sexual relationships with them at the very door of the tabernacle of meeting. They brought contempt upon the worship of the Lord.
The Character and Conduct of Evil Fathers
Eli reproved his sons, but it was too little, too late. It seems he had his own self-discipline issues. The Bible speaks of him as being tremendously overweight at the time of his death. You cannot raise godly men or execute properly spiritual leadership if you cannot be self-disciplined. A responsive relationship with Christ is the single greatest need in spiritual leaders and fathers today.
The Consequences of Evil Conduct and Character
Eli despised God, so God brought dishonor upon his house and viewed him as contemptible. We have read about the cloud before the storm in this prophecy given to Eli.
Eli’s judgment will be humiliating (2 Samuel 2.31). Cutting off the arm communicates all authority and power being removed from his house. It will be irreparable (2 Samuel 2.32). It will be eternal (2 Samuel 2.32).
Fathers should meet their sons disobedience, disrespect, and destructive behavior with very firm and very loving discipline. The welfare of our country doesn’t rest upon who is elected in November; it rests upon godly fathers raising godly children. If we want our children to live long and prosperous lives, they must glorify God by demonstrating His righteousness to the world at large.
Eli and his two sons should teach us that even when men start off good, their lives can end very poorly. There is great sorrow in such a life. May God deliver us from such a fate.