Pastoral Commentary for 1 Samuel 2:12-36
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
Hannah came to the Tabernacle each year with a little robe that she made for Samuel. Eli blessed her and God granted Hannah three sons and two daughters to make up for the son she dedicated to the LORD. What a stark contrast to Hannah's faith were the sons of Eli. Hophni and Phineas were supposed to be men of God, but instead they had no regard for the LORD. Rather than taking from the sacrifice the fair portion that was appointed for the priests, they demanded the "fat portions" which were supposed to be presented to the LORD. This showed complete contempt for God. In addition, these wicked men were having sexual relations with the women who were appointed to serve at the entrance to the Tabernacle. When they scoffed at their father's rebuke of their sin, God decreed their punishment. God's righteous judgment came on them because of the contempt they showed for the LORD. God sent a prophet to Eli to announce His judgment on the house of Eli because the priest allowed his sons to show contempt for the LORD. Their priestly line would be vacated, his sons were to both die on the same day, and his descendants would beg the faithful priest whom God would raise up for a priestly office so they could have something to eat. We all need to take to heart God's words to Eli through the prophet: "I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me." As the apostle Paul put it, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).