I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. 1 Samuel 3:13.
Eli was a good man, pure in morals; but he has too indulgent. He incurred the displeasure of God because he did not strengthen the weak points in his character. He did not want to hurt the feelings of anyone and had not the moral courage to rebuke and reprove sin….
He loved purity and righteousness; but he had no sufficient moral force to suppress the evil. He loved peace and harmony, and became more and more insensible to impurity and crime….
Eli was gentle, loving, and kind, and had a true interest in the service of God and the prosperity of His cause. He was a man who had power in prayer. He never rose up in rebellion against the words of God. But he was wanting; he did not have firmness of character to reprove sin and execute justice against the sinner so that God could depend upon him to keep Israel pure. He did not add to his faith the courage and power to say No at the right time and in the right place.
Eli was acquainted with the divine will. He knew what characters God could accept, and what He would condemn. Yet he suffered his children to grow up with unbridled passions, perverted appetites, and corrupt morals.
Eli had instructed his children in the law of God, and had given them a good example in his own life; but this was not his whole duty. God required him, both as a father and as a priest, to restrain them from following their own perverse will. This he had failed to do.
Those who have too little courage to reprove wrong, or who through indolence or lack of interest make no earnest effort to purify the family or the church of God, are held accountable for the evil that may result from their neglect of duty. We are just as responsible for evils that we might have checked in others by exercise of parental or pastoral authority as if the acts had been our own.
Conflict and Courage p. 141
—–Please continue to pray for Ken and his wife Linda. Rose
—–B needs prayer for guidance. L
As a little girl, I would spend every evening with my grandfather, Edwin Harmon, as soon as he came home from work. I would beg for him to tell the same stories of his life. Sometimes he must have tired of repeating those familiar stories as occasionally he would tell me something new and different. One day in answer to my request for a story, he took a pad of paper and wrote something on it. Then he tore it off and threw it away. I thought that was very strange. He began to tell me a story that had happened to a friend of his in the early part of the last century. Then he took a soft lead pencil, tipped it to the side and began to color the paper softly. To my amazement, the message that my grandfather had written appeared.
When he had written a message on the pad of paper, the pressure of the pencil had affected the page underneath. That page, although seemly untouched, had taken on the impress of what was written above. When shaded lightly by the soft pencil, the message became clearly visible. Then he told me that if I ever needed to see what someone had written, I could do what he had just done.
He did not bring out any spiritual lesson in his story even though there is one. All that we do and say has an effect on those around us. In everything we are an example for good or for evil. In scientific studies, they have shown that a person takes on the characteristics of another after being around them for as little as ten minutes. That is something to ponder when we think of the friends we have, the programs we watch, the music we listen to. Paul gives us a rule with which to measure all we look at on TV, what we listen to on the radio, our words, and our associations with others, “whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Phil 4:8 Peter adds, “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again, when he suffered, he threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” 1 Peter 2:22-24
May we carefully guard the “avenues of the soul.” May we be ?an example of the believers, in word, in conversation [conduct], in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Tim 4:12 May we so live that our words, our thoughts, our actions will affect those around us for the right, that they may be drawn to our Dear Saviour is my prayer.