1 Samuel 2 contrasts the lives of three people who grew up under the same man and working as priests at the Tabernacle. Eli, who was both the priest of Israel and judge, had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. The first way it describes these two is that they had no respect for the Lord or their duties as priests. They would bully the people who came to make sacrifices and steal their offerings before the people were finished giving them to God. It said they treated God’s offerings with contempt. They even seduced women using their office and position. When confronted by their father and a prophet, they rejected correction and the Word of the Lord.
Now Samuel was a young man who was born to a barren woman. She vowed that if God gave her a son that she would give him to God literally. She dropped him off at the Tabernacle when he was old enough. Eli raised this young man too. The Bible says that he grew up in the presence of the Lord and served Him well. He took his responsibilities seriously and grew in favor with the people and with God. When the Word of the Lord came to him, he responded by inviting God to speak because he was listening. It’s quite the contrast between he and the other two. We read that because of their actions, God allowed the other two to be killed and raised up Samuel to be a mighty prophet. Each of the three made their choices of how they responded to the Lord’s presence.
Romans 14:12 says, “Therefore, each one must answer for himself and give a personal account of his own life before God” (TPT). How have you responded to the presence of God and His correction? How we respond to God’s presence is a good indicator of our heart. Hophni and Phinehas had no respect for it while Samuel enjoyed it. The way the responded showed up in their private life first and then spilled over into their public life. The Bible says that what we do in private is seen by God and one day we will have to give an account for it. The lives of these three men are reminders to us to stop and examine ourselves and the path that we’re on. How is your life reflecting your attitude towards God? Your words and actions are a reflection of how you see Him.