God against parents of unrestrained sinful children

We live in a corrupted world where children are left on their own without disciplining them from a very young age. But God expects us to correct them from committing iniquity not just when they are kids but also after they had grown up. We looked earlier regarding parent’s responsibility. Here were will explore how God is against Eli who did not restrain of his son’s sins.

Eli’s Sons

1 Sam 2:12,17,22 Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD. …  Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men abhorred the offering of the LORD. ….  Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas were not only committing sin in sacrificial offering but also sleeping with the women who come to the tabernacle of meeting.

1 Sam 2:23-25 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD’s people transgress. If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them.

Eli did warn his sons about their sins but his sons did not listen to the Lord because their sins made God wanting to kill them.

1 Sam 3:12-13 “In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.

Eli’s sons died for their sins but why was God against Eli? God expects Eli to restrain his sons from committing sins but he did not. Hophni and Phinehas were not little kids but priests (1 Sam 1:3) who must be atleast twenty five years old (Num 8:24–26) and sleeping with women who come to the tabernacle of meeting.

God expects parents of fully grown adult children who commit sin to restrain them so that God may not be against the parents and their descendants.

1Sam 2:29-32 ‘Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded [in My] dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’ “Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed [that] your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But 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. ‘Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. ‘And you will see an enemy [in My] dwelling place, [despite] all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever.

What does restrain mean for Eli who is very old? As we can see above, Eli must have restrained his sons by removed them from serving the LORD i.e, being priests. This way, he could have avoided the generational curse on his family.

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