Just the words in our title today make me sad, but what's worse was who it was said of.
"Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord." 1 Samuel 2:12
The sons of the priest.
In today's vernacular it might be like saying the sons of the pastor, but more than just your local pastor. Sort of along the lines if the Pope had sons, and they didn't know God.
Plus, they served in the temple. They held a place of authority in the house of God!
We expect leaders in the church to as least KNOW God.
We're inclined to wonder. How is that even possible? How can the sons of such a godly man leading the people in worship of God not know God?
This is one of the moments where 'know' means different things. You can know of a person without knowing that person personally. Hophni and Phinehas knew OF God, but they had never had a relationship with God.
I'd like you to compare our text to this verse below.
"Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him." 1 Samuel 3:7
Why is this not sad?
While Samuel didn't know God, as soon as he knew it was God calling him in the night, he replied, "Speak; for thy servant heareth." (1 Sam. 3:10).
Hophni and Phinehas had the same opportunities as Samuel. They did not choose God. Samuel did.
Three men grew up under the same circumstances, in the same place, under the same man of God. Two chose not to know God. One did. What will you choose?
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