Reading in 1 Samuel this morning and was really struck by God's judgment against Eli, the priest of the Lord, for not reproving his sons for their very bad priestly behavior.
Take a look at what they did:
Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the LORD. When any man was offering a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. Thus they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.
(The priests servants robbed the people.)
Also, before they burned the fat, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest meat for roasting, as he will not take boiled meat from you, only raw." If the man said to him, "They must surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as you desire," then he would say, "No, but you shall give it to me now; and if not, I will take it by force."
(The priest's servants defiled the sacrifice and bullied those making an offering.)
Thus the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for the men despised the offering of the LORD. Also, they slept with the women who served at the doorway at the tent of meeting.
Breaking it down, Eli's sons robbed and oppressed the people and Eli did not rebuke them. God said, "Enough," and cut off Eli's heritage. Like, "No man will grow old in your house."
His sons were killed on the same day, and Eli died when he heard the news. Sin is serious business. Even Eli said of his sons, "God will intervene when man sins against man, but who will intercede for man when he sins against God?"
Thus, the need for a Redeemer. A Savior. Jesus. He alone is the mediator between God and man. But my thought today as I read 1 Samuel was how Eli shamed his own name and his sons by not confronting their sin. God's anger was more at his silence than the actions of his sons.
Had they been rebuked and disciplined, their lives would've been spared. They'd not have defiled and oppressed the people. Sin cannot be endured or tolerated. First in our own lives. Second, in the lives of others. We misinterpret Jesus's words "Do not judge."
Actually, we are called to judge. But first, see to our own issues. Like, don't go calling out a girl on gossip when you gossip. Don't call out sexual immorality if you're involved in sexual immorality. There are plenty of verses on how and when to judge others. There's actually health and healing in judging -- shall I say discerning -- the words and actions of others.
If your friend is beating his wife, do you just let it go because "you don't want to judge?" No. You confront him, tell him it's wrong and he needs to change. You offer help and support to deal with why he behaves in such a way.
Parents! Discipline your children. Don't let the go on with ungodly behavior because you don't want confrontation. Or don't want to admit your children aren't perfect. You will save them a lot of pain if you shed light on the darkness of their hearts.
I love the verse, "foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child. but the rod of correction drives it far from him."
Eli lost his families right and heritage because of his unwillingness to deal with his sons. They lost their lives. It cost Israel the arc of the Lord -- the presence of the Lord. Don't look the other way when you see sin. It may cost you the very presence of God.