1 Samuel 3:12-14
"Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever."  1 Samuel 3:14

This passage in 1 Samuel is one of the Scriptures that forces me to stop and acknowledge the necessity for an appropriate fear of God.  The LORD is confirming what He had spoken through the "man of God" in 1 Samuel 2:27-36.  In verse 29 the LORD asks Eli, "Why then did you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?"  1 Samuel 2:13-17 describes how Eli and his sons scorned the LORD's sacrifices and offerings.  When the people of Israel brought their offering and sacrifice to the LORD, they chose the best for themselves.  They even took the LORD's portion of the sacrifice.  Leviticus 3:16 says, "The priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering with a pleasing aroma.  All fat is the LORD's.

God gave the Israelites the various offerings and sacrifices as the means to worship Him and to atone for their sin.  Eli and his sons made a mockery of God's mercy by exploiting it for their benefit.  Isaiah 56:11 describes this attitude: "The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough.  But they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all."

In Matthew 12:31-32 Jesus says, "Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.  And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."  1 Samuel 3:13 tells us Eli knew his sons were blaspheming God and he did not stop them.  Hebrews 10:26-29 says there is no sacrifice for sin committed deliberately by someone who knows the truth.  As high priest, Eli knew the truth and yet did nothing to honor God.

Numbers 15:27-30 compares the consequences of unintentional sin and sin committed with a "high hand."  On May 7th, we read and studied this passage.  For an in-depth discussion of unintentional versus intentional sin follow this link to Day 127.

Sovereign LORD God, thank You for giving us Your full counsel.  You know we need to hear Your instruction repeatedly, so thank You for examples like Eli and his sons.  I desire to be a wise and knowledgeable man.  That being true, I want to appropriately fear You since that is the beginning of wisdom and those who practice that fear will have understanding.  May Your Name be praised forever!

Psalm 17:1-6
My prayer for the day:  Hear, O LORD, my cry, may my vindication come from you.  Probe my heart, examine me, show me my sin.  I resolve that my mouth will not sin.  I will keep myself from the ways of violent men, my steps will hold to your path.  Thank you, O God, for hearing my prayer and answering me.