"Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD"....1 Samuel Chapter 1 v 13
In the first chapter of Samuel two families set the scene. The first is Elkanah's family consisting of the division between his two wives Hannah and Peninnah and her sons and daughters. Then there is the family of Eli and his sons Hophni and Phinehas. Upon research into the names of Hophni and Phinehas it is interesting to note that they are Egyptian names but more importantly the Holy Scriptures refers to these two sons as the sons of Belial. So not only were they sons of Eli but spiritually they were sons of Belial.
Belial is another name for satan and is only mentioned twice in this chapter compared to the LORD's names over twenty times. Belial also means lacking worth and a very unprincipaled person. But on deeper research from the hebrew language it goes a bit deeper to say that anyone attached to this name as were Phinehas and Hophni are worn out and have no purpose whatsoever and that ultimately they are ready for destruction. It is as though they are just rags fit for nothing.
In Isaiah chapter 64 v 6 it speaks on our acts as filthy rags
"But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
These two sons by inheritance stood to the entrance of the LORD's house, but they knew not the LORD.
Although this is referring to the House of the LORD at Shiloh it also pertains very much to the modern day church. Many men are in a position of power perhaps handed down to them by their parents and by their christian heritage but do not know the LORD so lead many into trespasses as did Hophni and Phinehas.
Whilst God was orchestrating Hannah's life with the provocation of Peninnah at the same time a prophetic word came to Eli regarding his sons a sign that his sons would soon not be around. A very dramatic judgement indeed. Although it was difficult in the household of Elkanah it was more importantly to secure the coming birth of Samuel that the disobedient sons of Eli be removed.
"And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Pinehas: in one day they shall die both of them" .... Chapter 1 v 34.
For two brothers to die on the same day as was prophesised is indeed a great sign for when a prophetic word comes about by a man of God, this being either a man or woman then truly the hand of God has come upon them.
To cut off this house of Eli in it's prime was such a severe action and a just one considering the behaviour of the two sons who through lawlessness and lust brought the LORD's name into great shame.
God was to so remove this family out of the equation for all time and indeed the birth of the child Ichabod symbolised such an occasion by Phinehas wife. Ichabod meaning the Glory has left the Temple.
These two families ran alongside each other different events happening in their households yet ultimately for the Glory of God.
Despite the divisions going on in the house of Elkanah they were not to be cut off. The pruning going on in Hannah's life to increase more faith was wrought through the introduction of Peninnah but the division in Eli's house was much more severe to such an extent the LORD had decided to end it all completely. As the LORD allowed the persecution of Hannah to further His plans for the emergence of Samuel so the LORD allowed the destruction of Eli's sons and yes ultimately the ending of Eli himself.
As the fig tree was given the word by Jesus to die then so the WORD of the LORD brings about action and ultimately for righteousness and holiness to continue. Obedience as was Samuel's calling is the holiness that God requires.
As we see in the beginning of Chapter 2 v 11-12 the two families are linked with a marked difference and shows just how the LORD has separated the holy from the unholy.
"And the Child did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest. Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial, they knew not the LORD"
The handing over of Gods kingdom from disobedient servants to obedient servants are as though unto children or men or women who come to the Kingdom of God as little children ready to know and serve the LORD.
Such a time is now at hand saith the LORD.
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