The Consequences of Sin Outside of God’s Perfect Design part 2


Just as King David failed to treat the indiscretion of his son according to God’s Word, so did the High Priest, Eli, when his two sons defiled the Temple with their choices. Hophni and Phinehas were intended to succeed their father in the priesthood. Yet they engaged in the shameful practices of seducing the young women Tabernacle assistants and defiling the sacrifices offered to the Lord.

 1 Samuel 2:22-25

22 Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women* who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 23 Eli said to them, “I have been hearing reports from all the people about the wicked things you are doing. Why do you keep sinning? 24 You must stop, my sons! The reports I hear among the Lord’s people are not good. 25 If someone sins against another person, God can mediate for the guilty party. But if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede?” But Eli’s sons wouldn’t listen to their father, for the Lord was already planning to put them to death.

(*sisters in the Lord)

 Hophni and Phineas, for these actions, were referred to in the King James Version as sons of Belial* in 1 Samuel 2:12. God did not mince words. He called these sons of Eli what they were. As we will see, their father did not follow God’s standards.

* description of people characterized by worthlessness or corruption. The  Old Testament uses Belial as a personification of evil. Later, the personification began to be thought of as an actual person, and in the New Testament Belial is used as a proper name of Satan in 2 Corinthians 6:15 .

Eli, the high  priest, was a pious man but that didn’t guarantee the holiness of his children. The sons served their own desires. Worse – as you look at v.25 – their sins were against the Lord. Notice how Eli mildly reprimanded his sons: more of a “tut tut” than an actual Biblical discipline for their actions. We know this by the subsequent action from God that would follow.

What was Eli supposed to have done according to Biblical standards?

Leviticus 22:3 New International Version (NIV)

 3 “Say to them: ‘For the generations to come, if any of your descendants is ceremonially unclean and yet comes near the sacred offerings that the Israelites consecrate to the Lord, that person must be cut off from my presence. I am the Lord.”

 Eli not only was to have disciplined them, he was to have denied them the priesthood.


One day a prophet came from the Lord and gave Eli this message:

1 Samuel 2:29-31 New International Version (NIV)

29 Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me …?”

30 “Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ But now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. 31 The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age.”

The people of Israel knew that the test of a true or false prophet was whether the prophecy came to pass or not  (Deuteronomy 18: 22). Time would show (1Kings 2: 27 below) that this man was a prophet of God.

                              LOOK AT THE LONG-REACHING EFFECTS:


 In the days and months to follow Israel was at war with the Philistines and they were losing. Therefore, Hophni and Phineas went to the temple to get the Ark of the Covenant and they accompanied it into battle. However, they did not treat it in a pious fashion. They treated it like an idol, a good luck piece,  more so considering the sins of these men who carried it. What they should have done was repented before it. They knew this, but they treated their sin so lightly, God’s commands so lightly, the Ark – the Presence of God – so lightly that they proceeded nonetheless. They did not repent and thus followed the horrid climax.

Eli awaited news of the battle as he sat beside the gate, his heart trembling for the safety of the Ark. The messenger rushed over with the gruesome news: thousands of Israeli soldiers dead; his sons killed. Yet, worst of all the news came that the Ark had been captured. At that last bit of news Eli fell back and broke his neck and died, having been a judge for forty years. The capture of the Ark was the crushing blow for the father…and also for Phinehas’ wife in childbirth.

1 Samuel 4:19-22 New International Version (NIV)

19 His ( Eli’s ) daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, ( a godly woman ) was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband (and her brother-in-law) were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. 20 As she was dying, the women attending her said, “Don’t despair; you have given birth to a son.” But she did not respond or pay any attention…

21 – 22 She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.

 The baby was given the name Ichabod which means “the glory of the Lord has departed.”


God’s words of prophecy always come to pass in His time. Jump ahead from the time of Eli to the time of David, many chapters later and whose name appears? Eli!


I Samuel 22:20-21 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

 20 And one of the sons of Ahimelech son of Ahitub named Abiathar escaped and fled after David.

21 And Abiathar told David that Saul had slain the Lord’s priests.

1 Kings 2:27 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

 27 So Solomon expelled Abiathar [descendant of Eli] from being priest to the Lord, fulfilling the word of the Lord which He spoke concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

In 1 Kings 1 we read about Adonijah’s attempt to seize David’s throne by making a military  alliance with Joab and Abiathar, the priest. Abiathar plays an important part in God’s prophetic calendar. Years before while David was fleeing from King Saul, Ahimelech, the priest at Nob, gave David bread and Goliath’s sword.  Saul’s reaction to this was to slaughter Ahimelech and everyone present, except for young Abiathar who escaped. However, Ahimelech was Abiathar’s father and the young son held David accountable for his father’s death. When Solomon squashed the rebellion of Adonijah, Joab and Abiathar, the expulsion of Abiathar from the priesthood was the prophetic fulfillment of 1Samuel 2:29-31(see prophecy at beginning of report). This resulted in the dissolution of the Aaronic or Levitical priesthood.

LET’S SUM UP: Because of the sins of the sons and mild rebuke of the father, two sons and their father die; a mother dies in childbirth; the priesthood line is dissolved; and, most importantly, the ark of the covenant that represents the Presence of Almighty God is captured by idol worshippers.

All this occurred because Eli did not deal correctly with the sex sins of his sons. Exodus 28:36 states that on the turban of the high priest is to be worn the emblem “Holiness to the Lord.”  Because Eli and his sons did not abide by this holy standard, not only did they perish but the Ark of the Presence of God was captured by idol worshippers. This cannot continue.



What follows will be difficult to hear so I purposely used authoritative sources to present it. It is the understanding of the truth of these verses that kept a dear, dear friend of mine from committing adultery. He and his wife are still married 25 years later. He repented of his near-sinning; she has forgiven him of it and they both dearly love their Savior.

1 Corinthians 6:15-18 New International Version (NIV)

15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.

  “Don’t you know that your bodies are members of Christ?“ (v. 15a). The body is not simply a temporary and inferior entity with which we are forced to live until our spirit is liberated at death. Our bodies (not just our spirits or souls) “are members of Christ,” so we are part of Christ’s body. Our bodies, then, are holy, set apart for a sacred purpose, even as Christ is holy, set apart for a sacred purpose.

“Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them members of a prostitute? (porne) May it never be!” (v. 15b). Note the similarity in the Greek word for fornication (porneia) and the word for prostitute (porne)… Because our bodies are members of Christ—and therefore holy—it follows that it would be wrong to use our bodies for unholy purposes. Because our bodies are members of Christ, it would be wrong to profane our bodies—and, by extension, Christ’s body—by linking our bodies to a prostitute.

“But anyone united to the Lord becomes one spirit with him” (v. 17). Just as a man and woman become one flesh through sexual union, so also the Christian becomes one spirit with the Lord.

Paul’s shift to the word “spirit” in this verse doesn’t mean that he has moved beyond his concern for the body. He has already established that our “bodies are members of Christ” (v. 15a). Now he notes that we are also “one spirit” with Christ. We are a holy people, created by God for God’s purposes. It would therefore be completely out of character for us to behave in unholy ways, such as bonding with prostitutes through sexual union.

 The Lord made marriage – and sex – to be between a husband and a wife. If you are a Christian, there is only one person you are Biblically allowed to have sexual relations with – your Christian spouse. Christ is in that union and no other.

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