Ellen G. White Writings

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From Eternity Past, Page 416

Chapter 56—Eli and His Wicked Sons

This chapter is based on 1 Samuel 2:12-36.

Eli, priest and judge in Israel, wielded a great influence over the tribes of Israel. But he did not rule his own household. He was an indulgent father. He did not correct the evil habits and passions of his children. Rather than contend with them, he would give them their own way.

The priest and judge of Israel had not been left in darkness as to the duty of governing the children God had given to his care. But Eli shrank from this duty, because it involved crossing the will of his sons, and would make it necessary to punish and deny them. He indulged his children in whatever they desired and neglected the work of fitting them for the service of God and the duties of life.

The father became subject to the children. His sons had no proper appreciation of the character of God or of the sacredness of His law. From childhood they had been accustomed to the sanctuary and its service, but they had lost all sense of its holiness and significance. The father had not checked their disrespect for the solemn services, and when they reached manhood they were full of the deadly fruits of skepticism and rebellion.

Though wholly unfit, they were placed as priests in the sanctuary to minister before God. These wicked men carried their disregard of authority into the service of God. The sacrifices, pointing forward to the death of Christ, were designed to preserve in the hearts of the people faith in the Redeemer to come. Hence it

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