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Judgment on Ungodly Sons
in the Old Testament
Aaron’s Sons: Nadab and Abihu. Strange fire! These were Levite priests! They KNEW what God’s commands were to them!
Leviticus 10:1-3 And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the Lord, which he commanded them not.  And there went out fire from the Lord, and devoured them, and they died before the Lord.  Then Moses said unto Aaron, This is it that the Lord spake, saying, I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people I will be glorified. And Aaron held his peace. [KJV] . . . Some may say that death was too severe for the sin they committed. But WHAT did God say? The Passage states: which he commanded them not. This is something to which we should pay attention! It reveals the horror of the sin. SO, the penalty of DEATH was just. They willfully and deliberately disobeyed the direct command of God. The fire that killed them, came from God! He is sovereign in ALL His dealings, and those who come to Him MUST come on His terms or not at all. To obey is better than sacrifice (1 Sam.15:22; Heb.13:15). The high position of these men gave them NO immunity. God’s sudden execution of judgment here is startling. Don’t ever think that God can’t OR won’t move in with judgment today. He has, does and will!
God CANNOT lie!
Eli’s Sons: Hophni and Phinehas. Background: 1 Samuel 2:12-17. The priests' duty: When someone presented a sacrifice of a peace offering, the offering was brought to the priest, and the Lord's part was burnt, the parts appropriated respectively to the priests and offerers were to be sodden. But Eli's sons, were not satisfied with the breast and shoulder, which were the parts appointed to them by the divine law (Ex.29:27; Lev.7:31-32); they not only claimed part of the offerer's share, but greedily seized for themselves part of the offering to God, before the sacred ceremony (Lev.7:29). They also committed the additional injustice of taking up with their fork those portions which they preferred, while still raw. God-fearing people revolted at such a greedy and profane violation on the altar, as well as what should have gone to make up the family and social feast of the offerer.
1 Sam. 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord. [KJV] . . . Sons of the devil (1 John 3:7-10). 1 Sam.2:17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD. [KJV]
1 Sam.2:22-25 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.  And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.  Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD'S people to transgress.  If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them. [KJV] . . . Eli KNEW what his sons were, but it seems he could do nothing to change their wicked ways. Priests then and NOW were/are supposed to obey God and be an example to the people. These two ungodly men certainly were NOT a good example to anyone!
Warning: A prophet of God came to Eli and gave him the following warning.
1 Samuel 2:27 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house?  And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel?  Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?  Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.  Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house.  And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever.  And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age.  And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.  And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.  And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a piece of bread. [KJV] . . . Parents who allow their children to do evil in any way, and do not correct, restrain and punish them, actually honor the children more than God. Eli's example should make parents earnestly strive against any wickedness, and to train up their children in the fear of the Lord. Even in the midst of the sentence of severe judgment against the house of Eli, mercy is promised to Israel. God's work shall never be without those who will continue to carry it on.
Christ is our merciful and faithful High Priest, whom God raised up when the Levitical priesthood was cast off. Christ is the One who in all things obeyed His Father. Christ is the One on whom God will build a sure house, built on a Rock (Christ Himself), and Hell cannot prevail against it (Mat.16:18).
1 Sam.2:34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. [KJV]
Fulfillment. 1 Sam.4:11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain. [KJV] . . . The Philistines and the Israelites fight. Israel loses the battle. There is a great slaughter of the Israelites, the ark of God is captured, and Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are killed.
Judgment of God
Judgment in the Wilderness
Judgment on Egypt and Pharaoh
Judgement on Godly People
Judgment on Israel
Judgment on Many People
Judgment on OT Kings
Judgment on People in NT
Judgment on the Rich and Powerful
Judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah
Judgment on the Old World
Judgment on the Ungodly