Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained (1 Samuel 2:30b NIV).
God is worthy of our highest honor. The story of Eli and his sons teaches us that there is a serious possibility of losing God’s favor when we dishonor God: Eli and his sons were chosen by God to be priests. This was a sacred responsibility. But Eli’s sons treated God’s offerings with contempt and also did many other wicked things instead of doing what was right. They also showed total disregard for God and His commands.
Eli, instead of taking stern action against his children, gently rebuked them. That is all he did! And God asked Eli, “Why do you honor your sons more than me?” That was his sin. Finally, God had to punish them all very severely.
An important lesson here is that we are not supposed to honor even the members of our families more than God. This is very difficult as we love our families very much. Yet God demands that we honor Him above our family members. Love for our dear ones should never be used as an excuse for tolerating evil.
God makes it very clear that He will despise everyone who treats Him and His commands in an evil manner. Yet we so often treat His commands in a lighthearted manner. There is great danger here because it invites God’s judgment. If Eli the priest of God and his sons were not spared judgment others will not escape at all. But amazingly, God promises to honor those who honor Him. Let us therefore seek to honor God above all else And we can be sure that He will keep His part of the bargain!