1 Samuel 2:12-26
12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord 13 or for the duties of the priests to the people. When anyone offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14 and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or cauldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the one who was sacrificing, ‘Give meat for the priest to roast; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.’ 16 And if the man said to him, ‘Let them burn the fat first, and then take whatever you wish’, he would say, ‘No, you must give it now; if not, I will take it by force.’ 17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord; for they treated the offerings of the Lord with contempt.
18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a linen ephod.19 His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.20Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, ‘May the Lord repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the Lord’; and then they would return to their home.
21 And the Lord took note of Hannah; she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
22 Now Eli was very old. He heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23He said to them, ‘Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24No, my sons; it is not a good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. 25 If one person sins against another, someone can intercede for the sinner with the Lord; but if someone sins against the Lord, who can make intercession?’ But they would not listen to the voice of their father; for it was the will of the Lord to kill them.
26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favour with the Lord and with the people.
Featured Image of Samuel is used by permission of a Creative Commons License. Stained glass window now displayed in Glasgow’s St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. Photo by dun_deagh on Flickr.