“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Malachi 2:14-15 (KJV)
14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
The Lord brings a man and a woman together as one and a reason for this is so that they can bring forth godly offspring.
1 Samuel 2:12
12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.
The priest, Eli, had two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. They were rebellious and would not walk in the ways of God. When we don’t deal with rebellious attitudes in our heart, it leads to evil and can causes the downfall of other people, too. Hophni and Phinehas would not respect the offering of God or listen to their father and it cost them not only their own lives, but also it also caused their father’s death.
1 Samuel 2:17
17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.
1 Samuel 2:22
22 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.
Hophni and Phinehas despised the offerings of the Lord and were fornicating with many women. Their sin opened the door to the enemy and caused the presence and glory of God to depart from Israel and the Ark of the Covenant to be stolen by the Philistines.
1 Samuel 4:17-18
17 And the messenger answered and said, Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there hath been also a great slaughter among the people, and thy two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God is taken.
18 And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.
When Eli had heard of the outcome and how that the Ark of God was stolen, it was too much for him and he fell over backward off his seat. Because he was an old and heavy man, he broke his neck and died. This was not the way that God had intended for his end to be. He would not deal with his sons and it cost him everything including all of their lives.
1 Samuel 4:19-22
19 And his daughter in law, Phinehas’ wife, was with child, near to be delivered: and when she heard the tidings that the ark of God was taken, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed; for her pains came upon her.
20 And about the time of her death the women that stood by her said unto her, Fear not; for thou hast born a son. But she answered not, neither did she regard it.
21 And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.
22 And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken.
This is a sad story of a whole family negatively affected, because they would not take heed to God and His Word and His ways. Any rebellion in our lives must be stamped out and our attitudes must be dealt with and brought in line with the Word of God. Without exception, this applies to the minister as well as the congregation member.
This rebellion and ungodliness in the family of the priest was one of the reasons why God had to raise up Samuel. God used Samuel to give a message to Eli about his family to say that God would judge him because he would not deal with his sons.
1 Samuel 3:11-14
11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.
12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.
13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.
To have a family that loves God and His Word should be our desire and our goal. We should teach our children to love and respect God and His Word so that we raise up godly seed that respect and revere Him all the days of their lives.