If you know the story of Eli (1 Samuel 2) you know the accusation the Lord laid at his feet. Eli was the High Priest over Israel, the role in which he served was monumentally powerful and influential. Whatever good he may have done in his life, at this juncture, he failed to honor God by giving attention to his sons who had no respect for the Lord and His ways. From a prophet, Eli heard these words, “Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation, and honorest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?” (1 Sam. 2.29, ASV). The words “kick ye” have the meaning of “trampled,” as if one were trying to kick the ball away or just walk all over piles of leaves packing it down.
The significant problem for Eli was that when the Lord laid an accusation at his feet, there was no chance of Him being wrong. When people lay at the feet of others an accusation of wrong-doing, there is a chance the accusation was misplaced or false (cf. Prov. 16:2). Not so with the Lord. By this time, the Lord set His wrath in motion (so to speak) to give attention to the sons of Eli in such a way the accusation would not fail to make an impact. Unbeknownst to us, on many occasions, is the fact that we are guilty of the same thing of which Eli was guilty. We honor our children above the Lord in several ways.
While the context gives attention to Eli and his sons, as High Priest, his responsibility was to the Lord, the nation, and his family. As it was said of Samuel, it should have been said of Eli, he let none of the words of the Lord fall to the ground (3:19). Eli failed at this in our context. The High Priest was a mediator between the Lord and His people. If the High Priest were spiritually corrupted, what would happen to the people? Apart from the failure we read in the context of 1 Samuel 2 and 3, there is no indication Eli was spiritually corrupted, yet when it came to his sons, he failed them, himself, and the Lord.We can do the same thing, even though not a one of us believes we are guilty of such a thing. As a priest, which Christians are, you serve the Almighty. “But ye are an elect race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, that ye may show forth the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (1 Pet. 2:9). Since New Testament saints are an elect race of people (Christian in contrast to non-Christian), a holy nation (the church that belongs to Christ), how then as a royal priesthood should we, individually, conduct ourselves in this dark world? As with Samuel, so let is be said of us, he let none of the words of the Lord fall to the ground. In specific application, that means when it comes to our children our higher priority to teach them His way and insist on them being loyal to it.