1 Samuel 2:17

Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the L-RD, for the men treated the offering of the L-RD with contempt. (1 Samuel 2:17)

They held the offering of the L-rd with contempt. These are Eli’s sons who ate the fat of the priest’s offering, slept with the women who served in the temple, and neither listened to or respected their father. But more than that, they “did not know the L-rd.”

Remember what happened in Matthew 7:21 when Jesus said there would be some who cried out “L-rd, L-rd” who would not enter the kingdom of heaven? It was because He did not know them. There was no relatonship there.

So it was with Eli’s sons, and, I would contend, with Eli. Eli made no attempt to cultivate a relationship with the L-rd, just like much of Israel. That was dangerous. To be serving in the L-rd’s temple without knowing Him is a dangerous place.

And it was because they held the offering of the L-rd with contempt...

That phrase leapt off the page at me. “How do we treat His offering with contempt?” We do that when we do not pay Him His due in worship, when we do not honor Him for the liberty He has given us, when we give His tithes with contempt and grudgingly, and, when an issue that involves forgiveness exists between our brother and us and we refuse to make things right.

if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matt. 5:23-24)

This is the passage that deals with us receiving forgiveness from our brother or sister for wronging him or her. If we do not make things right with our brothers, then our attitude toward our offering is one of contempt. The priority in the eyes of the kingdom of G-d is relationships, and real restoration of those relationships, between us and G-d and us and our fellow man or woman.

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses” (Matthew 11:25)

This has to do with how we treat others who offend us. Jesus, in both of these passages, is putting the ball in our court to take the active role in making things right. He is not shouldering the responsibility on others. It never has anything to do with the other person, it’s all about you and I taking that personal responsibility before the kingdom to be obedient and to take the initiative to make things right.

The old saying is that we cannot change anyone except for ourselves. I think that is why Jesus is telling each of us to take the initiative, because each of us cannot be sure that the other person in the relationship will.

Offense is what holds us from being able to completely offer ourselves up completely to the L-rd. Offense and unforgiveness are the two things that will always hold the offering of the L-rd with contempt.

Even more important to this case is 1 John. In that letter, John treats us to a discourse on how we treat others, and whether or not the love of G-d and the knowledge of G-d really are within us. I could cite any passage from chapter 4, or chapter 1. But suffer to say, the eintire letter bears reading and taking to heart if we are to keep ourselves from holding the things of G-d, the offerings of G-d with contempt.


Father in Heaven
You are so good to us, when we do not deserve it. We thank you for your faithfulness to us. Please help us not to treat the relationship we have with you with contempt. Show us where we have wronged our brothers and sisters. Teach us where we have issues in relationships that need to be fixed. Help us, L-rd, to mend those relationships and so model the love that John writes about. Give us the strength to do what we can to help mend wounded relationships in the name of Jesus. Amen.


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