Eli & His Seed

A tale of Eli a high priest of Israel
Who ministered in the sanctuary with gravity
But failed to teach his family the merit of sincerity
His snickering and scurrilous sons lacked all solemnity

In the Aaronic priesthood, Levites planted no food
They were to live off the sacrifices of their brethren
But the offerings must be holy and consecrated wholly
To God first by fire, before the priest takes his desire
A portion for living not for lucre or gluttony’s leaven

But the two sons of Eli; Hophni and Phinehas
For greed and not need, fed fat with sacrifices
They took a tax of raw meat from worshippers
Leaving the residue for the Lord, second-best was his due
Israel became a nation of fractional sacrifices
A half-lamb or quarter goat as the priest pleases

If this were all, it would be a sorry sum, but there’s some more
Eli’s sons took their pick; not only of the meaty sacrifices
But of the flesh of worshippers too-the fairest of damsels
They seduced them outside the Holy Tabernacle
For those it was the first oblation, for Eli’s sons condemnation

Warning precedes judgement, a sermon before lament
And godly Eli warned them to fly from sin’s reward
To cease from evil and please the Lord
But they were spiritually deaf, destined for the sword

Was this evil obstinacy the fruit of nature or nurture?
Did Eli fail to mould and build when he should?
He might have been firmer, using the sledge hammer
Instead of the suasion of a persuading father

Soon all was lost for God spoke through a prophet
That both sons would die, and Eli’s house would lie in ruins
Defrocked and desolate, mocked by all, an impoverished stock

Soon Israel went to battle with the Philistines
They were defeated for the army was godless and powerless
God would not fight against His prophesied Word

The embarrassing defeat caused Israel’s elders to meet
They decided to take ark into the next battle
God’s symbol would go ahead-filling their enemies with dread
Good idea, but God would not be bribed to fight for evil
They supposed that the symbol of God’s presence
Was more important than the essence of true obedience

Hophni and Phinehas accompanied the ark to battle
Israelites were routed, led to their defeat like driven cattle
The two irreverent guardians of the ark were killed
The ark itself wholly and holy was captured solely

Mark where Israel fell and mark it very well
For the same pitfalls trip many innocents today
They think that rites, rituals and pious ceremonies
Are substitutes for true obedience in this narrow way
On the day of judgement’s reckoning symbolism would fail
God is a Deity that sees beyond the appearance of piety

A messenger ran from the battlefield chaos
And delivered the sad news to the waiting, now-blind Eli
For he knew Israel had taken the ark of the covenant to battle
His sons the messenger said, were dead
And the ark had been captured-Eli collapsed and died
Phinehas’ wife hearing this sore news went into labour
She ignored the encouragement of the midwifes
And in dying despair named her son Ichabod
Born when Israel’s glory was lost, an untimely bud

God to punish iniquity and keep the sanctity of the Word
Cared not that the ark which had His commandments
With Aaron’s rod that budded and the angelic manna
Was captured by His enemies in shameful manner

Three generations later, Abiathar was the high priest
He was a plotter in Adonijah’s failed coup d’etat
When Solomon ascended to the throne as God intended
He removed Abiathar from the office of the High Priest
Only sparing his life for his avid service to God and David
God had set the stage and Eli’s lineage lost this office forever

The judgement of the House of Eli was now complete
Parental complacency and filial duplicity produces complicity
The stricken House of Eli is a warning to all generations
Learn this lesson and act wisely in your familial habitations

One thought on “Eli & His Seed

  1. 'Becca September 2, 2015 / 9:45 am

    “They supposed that the symbol of God’s presence
    Was more important than the essence of true obedience” …… the depth in this!!

    Nice one!!! More grace>>>


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