1 Samuel 2:29 (NKJV)
“Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?” (See verse 30)
God is very strict about His honor. God is jealous of His honor. It’s God who honors man, and we must not seek our honor at God’s expense. God honors those who honor Him. “…now the Lord says, ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.’” – Verse 30. And then He goes on to declare a curse on Eli’s household and lineage for the treasonable offense of not defending His glory. God protects His glory. God does not joke with it. He does not want His people to think that they can dishonor His name at will.
To put all this in context, Eli himself was not the direct culprit. Eli’s sin was that when he saw his sons disgracing the name of the Lord, he did nothing about it. Although Eli had rebuked his sons, that was insufficient to the Lord. By allowing his sons to continue to serve as priests, Eli had honored his sons above the Lord. The NLT renders verse 30 like this: “…I will despise those who think lightly of Me.” God’s problem with Eli was that he placed his sons more highly than God’s glory. And according to God’s accusation, Eli also ate from the “fat from the best offerings of my people Israel” – verse 29, NLT. God demands that we honor Him above everything and everyone in our lives. God demands that we do not honor those who dishonor Him. God requires that we do not benefit from any activities of those who dishonor Him. God’s expectation is clear. He wants His people to place Him and His glory – above everything else in all of creation. Can we work to do this?