<<OT priest>>

He was a high priest who, for 40 years attended to the affairs of Israel during the period of the Judges (1 Sam 4:18). He was serving as the priest, with grown up sons, when Samuel was born about 1105 BC. Eli’s story is told in 1 Samuel 1:8-4:18. His two sons were wicked yet Eli failed to correct them. God declared that no amount of sacrifices would atone for their sin (1 Sam 3:11-14). However, Eli raised and trained Samuel who became one of Israel’s greatest prophets.

Lesson from his life: * He may have been an excellent priest, but was a poor parent, failing to correct his wayward sons. Our private family affairs must be attended to with as much effort as our public ministry. Raising Godly children is a huge responsibility that must be given priority and not be neglected at the expense of other service for God (1 Tim 3:4; Tit 2:3-5). We often try to compensate for, or ignore a weakness in one area of our personality by being overzealous in our strong area of ministry. However, these areas left unaddressed can come back to haunt us and become our downfall.

See also: Judges of Israel, Samuel.