«The great God who formed everything gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages» (Proverbs 26:10).
Eli was the high priest in charge of the sanctuary’s services. He was a man who feared God, but his family situation was quite unfavorable, and he had failed to educate his sons properly. The boys were irreverent, opportunist and ambitious. However, in spite of knowing all that, Eli decided to hire them as priests in the sanctuary! Maybe he thought that if they were near holy things, they might have the chance to correct themselves a little.
The truth is Israel’s spiritual leader’s sons ended up being a real disaster in Hebrew society. The Bible says the following, «Now the sons of Ell were corrupt; they did not know the Lord. And the priests’ custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged flesh hook in his hand while the meat was boiling. Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the flesh hook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who sacrificed, ‘Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw.’ And if the man said to him, ‘They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires,’ he would then answer him, ‘No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.’ Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord» (1 Samuel 2:12-17). Also, these young men were extremely immoral, because they «lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting» (verse 22).
What rascals Eli had hired for the sacred service! Drunkards, adulterers, thieves and bullies. The worst thing of all was that the high priest knew about it! They represented the pride of his nepotism. People lost respect for their priests. A lazy and irresponsible employee will sooner or later cause problems. And that’s what happened with Eli’s sons, who convinced Israel’s army to take the ark of the covenant to the battle field as a good luck charm. How crazy! Many Hebrew soldiers died in that battle, including two bad employees from the sanctuary.
Work implies very serious responsibilities that affect the way we do our jobs and Serve others. Favors to relatives, friends and acquaintances can endanger any business’ proper functioning. That’s why it’s wiser to hire the most qualified people, whose good work is their best letter of recommendation.