What a contrast: Eli’s sons showing contempt for the Lord’s sacrifice; Samuel’s mother providing clothing for her son as he was serving the Lord!
Eli prays for Elkanah and his wife [note the non-mention of Penniah] — that she would bear more children to take the place of the one she “gave to the Lord” (v. 20). We read, “And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters.” And the boy Samuel “grew up in the presence of the Lord” (v. 21).
We learn of the further wickedness of Eli’s sons. They even slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting! They effectively treated the Lord’s presence as an opportunity to pursue prostitution! (v. 22). Eli tries to rebuke them, asking them why they do such things, that their deeds are wicked, and that there can be no mediator for their sins against the Lord! (vv. 22-25). We then read, “His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death” (v. 25). What an amazing statement!
Here we have the juxtaposed positions of man’s refusal to listen and the Lord’s will to execute them for their wickedness. But we read of Samuel that he “continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people” (v. 26). This reminds us of the Lord Jesus of whom we read in Luke 2:52- “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” Thank God for our great Intercessor, the Lord Jesus, for all our sins are “against the Lord,” aren’t they?