Monday, August 13, 2012

Eli, the Worst Priest Ever?


Lesson 3: Eli, the Worst Priest Ever?

Discussion Starter: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever heard of a pastor or priest doing?

We hear about pastors and priests doing a lot of things they shouldn’t, from stealing money from the church to abusing kids. Those things should never be done, especially by someone who says they are serving God by being a pastor or priest.

The priest in our story today didn’t do anything as bad as abusing children, but he still wasn’t someone you’d want to have as your pastor.

You remember that we’ve been reading about Hannah and about how badly she wanted a child.

Bible Study: Read 1 Samuel 1:9-17.

What wrong assumption does Eli make about Hannah? (That she’s drunk instead of praying.)

And when Hannah tells him about how sad she is and that she was praying, does Eli apologize or ask her what’s wrong? (No.)

What does he do? (He says he hopes God grants her prayer.)

To me, that kind of sounds like he just wants to get rid of her instead of really helping her with her problem. It’s like he’s saying, “Well, I hope God grants your prayer, whatever it was. No go away.”

That’s not being a very good pastor to Hannah, is it? But the really bad thing Eli does comes next.

Read 1 Samuel 2:12-35.

What wrong thing did Eli do?

If you were the head priest and your children were priests under you, but they were cheating people and taking advantage of them, what would you do? Would you just yell at them like Eli did?

What Eli should have done is fire his two sons, and not let them be priests anymore, since they didn’t listen to him. But instead, Eli let his kids do what they wanted, instead of Eli doing what God wanted and making the two sons stop. Eli chose his sons over God.

Let me ask you a question: Have you ever chosen a person over God? Have you ever done something that another wanted you to do, even though you knew God wouldn’t want you to do it?

Have you ever felt like you should talk to someone about the wrong things they were doing, but then didn’t because you didn’t want to make them mad at you?

That’s what Eli did. He didn’t want his sons to get mad at him if he fired him, so he just kept letting them do whatever they wanted. He chose to have a good relationship with his sons instead of having a good relationship with God.

If you’ve ever chosen someone else over God, or done something wrong just because someone else wanted you to, remember that God gave Eli a lot of chances. God didn’t punish Eli right away. He warned him first.

And God gives us a lot of chances too. Just because we’ve messed up before, doesn’t mean we can’t stop and do things right from now on. If Eli had taken that chance and decided to do the right thing, everything would have been fine. He could’ve kept being priest and God wouldn’t have punished him and his family like that. But Eli didn’t take the chances God gave him. We can. We can always change and decide from this moment on to always choose God first, and do what He wants us to do, rather than other people and what they want us to do.


 

Samuel the PROphet

Lesson 3: Eli, the Worst Priest Ever?

Discussion Starter: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever heard of a pastor or priest doing?

 

 

The priest in our story today didn’t do anything as bad as some clergy people, but he still wasn’t someone you’d want to have as your pastor.

 

 

Bible Study: Read 1 Samuel 1:9-17.

 

 

What wrong assumption does Eli make about Hannah?

 

 

And when Hannah tells him about how sad she is and that she was praying, does Eli apologize or ask her what’s wrong?

 

 

What does he do?

 

 

That’s not being a very good pastor to Hannah, is it? But the really bad thing Eli does comes next.

 

 

Read 1 Samuel 2:12-35.

 

 

What wrong thing did Eli do?

 

 

If you were the head priest and your children were priests under you, but they were cheating people and taking advantage of them, what would you do? Would you just yell at them like Eli did?

 

 

What should Eli have done?

 

But instead, Eli let his ________________ do what they wanted, instead of Eli doing what ___________ wanted and making the two sons stop. Eli chose _________________ over ___________.

 

 

Have you ever chosen a person over God?

 

 

In what ways could someone choose a person over God?

 

 

If you’ve ever chosen someone else over God, or done something wrong just because someone else wanted you to, remember that God gave Eli _____________________________. God didn’t punish Eli right away. He warned him first.

 

 

And God gives us a lot of chances too. Just because we’ve messed up before, doesn’t mean we can’t stop and do things right from now on. If Eli had taken that chance and decided to do the right thing, everything would have been fine. He could’ve kept being priest and God wouldn’t have punished him and his family like that. But Eli didn’t take the chances God gave him. We ________. We can always __________________ and decide from this moment on to always choose God ________________, and do what He wants us to do, rather than other people and what they want us to do.

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