Hear the word of LORD:
1 Samuel 2:22-25
Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And he said unto them, "Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD'S people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him?" Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.
Why didn't they listen to their father? Well, of course, they are to blame. Yet God takes credit for it too. God says that their heedlessness had a purpose - and the purpose to kill them.
People like to say that when it is said that Joseph was sold into slavery in order that many lives would be saved, it simply means that God made the best of a bad situation. That's not the case here. God didn't make the best of a bad situation - God let a bad situation become (humanly speaking) worse.
1 Samuel 3:10-15
And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, "Samuel, Samuel."
Then Samuel answered, "Speak; for thy servant heareth."
And the LORD said to Samuel, "Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever."
And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.
Well might Samuel fear to share this dreadful vision! God is coming in vengeance on the house of Eli, and God has said that this iniquity will not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever! For every sin that a man might sin there was an offering appointed - but for the sin of Eli and his sons, there was no sin offering available. God extended no explicit offer of mercy to Eli.
And listen in sad silence to Eli's reaction:
1 Samuel 3:16-18
Then Eli called Samuel, and said, "Samuel, my son."
And he answered, "Here am I."
And he said, "What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee."
And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him.
And he said, "It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good."
What a disappointing answer! Let the LORD do what seems good to him? Of course the Lord will - but hie to the altar with sacrifice and offering! Rip your clothes in sorrow! Put dust and ashes on your head! Fast and pray to God for mercy! Though God has pronounced judgment, yet if a man will turn to Him in true repentance, he will find mercy.
As David would later be inspired to write:
Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Dear reader, do not be like the sons of Eli and refuse to hear good counsel. Do not be like Eli and simply nod your head at the pronounced judgment of God against you and your sins. Flee to God for mercy.
As it written:
Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.