Then Eli said, “He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.” – 1 Samuel 3:18 (NIV)
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While Hannah and Elkanah quickly fade from the story, albeit with a glorious round of celebration followed by three more sons and two daughters, Eli’s fate is more complex. While he is blessed as young Samuel’s guardian and teacher, Eli’s own two sons are “worthless men” (1 Samuel 2:12, RSV) who swindle people coming to the temple.
When Samuel has a vision that Eli’s sons will die childless, ending the family line, he courageously responds to Eli’s request for the details, drawing Eli’s stoic response, “let him do what is good in his eyes.”
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The Apostle gives Caution to whom he wrote, saying, Ye therefore beloved, seeing ye know these Things, beware lest ye also being led away with the Error of the Wicked, fall from your own Stedfastness. For ’tis threatned by the Lord, That when the righteous Man turneth away from his Righteousness, and commits Iniquity, and dieth in them, for his Iniquity that he hath done he shall die. Wherefore we are exhorted to continue in the Grace of God, and to keep ourselves in the Love of God, because of the Danger that there is of falling from this Grace; for ’tis those that endure to the End that shall be saved. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)