Worthless doesn't mean unlovable, or that we can't spend time with them, or appreciate the actions that they take that benefit others, but at the end of it all, if they don't love and serve God they are really only loving and serving themselves. After all, if you don't love and serve God, who really are you serving??? Eli's sons were a really good BAD example of this.
They didn't love and serve God. They were in a position where they should have. They were priests in the God's temple after all. BUT they were selfish and greedy.. and therefore disrespectful of God and disobedient.
Eli told them "DON"T DO THIS"!
"Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. 24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad. 25 If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?"
Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,'but now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31 Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.
And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.
Interspersed through all the hardship of learning of Eli's sons, and how they were deemed to be worthless as they loved not God, is the story of Samuel and how he was a good lad, a lad interested in the things of God. Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord, Samuel gained favour with God and man. Samuel was not one to be deemed as worthless.
The contrast is huge don't you think?
Samuel... growing up in the Lord.
Eli's sons.... deemed worthless, they did not know the Lord.
One side bound for destruction, the other not.
It's not an easy passage, and I'm still not entirely sure what to think.
But I do think it is worth pondering do you not?
Are those who do not love God, who live only for themselves, should we also deem them as ultimately worthless? People often don't treat the worthless things well (God destroyed the sons of Eli). But God calls us to more than that. We are to love our neighbour, we are to help those in need, we are called to make disciples, so God doesn't want us treating others poorly.
But I suppose it's a good thing to keep in mind... when we seek advice, should it not be from people who are like minded? When we look for help, should it not be from God, and not be from those who in the end will be deemed worthless? I don't know.. my head is trying to wrap itself around this idea and I struggle with it....
it's a hard one to contemplate and work though. What do you think?