1 Samuel 3:11-14

God is supposed to be firm, yet loving, right?  At least that is what I was taught when I attended church, and it’s what most Christians preach.  However, if you read the Bible, God is hardly loving.  There are many verses one can point to show the “love” of God, but for today’s crazy Bible verse, I point you to a few in 1 Samuel.

“And the Lord said to Samuel: ‘See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end.  For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them. Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’’” – 1 Samuel 3:11-14

If God wants to punish Eli’s sons for blaspheming against Him, okay, I suppose that can be defended.  If God wants to punish Eli as the father for not stopping his sons, okay.  That’s harder to defend, but possible.  If God wants to punish Eli’s family FOREVER, well, that’s where the crazy comes in.  Eli’s grandchildren and great grandchildren have NOTHING to do with the sin!  Yet God is punishing them too.

Let’s dig deeper.  If God is real and Eli is real, neither of which I believe, but let’s go with it, then all of us likely have a bit of their blood in our veins, figuratively speaking.  That means God is punishing all of us today for Eli’s sin.  Is that fair?  Should you be punished because of Eli and his sons?  Of course not and this shows the ridiculousness of the God of the Bible.  He’s not a loving God by any means.  He’s a jackass God with absolutely no ability to think critically.

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6 thoughts on “1 Samuel 3:11-14

  1. “all of us likely have a bit of their blood in our veins, figuratively ”

    You point out an illustration and then draw a real life conclusion, that makes your argument false.
    However, because I understand the intent of what you are trying to say, I wanted to address a problem in your main argument–that God is not all loving. Ironically, I thought I could do it by getting past the words we read and looking at the heart of the message in the same way we overlook your figurative language to see the intent.
    I see you have a problem with the term forever in the use of 1 Samuel 3:11-14. Unfortunately, forever is not the implication. God is actually saying “until the end”, which is a finite piece of time of his choosing. Does that mean it will not affect the grandkids, no. It does, however, mean that the punishment is purposeful. And that’s the heart. God was not leashing out uncontrolled wrath, he was carrying out a warned punishment–justly…out of love…loving but firm (ironically?).
    While I am sure this will not change your stance, and I’m also sure you have a pocket full of other Scripture you can call on to provide “evidence” of an unjust God, this one does not apply.
    Would you like to know more?

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    1. Hi Roger. There’s one thing we may agree on here and that is you didn’t change my stance, but then again, you didn’t expect to. Nor would I expect you to change your stance. I don’t think anyone changes there mind from one conversation or reading one thing. It’s a process. If someone read any one post on my blog and decided I changed their mind, I’d be concerned.

      Anyway, that really wasn’t the point of your comment, so let me move on. The Bible is supposed to be the word of God. Some people take it as literal truth (not sure if you do) while others don’t, but still believe in the message. If one is taking the Bible as literal truth, there are far too many contradictions. For every verse showing God’s love, there are other verses, such as these, clearly showing that God’s love is not truly love. Punishing someone forever, including the offspring is not love. That’s a literal interpretation of the words.

      If one isn’t taking a literal interpretation, there is still a problem. One can apologize away all of the bad and contradictions, but that’s one’s own opinion. It’s part of the reason why there are 30,000+ denominations of Christianity. Only one can be right and it’s quite possible none are right, even if there is a God. You can say God doesn’t mean forever in a literal sense, but how do you know? You can point to other Bible verses, but given the contradictions in the Bible, that doesn’t mean anything.

      What I’ve done is look at the direct meaning of the words and these verse state God punishes someone forever. No more, no less. Any God who punishes unborn offspring for the sins of the parent(s) is not a loving God. If I had kids and punished them for some mistake they made, but then also passed that punishment along to their unborn kids, then I am a crappy, unjust, and unloving parent.

      Roger, obviously we disagree here, but you started a conversation that I continued and I’m hoping we can both agree the conversation, whether it ends now or continues was one in which we respect each others thoughts and opinions.

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      1. Respect is the key and I thank you for your candid (and polite) response.
        I’m not convinced the Bible is full of contradictions. I would argue the Bible is full of misunderstandings. Some of those cause strife and conflict which result in denominational splits. However, the heart of the Bible is a love letter from God to us. While I do take the Bible as literal, I don’t assume that every word is literal. By that I mean the Bible is poetic, it uses metaphors, analogies, and dramatic comparisons. It is also full of romance, drama, history, and predictive futuristic imagery. To say every word should be, or is, 100% literal is naive (in my opinion). But I believe we agree on this, and that leaves the question which words are literal and which are not.
        You alluded that you understand the idea of interpreting Scripture with Scripture, and that is an art; it is a process that takes practice and many (maybe all) get it wrong. However, that does not make it all wrong–the idea “don’t throw the baby out with the bath water” comes to mind.
        Yet, there is an element of Truth in the Bible that rings clear through the entirety–the Truth of God’s unfailing love. It begins with the creation of a companion for man (Gen 3) and continues through the prophets and is perfectly demonstrated through the cross.
        I appreciate your open and honest difficulties of biblical translation, it’s not exact but it conveys a deeper message perfectly. I wish all Christians would investigate their faith and find that the Bible is living and active, that God is still speaking, and they don’t throw their hands up in blind faith. But I also hope that atheists and agnostics grow to recognize the complexity of God, that just because He is hard to understand does not mean He is not personal and loving. I’m a small man with a big dream. Thank you for listening 🙂

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    2. If he can never be attoned through sacrifice or offerings than its clear to me his forever went beyond the life of the currently living.

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    3. If he can never be atoned through sacrifice or offerings than its clear to me his forever went beyond the life of the currently living.

      Also lets just say it’s only Eli and his children who are punished. What about when his children grow up and have kids? Wouldn’t punishing them as parents effect the lives of the children? Is it not possible for someone to learn right? Does any blasphemous action deserve a lifetime of damnation?

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      1. I’m not sure I’m following your reasoning…The translation used in this article uses the word “forever” which is ok but it doesn’t gather all the context. The word is ‘kalah’ which means literally “to end”. But to really understand why a “forever” punishment is not the context you are looking for, you must look at the punishment. The punishment was not instant death, nor was it wrath or anger. The sons, who were evil, died in battle. Eli (who was more/less punished for not raising his kids right), still lived to an old age. So what was the punishment, the line of Eli was probably removed from the line of Jesus. Because of the corruption in genealogy, the Son of Man could not come through the line of Eli and that “punishment” would last forever.
        This is why context is so important. There is far more depth to the Bible than God’s wrath. His love, for instance, is considerably more intense!

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