Eli's family's doom was prophesied in chapter 3, following earlier details of his sons' poor behavior that Eli did not adequately address, and they were ADULTS. The children were adults, serving (though dishonorably) in the temple of the Lord. Read 1 Samuel chapter 2-3 if you want details about that.
WOW! These chapters are a strong message to parents and adult children alike. Parents better not ignore and make excuses for irresponsible, dishonorable behavior. Period, plain and clear.
Oh I well understand it is not easy. Being the parent of adult children is not easy, and being the adult child is not easy. None of us are perfect, and listening to someone point out where we are wrong or sinful, is not fun. Neither is seeing flaw or weakness or sin in a child or loved one fun.
Still, may we seek to be humble and obedient, and RESPECTFUL of those relationships; God with man, man with God above all, and parent to child, child to parent no matter what the ages. May we handle with prayer and humility.
Chapter 4 of 1 Samuel is the prophesied doom and gloom coming down on the Israelites. The Philistines defeat the Israelites (kill 4,000) v.2, so in v.3 the Israelites get the bright idea to bring the Ark of the Covenant into battle with them thinking it will provide safety and power for their victory.
I suspect that Eli did not agree because later in the chapter we see indication that Eli had been concerned and was looking on anxiously. He could not see well, but he could hear....
v.4 Men went to Shiloh to get the "Ark of the Covenant of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cheruim."
Eli's two sons attended with the Ark of the Lord's covenant. The people rejoiced loudly v.5 and 6, at the reality of having the Ark to take into battle with them, and the loudness that shook the earth scared the Philistines, who still were victorious. 30,000 foot soldiers of Israel were killed, and Eli's sons Hophni and Phinehas too, and the Ark of the Covenant was captured!!
Imagine the disgrace and horror that the Ark of the Covenant of the Almighty, where the Lord is enthroned between the cherubim, has been taken into battle rather than in place of peace and reverence, and it has been taken into battle upon whims of man.
v.12 When a Benjamite went back to Eli and told him the grave news, Eli v.17-18 fell backwards, broke his neck, and died.
v.19-22 Eli's daughter-in-law went into labor. v.20 states that "she was dying." She did name her son Ichabod, saying, "The Glory has departed from Israel."
I don't want to start a family feud, but seems to me that this is an appropriate passage to refer to when/if mother/father has concern before God, about the way his/her adult child is living.
It is my opinion that this responsibility is upon all older generation for how we live before and give counsel to younger generation. We are responsible before God for how we influence others, and God does not look favorably on us SPOILING one another rather than honoring His word, His ways.
Never the less, may we LOVE above all.
Oh dear God the responsibility seems intimidating, difficult and scary. Please, your Holy Spirit live in us and enable us to be loving but also wise and upright before you. May we be a good influence on all people and souls in our lives, especially family and friends.
Please forgive us where we fail You. In Jesus's name we pray, AMEN