1 Samuel 2:23-25
23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. 24 No, my sons; it is not a good report that I hear spreading among the Lord’s people. 25 If a man sins against another man, God may mediate for him; but if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?”
Here, Eli the priest is admonishing his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, for unlawfully demanding to be given the portion of meat which was to be sacrificed to God. This was against God’s Law, and flew in the face of everything that the Israelites believed–and not only that, these were priest’s sons who were breaking the Law!
Eli is understandably horrified to learn what his sons have been doing. Yet neither of the young men has stopped to think about what they are doing, nor about the ramifications of their deeds. Thus, Eli speaks to them strongly, reminding them that if they sin against God by doing things that God has specifically outlawed, they will have little to no recourse.
To us, the sinful act committed by Eli’s sons might seem silly–why would they keep doing something so obviously wrong? After all, they were priest’s sons and should have known better than anyone not to take the sacrificial meat. But greed likely overtook their better judgment; perhaps they thought that since their father was a priest, they would not get in trouble for taking it.
We, too, can let desire of all sorts cloud our judgment, and we end up sinning without even thinking about it. After all, when we let temporary desires make our decisions, where is there room for prayer and God in our minds? Combine that with the fact that sinning against another person offends God as much as a sin against Himself, and a more complete picture of exactly how dangerous sin is begins to emerge. This is why we have to stay vigilant and truly think out our actions–otherwise, we could end up doing things that neither build nor reflect our faith.