Weakness is Wickedness
1 Samuel 2:23-24
And he said to them, Why do you such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.…

It does not often occur to us what shame and guilt belong to mortal vacillation and weakness. Too often a man's weakness is accepted as a sufficient excuse for his sin. Outbursts of evil passion are excused because a man has a passionate nature. Vacillation is condoned, because a man by nature is pliant and indecisive. Inconsiderateness is held to be blameless, because a man is impulsive by natural disposition. That all this is wrong in judgment and false in principle, could not be more sternly taught than in the experience of Eli. Blameless and pure, humble and devout, there is no more beautiful character, in many of its aspects, to be found in Scripture than his; yet how stern the rebuke which is passed upon him, and how terrible the retribution! Plain it is that in God's sight moral weakness is sin. At the Bar of Judgment "I cannot" finds no acceptance as a plea against "You must." To say that you have not the strength, the courage, the resoluteness to do right is a confession which is itself a shameful wrong. It is the plea of a weakling, and weakness in God's sight is wickedness. It is the plea of a coward, and moral cowardice is sin.

(J. Bainton.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.

WEB: He said to them, "Why do you do such things? for I hear of your evil dealings from all this people.

Paternal Leniency
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