The father Eli provided only a verbal rebuke to his two sons (vs. 23-35) and disregarded the laws in Leviticus that prescribed the consequences for such rebellious sons. The LORD asked Eli why he scorned the sacrifice and offering that He had prescribed for His dwelling. "Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering...?"
If I were a parent, I'd probably start pointing my finger at the parental faults of Eli here. However, I am not. And I've told you ladies that I could not and would not speak upon something of which the LORD had not already brought me through, or taught me. So, I'll let you contend with that one for me :)
My heart has been attached to this part of the verse: "choice parts of every offering." The two sons demanded the first part of the offering, the best portion, for themselves. And I ached. I ached for the occasions in which I have demanded, and sometimes even kept by force, the choice part of my offering from the LORD. (Is it really even an offering unto Him at that point? Surely not). I ached for the moments when I deceived myself into thinking that the 'choice' part of the offering God had called forth from my life actually belonged to me. What ownership do I have over anything? None.
The KJV rendering actually poses the question in this form: "Why do you kick at My sacrifice and at My offering..." To 'kick' here means 'to trample down.'
Have I not at some point participated in the same kicking session that Hophni and Phinehas have? Have I not trampled upon the altar of God with my demands to keep what I believed belonged to me?
Have we not clung tightly to the 'best' portion of our offering, pridefully convincing ourselves that what we did offer to Him was enough? Have we not allowed the sin of unbelief to inhibit us from offering our all to Him, believing that if we did, it wouldn't be for our own good?
Even more, as the sons slept with the women outside of the Tent of Meeting, have I not spiritually prostituted myself to another god en route to my sacrifice? The god of self undoubtedly was an idol that kept me from offering my choicest parts. I have done as the father Eli: honoring myself above Him, "fattening myself with the choice parts of the offering".
I am not here to bring a spirit of condemnation against you ladies. I am only claiming that I have worn a Hophni, Phinehas, and Eli name tag during moments of my life, and it has cost me far more than what the 'cost' of the offering would have. And I don't want that for you.
Because you see, when you get the privilege of gaining more of Christ Jesus, the 'cost' of offering the choice part of the sacrifice is really no cost at all. When the Lord asks you to sacrifice something unto Him, He wholly consumes it. (Leviticus 9:24). He knows what your heart has had to lay upon that altar. But do you know the One who consumes it? Do you grasp that anything He has asked you to lay down has been for a greater gain for His glory and your life? Can you comprehend that one of the greatest blessings in the offering is the possibility of 'simply' getting to know and love Him more?
"Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling," the LORD asked Eli. And yet ultimately, the sacrifice and offering of the very indwelling form of God, made man, had to be scorned, kicked, and crucified. Our LORD did not keep for Himself the choice part of the offering - He gave it all: His Firstborn, the One and Only, His Son. "For the joy set before him, He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2)." He knew that a greater joy awaited His obedience to His Father's will. It is the same for you siestas. He Himself is the exceedingly great Reward (Genesis 15:1). Where there is a sacrifice of death to something in your life, there is always resurrection power on the other side.
May we cease kicking at the altar of our hearts with our self-exalting 'sacrifices.' May we identify the lie that if we gave Him the 'choice' part of the offering, we would be left with less. He Himself is the joy set before you. Sweet sister, He is a for you God that is willing to give you all of Himself in place of that which was offered. Grab hold of the nail-scarred hand of your Father. What more could we ask for?