In our reading today, Eli hears of the evil his sons were doing to Israel. Notice the severe consequences that happen because of sinning against God.
“And he said to them,’Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. No, my sons, it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but is someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?’ But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death.” (1 Samuel 2:23-25 ESV)
Then in Acts we see a husband and wife steal and lie and then assume God will still be good to them. It was God’s will that they be punished by death as well.
“But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.’ When Ananais heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, ‘Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.’ And she said, ‘Yes for so much.’ But Peter said to her, ‘How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.’ Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.” (Acts 5:1-11 ESV)
God is very merciful, but He is still just. Sometimes we will get what we deserve. May always be thankful for the times that God’s mercy overflows in our lives and be humbled by remembering that our sins deserve death. Jesus’s death took that punishment for us. May we be forever grateful.