“Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD.”
(1 Samuel 2.12, ESV)
The word here translated as “worthless men” is בְלִיָּעַל (beliyya’al). Other major english translations render it as “wicked men” or “scoundrels.” I’m currently enjoying a “Through the Bible” podcast in the NKJV. Listening this week, I was struck by its translation of this verse:
“Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD.”
We know that corruption is rampant. Here in Kenya, most of the paved road nearest to our house isn’t really paved at all. A mere half an inch (or less) of asphalt on dirt doesn’t last long between the heavy truck traffic and the heavier rains. But there are some folks with nice, big houses that were paid for with funds intended for the roads. Meanwhile in American politics, the two current presidential front-runners both have a long history of benefiting from and fostering corruption.
While it is easy to become frustrated with the corruption that daily has a negative impact on us, this verse clearly reminds me that politics isn’t the answer.
Corruption is simply the symptom. The illness is not knowing Yahweh.