Consider the life of Elkanah. He is described in 1 Samuel 1 as a man who “went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of hosts” (v.3). That’s a staggering fact in light of the rest of the story. We read, “Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.”
Hophni and Phinehas were selfish, corrupt, immoral men with no regard for God (1 Sam. 2:12,22). They wouldn’t listen to correction (v.25), and their actions caused people to despise the offering of the Lord (v.17). But their spiritual failure never became an excuse for Elkanah to stop worshiping the Lord.
There may be times when our spiritual leaders are not what they should be. When leaders fail, whether it’s unintentional sin or open defiance, it’s easy to become discouraged or disillusioned. But it’s a double tragedy if we become cynical and turn away from God because of them.
Elkanah remained faithful because he focused on the Lord, not His representatives. In every situation of poor spiritual leadership, God calls His modern “Elkanahs” to keep their eyes and their hearts centered on Him.
I would not falter nor retire—
For grace to do God's will I ask;
With heart aflame and zeal undimmed,
I would be faithful to my task. —Bosch
Others may prove untrue, but Jesus never fails.