Some would say God plays favorites, because some people seem to be blessed while others encounter one hardship after another. If God loves us all the same, why doesn’t He give everyone the same deal?
Let’s be clear…God does not show favoritism, in the sense that He arbitrarily chooses to be good to some and not to others. (See Acts 10:34, Rom. 2:11, Eph. 6:9, and Col. 3:25.) God loves each person the same (John 3:16) and will work with each person to achieve His best for them. (2 Pet. 3:9) But each person is responsible for their response to God. (James 4:6-8.) Though it’s possible to experience hardship through no fault of our own, quite often the difficulties we experience are not the result of God’s favoritism, but ours! We show favoritism toward ourselves, rather than God, and in so doing, we choose to honor that which is flawed over that which is perfect…giving us flawed results.
This is what’s happening in 1 Samuel chapters 2-3. There you see a distinct contrast between the life and direction of Samuel and the life and direction of Eli’s sons. Samuel is clearly headed for greatness, while Elli’s sons are headed for destruction. But Hophni and Phinehas’ fate is not because God favored Samuel over them. It’s because they favored themselves over God.
God does not promise each person the same path to travel, but He does promise each person the same love, care, and help for their journey. And it’s His desire to see each person arrive at the right destination. God does not play favorites, but we do. The question is, do we favor ourselves or God?