June 3, 2011
SONS OF EVIL
The Birth of Samuel. One day Hannah was praying before the LORD and Eli watched her. He thought she was drunk and told her to put away her wine (1 Samuel 1:14, page 437). Notice here that Eli had no problem confronting Hannah, but neglected his sons Hophni and Phinehas. She replied that she was not drunk, but praying because she was oppressed in spirit and pouring out her soul before the LORD. She spoke out of her great concern and provocation. Eli comforted her: “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him” (1 Samuel 1:17, page 438). As she went away, Hannah’s face lifted. Shortly thereafter, Hannah conceived and gave birth to Samuel, the child of his mother’s prayer and devotion. She named him Samuel “because I have asked him of the LORD” ( 1 Samuel 1:20, page 438).
The Ministry of Samuel. After Hannah weaned Samuel, she and Elkanah went to Shiloh, and offered a bull as sacrifice for the boy (Leviticus 1:5, page 159; Luke 2:22-24, page 1598). She then presented herself and Samuel to Eli and dedicated him to the service and worship of the LORD (1 Samuel 1:28, page 438). Samuel then ministered to the LORD before Eli the priest (1 Samuel 2:11, page 439) and his mother brought him a “little robe” from year to year when she and Elkanah came to offer the yearly sacrifice (1 Samuel 2:19, page 438). The LORD blessed Hannah and she gave birth to three sons and two daughters (1 Samuel 2:21, page 440). Samuel grew before the LORD. In Hannah, God saw a woman who honored Him by keeping her vow and presenting the child to the LORD for His service. She had faith that God would keep His word and that her Son would prosper in His service (1 Samuel 2:1-11, pages 438-439–the Prayer of Hannah).
The Prophecy of Eli. The LORD used Samuel to deliver a message that would tingle the ears of everyone who heard it (1 Samuel 3:11, page 442). But the message was of woe and doom for Eli and his household. Because Eli had failed to rebuke his sons, and participated in their evil, the “iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever” (1 Samuel 2:14, page 439). Eli took this prophecy from the LORD by Samuel with grace: “It is the LORD; let Him do what seems good to Him” (1 Samuel 3:18, page 442). Samuel had been afraid to tell Eli about that first prophecy, but Samuel obeyed Eli’s urging and did not hide the terrible news from him (1 Samuel 3:15-18, page 442). Samuel grew before the LORD, and the LORD was with him and did not let any of his words fail. All Israel knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD, and the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, because the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD (1 Samuel 3:19-21, page 442).
So we learn more about fathers and their role in daily devotions.
● Being a father in Christ means that even if you have a great ministry for Christ, be careful to spend time with your children so they too will walk in the way of the LORD.
● Being a father in Christ means that you will always have a duty to your adult children, and to spend time with them, no matter how busy you are serving Jesus Christ.
● Being a father in Christ means if your children stray from walking in the way of the LORD, then other people will not be looking to them for leadership in the same way they looked to you.
Application for Today
Samuel reminds each of us that serving Christ, even in a powerful ministry, never means that we neglect our duties at home to our families. People will always inspect the lives of your children, and make their own decisions about them. Your life and ministry will not replace the need you have to help your children, all of your life, to walk with God all of their lives. Will you reach out to your children today, and encourage them to walk with God today?