1st Samuel 3:3 And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
Eli was once a God-fearing man who was well respected by the children of Israel, because not only was he the high priest, but he was also the judge of Israel. He was a man to whom God spoke directly and as the scriptures show, God answered him when he prayed, for when he learned of Hannah's plight, he affirmed that God will grant her petition to bear a child, and so said so done. Let's read:
1st Samuel 1:9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord. 10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. 17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. 20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord.
However Eli had a problem with the management of his household, a problem that is all too often replicated in our day, for he allowed his sons to commit very heinous wrongs without correcting them, and so the situation reached a point where God had to intervene. The Lord had previously sent warning after warning to Eli to get his house in order, but his faint remonstrances just further fueled the insubordination of his sons, since they were able to detect weakness in his character. He found himself like many parents do, not wanting to correct the evil tendencies of his children, since that may have put them at odds, and rather than fulfill this unpleasant duty, he allowed the evils to take deep root in their characters until their sins became incurable. Let's read:
1st Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. 24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord's people to transgress. 25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.
After many years had elapsed with no reformation or change on the part of Eli and his sons, God was left with no choice but to close the chapter on their experience, and as a result, Eli the former high priest of God, together with his sons will find themselves arising in the second resurrection together with satan, Hitler, and Bin Laden.
In our day, there is a growing tendency to tie the hands of parents from performing their God-given duty of raising their children to be honorable citizens of earth and heaven. Teachers are now afraid to correct rebellious students for fear of being shot, and in some cases parents are actually punished for doing that which is right as it pertains to the instruction and correction of their offspring.
Just recently a teenager brought a lawsuit against her parents because she would not submit to their instructions to refrain from drinking alcohol and coming home in the wee hours of the morning. As parents living in a deteriorating society, it's very important for us to be found faithful in not only manifesting love but also in correcting the sinful propensities of our children, guiding their feet in the ways of righteousness and peace, for this is as much an act of love as is giving lots of hugs and kisses.
We therefore end with a text encouraging fathers and mothers everywhere to be faithful to our parental duties, even though the going might get tough sometimes. The grace of God will guide us with wisdom and discretion so that our children may have the joy of celebrating victory together with us in the earth made new. Let's read:
Deuteronomy 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
May the Lord grant to every one, grace to be faithful in all things. God bless!