July 9, 2018
1 Samuel 8: And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his first born was Joel, and the name of his second, Abiah, they were judges in Beersheba. And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.
Samuel was given to God as a gift and Samuel grew and the LORD was with him, and did let none of His Words fall to the ground, And all Israel knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD ( 1 Samuel 3:19-20). Unfortunately the same mistake that Eli made concerning his children (Hophni and Phinehas) was made by Samuel in raising his children. The sons of Eli were sons of Belial who knew not the LORD. Samuel grew up among them but did he learn any lesson as regards raising his own children in the fear of the LORD. Samuel feared the LORD and walked in the way of the LORD but why did the children turn aside after MONEY and walked contrary to the LORD’s purpose for their lives?
The Bible tells us that Samuel kept a very busy schedule all year round. 1 Samuel 7:15-17 gave us a run down of his schedule-“Each year he traveled around setting up his court first at Bethel, then at Gilgal and then at Mizpah.He judged the people of Israel at each of these places. Then he would return to his home at Ramah, and he would hear cases there too. And Samuel built an altar to the LORD at Ramah”. He never had the time to sit with the children to TEACH them the FEAR of the LORD. Perhaps their mother who was supposed to be a home keeper was either absent or neglected her duty. Nothing was mentioned concerning the mother/wife of Samuel (or Eli too).
On the contrary Hannah was there for Samuel. The Bible says his mother made him a little coat and brought it to him from year to year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice ( 1 Samuel 2:19). Hannah being a godly woman made a lasting impact in the life of Samuel. She respected her vow by giving him (Samuel) to the LORD . Then she comes yearly to see him and make sure he is still on the path of righteousness, warning him of the consequences of ungodly living. Now where was Mrs. Samuel? If she was not on the scene for whatever reasons, then Samuel should have guarded her sons against yielding to the flesh by running after things that will perish.
What lessons can we learn from this? Are we finding time to hang out with our children, and teaching them to honor God in all situations? If we don’t find time to teach them, devil will find work for them. We should not neglect our duty to raise our children for the LORD. While we are on active duty for the LORD, our first priority is our children. Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Do not be too busy with your work, let the children be around you learning from you as you watch them grow. If they make mistakes you correct them. If you make mistakes explain to them that we can learn from it and not repeat it. The LORD will give us the grace to raise our children to fulfill their destinies in Jesus Name. AMEN.