1Samuel 2:17, “Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.18 BUT Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child, …”
It is interesting to note that the scripture takes time to address the behavior of Eli’s sons in bits then changes to addresses the young life of Samuel, then again Eli’s sons before it comes back to Samuel.
Samuel was like a child Eli never had, a child who feared the Lord, received his teachings, a child he did not struggle to raise because God’s hand was on him. What a different child to be proud of, different from Hophni and Pheneas because he was prayed in and prayed through. In serving together in the temple, Eli and Samuel had a relationship more of a father son relationship. A relationship I imagine Eli would have loved to have with his sons and a desire to serve the Lord together with his sons in the temple.
The Lord passed judgment over the house of Eli and Eli somehow accepted what was to come. Just in my wild thinking, what would have happened if he interceded for his sons even in the midst of their rebellion and God’s judgment upon them? Who knows if the Lord would have softened and changed the hearts of his sons? Eli may have given up on them, something parents should never do. In the midst of all rebellion, the prodigal son’s father lost his son to the world but never once did he give up on waiting for him to come back home, constantly watching and waiting patiently. You never know what God can do with fervent, earnest, desperate prayers, for Him to change the hearts of your children. God is faithful to bring back and I am a living witness to this. If only Eli interceded for his sons, who knows how that would have changed their fate, after all Hannah’s closed womb by God was opened by prayers answered through Eli’s prophesy.
I also believe that we as children to our parents today will also influence to some degree how our children will be to us as parents. Parents want to pass the baton to their children and their children to pass it to their children’s children. I want to be all I can be to my parents today as this is also a seed planted for my children to come. And may this flow down from one generation to another. In the bible you hear, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, what a legacy. What my parents started, I want to continue and pass it down to my children. The bible says in Proverbs 17:6, “Children’s children are the crown of old men, And the glory of children is their father”. In Eli’s case, his sons were not in a position to preserve their father’s legacy of serving the Lord for over 40 years for God was going to destroy them and no one was there to intercede.
Do not write off your children yet, God has not written them off yet. You still have something within reach you can use to change the course of their destiny, prayers. My parents prayed me through when I did not know the Lord and did not look like I was going to. They patiently waited for their prodigal son to come home. I thank God they did not write me off like Eli who wrote off his sons and would not intercede for them. They did the best to raise me in the fear and the knowledge of God and left the rest for God. God’s hands were on Samuel all his life, thank God He has His hands on us as children and His hands on our children. You can stand by the gates of hell and redirect the traffic with prayers if you know your children are a target. God is not done with them. Blessings Ev