Summary: This was a message that was preached for a baby dedication. It emphasizes the important role of a father not being absent in his responsibility.
The Danger of Cruise Control
1 Samuel 2:12 KJV Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.
I. INTRODUCTION -- CRUISE CONTOL
A. In Cars
-I learned something a few months ago about cruise control that I did not know. I was looking through the owner’s manual of my car and was actually looking for a replacement number for a light bulb. After finding the light bulb replacement number, I started just flipping through the manual.
-It was then that I made this discovery: It is not recommended that cruise control be used when it is raining. The manual indicated that if you are using cruise control while it is raining and you somehow manage to start hydroplaning, the engine speed will continue to accelerate in an attempt to gain traction. During this time, it actually poses a greater danger to the driver and passengers.
-So I decided to check it out on the internet to see if this advice was reliable. While there are some urban legends about cruise control, there were numerous safety warnings that stressed that cruise control not be used in wet or slippery conditions.
-I also discovered that when a car goes into a slide, if the cruise control is engaged, that the car will actually gain 10-15 miles per hour thus heightening the danger of the situation.
-So I have to confess that I have used my cruise control numerous times in wet and rainy conditions but no more. Cruise control can elevate the danger associated with driving.
-Basically what cruise control does on those long stretches of road is allow the driver to “zone out” and have very little focus required while we are trying to get to our destination.
-Sometimes the “lull” that cruise produces can really hinder our responses and reactions to hazardous conditions.
B. In Families
-I also discovered another startling fact. . . we have “cruise control” in other places besides our vehicles. We perhaps may not recognize it but we can get in a “cruise control” mentality in the whole process of our lives and there is one facet of life that it is more dangerous than all others. . . with our families.
-Consider with me what happens when we put our families on cruise control. . . especially that of a father. When a father puts his family on “cruise”, he doesn’t call it that. . . it goes by another name. . . . un-involvement.
-From the book, It’s Better to Build Boys Than Mend Men, by S. Truett Cathy (Chick-fil-A):
• 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
• 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
• 80% of rapists motivated with displaced angers come from fatherless homes.
• 71% of all high school drop-outs come from fatherless homes.
• 85% of youth in prisons grew up in fatherless homes.
• 75% of all adolescent patients in drug treatment centers come from fatherless homes.
-Children from Fatherless Homes are:
• 5 times more likely to commit suicide.
• 32 times more likely to run away.
• 20 times more likely to have behavioral disorders.
• 14 times more likely to commit rape.
• 9 times more likely to drop out of school.
• 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.
• 9 times more likely to end up in a state-operated institution.
• 20 times more likely to end up in prison.
-These examples are a clarion call to fathers of this generation. We must do so much more than put our families and marriages on “cruise.”
II. ELI AND HIS SONS
-In the early portions of 1st Samuel, we are introduced to a multitude of characters. The stage is literally being set for the arrival of Samuel who will serve as a priest/prophet/judge of Israel. He will be required to guide Israel through the early stages of the monarchy that they had so clamored for.
-As we are introduced to Samuel, there are some minor players on this stage. We find a tired old man with two wild sons. There had been a day though that this old man hadn’t been tired and his two sons hadn’t been wild.
-But some poor choices had left these young men fatherless and now they were living in the throes of a wasted life.
-As one reads the account in 1 Samuel 1-4, there is a noticeable absence of a mother. She is not mentioned and we are left to wonder where she played into the picture.
-Eli steadily shows us a picture of a man’s life in a professional environment, in a personal world, and in a physical condition.
-Scattered throughout these first four chapters, we find a very brief picture of who Eli is: