Summary: God provides several lessons on fatherhood the show us the how to and the how not to, in being a successful father. In this section we can see: 1)The Standard Ignored 2)Exemplified 3)Failed 4)Held to Account
New research on pregnancy literature for dads being presented at Canada’s largest annual gathering of academics recently noticed that Survival guides for today’s "expectant fathers" are becoming increasingly convoluted.
They tend to be either high-minded tomes exhorting dads to abstain from boozing for nine months, or "manuals" that bemoan the wife’s mood swings.
Contemporary pregnancy lit for men veers away from giving medical advice -- the queasy details are often left for the expectant mother to figure out.
Some handbooks continue to reinforce negative stereotypes of fathers as peripheral. In Pregnancy Sucks for Men, the book encourages expectant fathers to treat their wives "like any other savage creature ready to attack," "frightening hungry beasts" that need to be manipulated with food and house chores done properly.
Fathers have been trying to figure out their roles for thousands of years. From hunters who left women to look after children, to today’s Mr. Moms who take paternity leave while their wives go back to work, their seems to be no end to the approaches and visions of fatherhood.
Eli, the Chief priest and Judge of Israel at Shiloh for about 40 years, had not been an entirely successful father. 1 Samuel 2 recounts the painful neglect that this priest of Israel had in his boys lives and the disastrous consequences for him, his family and the covenant community in Israel.
Today it only takes a flick of a TV remote to see what the vision of fatherhood is. From every commercial it seems to be open season on fathers. They are seen as the only safe fodder for ridicule. Gone is father knows best and today’s Homer Simpson in cartoons, sitcoms or movies is reduced to a bumbling buffoon.
With such portrayals, what is a father to do? What guidance and advice should grandparents provide? How should children respond to their father, and what should they look to him for?
In 1 Samuel 2, God provides several lessons on fatherhood the show us the how to and the how not to, in being a successful father. In this section we can see:
1) 1 Samuel 2:11-17 The Standard Ignored
At this time, the Eleventh Century BC, , Jerusalem did not belong to the Israelites (that would take place under King David, some 80 or 90 years later) and so the Tabernacle was set up at the city of Shiloh in the northern area of Israel. The international powers of the ancient Near East were transformed from a loosely knit tribal confederation into a united monarchy. Israel is without a human king, and the Israelites are unconcerned with honouring their divine King.
1 Sm. 2:11 the picture of what a positive family involvement can do:
Samuel most likely would have been playing upon the cymbals, or other instruments of music; in lighting the lamps, or similar easy and interesting services (JFB).
Matthew 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. (ESV)
-When our offering of time, resources or talents are sacrificial, they will be especially rewarded by God, as reflective in the devotion that Hannah showed in giving her only son to God.
The Priesthood: should have been the instrument for cleansing iniquity of the people, but which, on the contrary, brought down judgment upon them.
The narrative now turns to:
1 Sm 2:12 Eli’s worthless/wicked sons.
Some translations call them: “Sons of Belial” was a Hebrew way of saying base, worthless, or wicked men. In 2 Cor. 6:15, where it is used as a name for Satan. Eli had falsely considered Hannah a wicked woman (1 Samuel 1:16). Eli’s sons were, in fact, wicked men
It could be said of Eli when he jumped to conclusions of Hannah, that this pointed to a character flaw. Instead of finding out relevant information before making a decision, he rushed to judgement and rebuked; a deadly habit in child rearing, where intent is all important.
-Eli’s two sons were doing a noble thing in being priest but did so for poor motives of private gain. If Eli was more concerned with their heart instead of their occupation, he could have prevented problems before they started, done a more effective job of shepherding their hearts and applied a more timely and relevant rebuke and correction.
Proverbs 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
Please turn to Romans 1
Hophni and Phinehas did not know the LORD in the sense that they had not been saved by faith.