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Summary: When God speaks to us about our children we need to look seriously at the charge.

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"What Could You Have Done Differently?"

*This Deals with natural sons/daughters as well as spirtual sons/daughters.

1 Samuel 8:2

Scripture urges parents to raise up their children in the ways of the Lord (for example, Prov. 22:6 say’s , "Train up a child in the way he should go,

And when he is old he will not depart from it." ; Eph. 6:4 say’s," And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord."), even though we may bring them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord it does not make any guarantees that it is how they will turn out. Sometimes parents of the utmost integrity see their children utterly reject God. This was the case for Samuel the Bible say’s in 1 Sam. 8:2–3. That Samuel had two sons who were Judges in Beersheba the eldest son named Joel and his second son Abijah but in verse two it say’s that they didn’t walk in his ways because they turned aside after dishonest gains, they took bribes, and they perverted justice.

Yet their Father was a upright man.The Bible presents Samuel as a man who seemingly followed the Lord right from the womb. When Samuel was a child his mother Hanna made a vow that she would give him to the Lord all the day’s of his, and that no razor would come upon his head.(1:11), (Read also 1 Samuel 1:22; 2:18; 3:19.) By contrast, his sons, like Eli’s sons before them Hophni and Phinehas (2:22–25), turned out to be quite immoral because Hophni and Phinehas did not walk in his ways they turned as well after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice (8:3).

My Question is this, could Samuel have done anything differently? Who can say? But the fact that he installed the young men as judges in Beersheba (8:2) raises the question of whether he was turning his back on his son’s problems rather than facing them squarely. Unfortunately like myself I have done this thinking that by giving someone a second chance that they just might get better however just like some others in ministry I have learned that you need to deal with preachers junk head on before they are appointed because if you don’t all you are going to have is dishonesty, bribery, and perverted justice.

Beersheba was located at the extreme southern end of Israel’s territory (see Gen. 21:31). It may be that in sending his sons there, Samuel was placing them where they could do the least amount of harm. But in the end, their misdeeds caused great harm, as they created an excuse for the elders of Israel to demand a king (1 Sam. 8:4–5). The subsequent selection of Saul was a choice for which God Himself felt sorrow for He would later regret it greatly that He set Saul up as King because Saul turned his back from following God. (15:11)

No one knows how differently things might have turned out had Samuel confronted his sons and, as a last resort, taken them before the elders. But the legacy of his family is a sober challenge to any parent of a wayward young person to face trouble head-on.For example, the writer to the Hebrews describes the fatherly discipline through which God develops His children (Heb. 12:3–13). Readers can learn a great deal about parenting by examining the principles presented and following God’s example.


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