I know it can be hard to be a “PK” (a pastor’s kid, or in this case the priest’s kids), but these boys were something else! Their abuse of their position was totally out of control. Their behavior clearly demonstrated their lack of respect for the Lord and their disregard for their duties as priests.
They were acting like spoiled brats, wouldn’t you agree? We know from our other readings that priests didn’t have their own land or possessions of value. To me, that means they lived frugally, without wealth or the “comforts” of life. I expected that they needed to rely on the other Israelites for their sustenance.
What I liked in our story today was the contrast. Simply hearing Samuel’s name, and picturing his mother making him a special coat each year made me smile. I’m sure Hannah was delighted to be able to stay in contact with her son and watch him grow in favor of the LORD.
How blessed she must have been when she conceived her second child, and then her third, fourth, fifth, and sixth. Hannah had also found favor with God, and Eli’s prayer of blessing was answered over and over again. Yet, Hannah’s first baby, now becoming a young man, would always be her special treasure.
Eli’s sons, on the other hand, were not good role models for Samuel. Thankfully, we don’t hear anything about Samuel being tempted into corruption. “Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the Lord and with the people.”
Eli had his old hands full with the shenanigans of his sons. He pleaded with them. “You must stop, my sons! The reports I hear among the Lord’s people are not good.” My guess is that if they were snubbing God like they were, they certainly weren’t going to be heeding Eli’s request to stop such behavior either.
The better focus, then, is that God was at work in Samuel. The books of 1 and 2 Samuel are books of transition, presumably written sometime after the life of King David and not by Samuel himself. We are bridging the time between the events happening during the period of the judges and the kings. Samuel plays a big role in that because of his godliness.
We need to be careful to be more like young Samuel than the spoiled sons of Eli. Are we ignoring God and taking advantage of our position in life? Or are we devoting our time to prayer and spending time listening to God? Do we need to make any adjustments here?
Let’s pray …
Lord, forgive me for how I have failed and fallen short of your grand desires for my life. Thank you for giving me the grace and mercy I have needed despite some of my rebellion. I now seek to do your will each day to get back on track. Guide me to serve you as you desire. In Jesus’ name. Amen.