“When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders. The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.” 1 Samuel 8:1-3.
Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading: 1 Samuel 8-10, and 2 Corinthians 10.
How could someone like Samuel have sons like that?
It surprises us that things would turn out this way because of all the positives regarding Samuel.
But there is no guarantee that the next generation will be as Godly as the previous generation. We never know.
Out task is to be as Godly as we can and pray our brains out for the next generation.
I looked back at the end of 1 Samuel 7 and maybe there’s a clue as to why Samuel’s sons turned out the way they did. “From year to year he (Samuel) went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places.” – 1 Samuel 7:16. Travel was certainly slow in those days and Samuel was probably gone from home much of the time. Even when Samuel was home in Ramah he was busy. Preoccupied parents can lead to trouble. Maybe that is what happened with Samuel?
Another thought (of mine) regards the consequences of the bad reputation of Joel and Abijah. Samuel said that his sons would be the leaders after he was gone. The Israelites, were aware of what Samuel’s two sons were like, and didn’t want them in charge. Instead, they wanted a king in charge. Them wanting a king makes better sense in the context of the distaste they had for Joel and Abijah. Of course, the Israelites could have sought God’s guidance in getting new leadership but the Israelites were apparently as godless as Samuel’s sons were. Bad behavior has consequences.
“Lord, these histories in Your Word provide plenty of food for thought. I need to be the Godliest parent/grandparent I can possibly be. If it means changing things in my life then I must do them. I must continuously seek Your Will so that I get my life’s directions right. O Lord, I need You every second. Help me, Father!”
Dads/Moms, don’t assume that your Godliness is contagious within your family.