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The Criminal Neglect of a Father

Written by: John Sernaque

Call to Worship

1 Samuel 2: 12

2:12 Now the sons of Eli [were] sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.

Eli’s Criminal Neglect—

The course of Eli—his sinful indulgence as a father, and his criminal neglect as a priest of God—presents a striking and painful contrast to the firmness and self-denial of the faithful Hannah. Eli was acquainted with the divine will. He knew what characters God could accept, and what He would condemn. Yet he suffered his children to grow up with unbridled passions, perverted appetites, and corrupt morals. {2BC 1009.1}

Eli had instructed his children in the law of God, and had given them a good example in his own life; but this was not his whole duty. God required him, both as a father and as a priest, to restrain them from following their own perverse will. This he had failed to do (The Signs of the Times, November 10, 1881). {2BC 1009.2}

Parents are merely stewards of the children God has blessed them with. We are all God’s children. It is the parent’s duty to train up their child in the way they should go, that when they grow old, they would not depart from it. The way is not their way but the way of God. Parents are to keep the children from veering off in their own direction. Training the children is a lifelong discipline that requires love and attention. Just as we establish a relationship with God, establishing a lifelong bond with our children will keep them on the right path that leads to the heavenly kingdom.

Our Father, which art in heaven,

We thank You for blessing us with this day and every day You give us with our families. We thank You for giving us Your breath of life. We pray for Your wisdom and understanding to train our children in the way they should go. Help us to help them stay on the path of righteousness for Your names sake. Help us all to be ready with our lamps trimmed and burning on Your great day to come. Help us to overcome, as You also overcame, that we would sin no more. Save us dear Lord, we pray. We thank You for hearing and answering our prayers, in the name of Christ Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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