Fathers in the Bible: Samuel, the Rebuked Father

Samuel was the son of Hannah and Elkanah and raised by Eli.  He served God his whole life

The name Samuel means heard, asked of God, and appointed by God.

Sadly, Samuel , the great prophet was an equal failure as Eli when it came to fatherhood.

“When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as Israel’s leaders.”  {1 Samuel 8:1}

“ We have reason to think that Samuel gave them their commissions, not because they were his but because, for aught that yet appeared, they were men very fit for the trust; and none so proper to ease the aged judge, and take some of the burden off him, as (caeteris paribus—other things being equal) his own sons, who no doubt were respected for their good father’s sake, and, having such an advantage at setting out, might soon have been great if they had but been good.” {All the Men of the Bible}

“The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. “  {1 Samuel 8:2}  

The name Joel means Jehovah is God and strong willed while Abijah means the Lord is my father.

“But his sons did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.” {1 Samuel 8:3}

Samuel’s sons had not heeded his training.  As with Eli’s sons they were different from him and went against all their father taught them and the ways of the Lord.

“Those that have the most grace themselves cannot give grace to their children. Their relation to so good a man, which otherwise would have been their honour, was really their disgrace”  {All the Men of the Bible}

“So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead[b] us, such as all the other nations have.”  {1 Samuel 8:4}

“ It does not appear that Samuel’s sons were so profane and vicious as Eli’s sons; but, whatever they were in other respects, they were corrupt judges, they turned aside after lucre, after the mammon of unrighteousness.”  {All the Men of the Bible}

Samuel was confronted about his sons, but he was willing to listen to the accusations and do something about it.

“But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord.”    {1 Samuel 8:6}

“It was true that his sons did not walk in his ways; the more was his grief, but they could not say it was his fault: he had not, like Eli, indulged them in their badness, but was ready to receive complaints against them. And, if that had been the thing desired, we may well suppose, upon the making out of the charge of bribery against them he would have superseded their commissions and punished them. But this would not content the elders of Israel; they had another project in their head.”  {All the Men of the Bible}

“And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king.”   {1 Samuel 8:7} 

Samuel became the rebuked father, but he was willing to take it and do something about it.

“Faith was the animating principle of his honored life and labors “  {All the Men of the Bible}

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