TEXT: 1 SAMUEL 3:11-21.
KEY VERSE “For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not” (1 SAMUEL 3:13).

There is an adage that says, “the child that we refuse to build up (train) will end up selling off (squander) the house that we built.” This underscores the significance of training children to prepare them to be responsible adults in future.

This was what Eli failed to do. His children abhorred the offering of the Lord. They forced those who came to Shiloh to offer sacrifice unto God to give them the meat that was meant for the sacrifice and took as much as they wanted. God counted their action as a desecration of His sacrifice. They did all this in the time of their father, the priest. And since Eli failed to take concrete actions to stop them, God held Him accountable for his children’s sins.

The world is full of wayward children today. Youths are active participants in vices like drug addiction, cultism, kidnapping, rape, fraud, armed robbery, etc. Sadly, many parents fail to check their children against these vices. For a just, peaceful, equitable and prosperous society, parents have a greater role to play. They must train up their children in the way of the Lord so that “when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

Men of God in particular must take all necessary steps to train their children in the way of the Lord

so that the name of the Lord will not be reproached through their families. According to Scriptures, the man of God must be one that “ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity” (1 Timothy 3:4). Who is your child? A son of Belial or a son of God?

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY A word is enough for the wise.

BIBLE IN A YEAR: 2 SAMUEL 8-11

MEDITATION

Your children’s sins can take you to hell if …

  1. Danger of negligence
    a. Eli did not commit what many called sin except that he was negligent in training his sons v13.
    b. His “sons made themselves vile” indicating that his sons defiantly refused to do the right and were not excusable. At least Samuel was brought up in the same environment v13.
    c. Eli was judged not just because his children misbehaved but for negligence and refusing to play his part as the father v13.
  2. What training a child entails Proverbs 22:6.
    a. “Train up” and not train down. Training should lift the person to a higher ground spiritually, skillfully, socially etc.
    b. “Train up” cannot exist without an example to follow. You must show the example. Like father (mother) like children.
    c. “Train up a child” indicates that the best time for training is at childhood. Don’t postpone it.
    d. “Train up a child” shows that it is the responsibility of the parents. Others can only compliment.
    e. “…in the way he should go” shows that you must have a picture or goal of what you want the child to be morally, mentally and materially.
    f. “…in the way he should go” indicates the teaching process and content (curricula) must be designed and followed towards the goal. Don’t leave it to formal schools.
    g. “…he will not depart from it” shows that it will bring enduring result if it is done properly and meticulously.
  3. Unforgivable sin is real, so be careful
    a. God said the iniquity of Eli is unforgivable eternally v14.
    b. What made his sins unforgivable? Will God not forgive if he repented?
    a. He was not ignorant of the truth. It was a wilful disobedience v13.
    b. He was warned severally but ignored the divine warnings 2:29-34, 3:18.
    c. He, through his children, despised and polluted the cleansing blood sacrifice that could have cleansed his sins 2:29, 3:14. It is only when you have faith and confidence in the blood that you can receive forgiveness.
    d. He had gotten to the level where the conviction power of the Holy Spirit had permanently departed from him and he could no longer repent 3:18.
    Note Only those who have passed through all the above experiences can sin against the Holy Ghost. Anybody repentant person desiring forgiveness and salvation has not sinned against the Holy Spirit, Hebrews 10: 26-29, John 6:37, Romans 10:13.
    Humbly Ask for forgiveness if you have failed God as a child or a parent
    Ask for wisdom and diligence that will make you an effective trainer
    Passionately present your petitions to God as to the kind divine intervention you want in your family
    Pray for every household in the Church that all the members will know and be committed to the Lord experientially

HYMN Called unto holiness