Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘Samuel’

Parenting—Eli’s model or Hannah’s?

The parenting styles of Hannah and of Eli, and the resulting character of their sons, are woven together in stark contrast in 1 Samuel 1-3.  Compare their progress reports:

Hannah begged God for a son, promising to give the child back to God for his whole life.  And she did, even though it meant seeing him only once a year.  She honored God above her beloved son.  (Chapter 1)

Eli turned a blind eye to his two sons’ utter disrespect for God and for their duties as priests when they abused the people and the offerings that were brought to God.  In in this way, he honored his sons above the Lord. (2:12-17)

Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD. (2:21)

When Eli’s sons were seducing young women,  he delivered a token lecture that they ignored. (2:22-25)

Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the LORD and with the people.  (2:26)

God warned Eli he was going to kill his two sons because he allowed the abuses to continue, saying “I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me will be cursed.” (2:30)

Meanwhile, the boy Samuel continued serving the LORD under Eli’s supervision.  (3:1)

God woke Samuel up one night with a shocking message of impending punishment on Eli’s family because of their blasphemy and his lack of discipline. (3:2-14)

As Samuel grew up, the LORD was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable. And all Israel knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the LORD. (3:19-20)

…And the two sons of Eli, were killed… (4:11)

The Good Life

I pulled a book off the shelf yesterday—The Good Life, by Chuck Colson who is now just beginning to enjoy the pleasures of life in heaven.  On that same day, our friend Dick Elkins entered the Lord’s presence.  Both of these men are heroes—one very much in the public eye, initially infamous but transformed into a servant of God and of lowly prisoners.  The other served God and lowly tribal people in an obscure corner of the world, translating the Bible into their language and encouraging many (including us) with his joy and pursuit of excellence.

The other day I read 1 Samuel chapter 25 in which two men died:  Samuel was well loved and deeply mourned.  He had served God his whole life.  On the other hand, Nabal’s demise was “good riddance!”  A fool whose life served his selfish interests. 

And I must mention the keen disappointment I experienced recently upon learning the truth about Thomas Kinkade, who apparently veered off the path somewhere along the way.

So who among all these enjoyed “the good life”—life worth living?

And what about me?
 Is my life a wise investment? 
When I’m gone, will people mourn or rejoice, be relieved or disappointed in me?       What part of God’s kingdom am I helping to build?

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