These verses terrify me:
“And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.” 1 Samuel 3:11-13
“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
Eli and Samuel were leaders – priests, prophets, judges. Samuel in particular is heralded as one of Israel’s greatest leaders – he oversaw the transition from a tribal federation to a kingdom during a period of war, laid out the rules for how the kingdom was to be governed, anointed Israel’s first two kings, and then deposed King Saul when he was disobedient.
Yet – and it’s such a big yet – his sons did not follow the ways of God.
Such realities push me to pray more, love more, teach and rebuke and train more… But each must stand before God to give an accounting on his own, without his Momma in the background pleading for him.
Please dear God, continue to call my children to follow after you with all their hearts.