Samuel is now, if we may say, in the twilight of his years in life and as a prophet of the Lord judging Israel. Thus, recognizing this, he calls Israel together and calls for them to witness against him if there is any grievance that is legitimate. (Two great men of God, in the first 12 chapters of this book, had children who did not follow the path of the father.) Samuel calls the nation to witness and in fact they do give witness, but it is not against him, it is with positive regard to his integrity (12:4). Samuel recounts their historical standing and the Lord’s deliverance through the years (12:6-12). Since Israel chose a human king rather than the holy King, Samuel brings to their attention their sin in this action and a warning that if they would continue to have their king they must heed the Lord’s counsel (12:13-25).
Application: The High Priest, Eli, had sons who chose not to follow the example of their father. Unfortunately, the father’s action toward his sons was not at all exemplary (2:29-31). What Samuel may have done with regard to his sons the Holy Spirit does not reveal, but certainly the legacy of his children is, also, not exemplary (8:2-3). When children are brought into the world we rightly consider it a gift from God; God places in our hands a tremendous responsibility in rearing our children in the proper direction. That direction is NOT toward a college education, a loving spouse, and a good Job. All these things are good, but not the primary importance. Parents are to rear their children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Sometime, even when this had been done, the children depart from the way of the parents. Heartache is beyond measure, but be sure, however, that if the children had been properly reared they know the way home.
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