Obedient – and Disobedient – Sons

Old Testament: 1 Samuel 3 & 4

Poetry: Proverbs 3

New Testament: Luke 22

Obedient and disobedient sons! We choose obedient, right?!  Eli had some disobedient sons that most seemed to know about, and God told that to Samuel. That they “made themselves vile and he did not restrain them.” (1 Samuel 3:13) But “Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him.” (3:19) After the Israelites were defeated in battle against the Philistines, they decided to bring the ark of the covenant to battle to save them from their enemies. However, the Israelites were defeated and the ark of the covenant taken away. Eli (98 years old) sat by the gate waiting for news, only to hear the bad report of his two sons dead and the ark captured causing him to fall over backwards breaking his neck and dying. What a tragedy.

It’s still possible to see the ancient site of Shiloh today! They are excavating it. It’s interesting to know that the tabernacle resided here for 369 years (longer than the US has been a country) during the time of the Judges. This is where Hannah would’ve come to pray asking for a child, and where Samuel served, in the hill country of Jerusalem. (The tabernacle was longer in the hill country than in the desert!) In 1978, modern Israelis established a community here of Jews and now has 5,000 residents.  They built a synagogue for their place of worship, resembling the tabernacle which was there for so many years.

Also, interesting in the Proverbs of Solomon he exhorts his son, “Do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands, for length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:1-4) Most people quote the next verses 5 and 6, which are important, but I’ve for so long appreciated the verses prior and following those verses!

Do not be wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones.”  (3:7,8)

My son, do not despise the discipline of the LORD, nor detest His correction; Just as a father the son in whom he delights. Happy is the man who finds wisdom.” (3:11-13)

In the New Testament we can see the ultimate obedience of the Son of God in his time of difficulty in the face of death. “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from me; nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42) Jesus was obedient until death.

-Stephanie Schlegel

Reflection Questions

  1. Are we struggling with any kind of disobedience that needs to be corrected today? It’s good to do a search and see if we need to be corrected and be willing to make that change.
  2. How can we teach the wisdom of Proverbs (and the rest of the Bible) to our children, grandchildren, and the children/youth and even adults of our church community? What happens when we don’t?
  3. What do we learn about the Heavenly Father in our Bible reading today? What do we learn about His Son Jesus?

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