Eli’s Wicked Sons (1 Samuel 2:12 – 26)

Scripture Text:

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1 Samuel 2:12 – 26

Questions:

1. Growing up, were you the bully or the one bullied? Explain.

2. Which clothes did Mom make for you? Any you still wear?

3. What were Eli’s sons doing wrong?

  • nothing any red-blooded male wouldn’t do given the chance
  • serving out of duty and not love
  • disregarding God’s requirements for worship
  • using their position for sexual exploitation
  • dishonoring their holy calling

4. In contrast, why did Samuel enjoy God’s favor?

  • he was still young and innocent
  • he had better parenting
  • he chose to honor the Lord
  • he has a special calling and relationship with the Lord

5. Leviticus 7:25 states that any who violate God’s offerings should be “cut off from his people”. Why does Eli fail? What might Hannah have done in comparable situation? Explain your answer.

6. Why does Hannah continue to make clothes for Samuel? How does their relationship compare with that between Eli and his sons? How do these relationships affect the children (verses 12, 18, 26)?

7. Eli’s response to his sons (verses 23 – 25) was:

  • right on
  • too little too late
  • the best he could do
  • a mere scolding when they should have been removed from the priesthood

8.  How come Eli’s sons didn’t listen to their father’s rebuke?

  • they were too busy having fun
  • their hearts were hardened
  • God had other plans for them
  • they couldn’t help themselves
  • they had become so wicked their judgment was already determined

9. How do you think Eli coped with the grief his sons caused him? How do you cope with the pain your son or daughter has brought into your life?

10. Though Eli was a religious and political leader for 40 years, he was remembered as a failure at home. What will keep that from happening to you? How capable do you feel of assuming spiritual responsibility in your family?

11. Is your example to children like that of Hannah or that of Eli? How so?

12. How can you prepare your children (or those who look up to you) for a life “ministering before the Lord”? Are you prepared for the costly obedience of Hannah? What would that mean in your situation?

13. How important is it to discipline children today? What does it mean to be a “Hannah” parent? An “Eli” parent?

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