SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 2 (EGW)


Chapter 2

11. Faith's Triumph Over Natural Affection—As soon as the little one was old enough to be separated from its mother, she fulfilled her solemn vow. She loved her child with all the devotion of a mother's heart; day by day her affections entwined about him more closely as she watched his expanding powers, and listened to the childish prattle; he was her only son, the especial gift of heaven; but she had received him as a treasure consecrated to God, and she would not withhold from the Giver His own. Faith strengthened the mother's heart, and she yielded not to the pleadings of natural affection (The Signs of the Times, October 27, 1881). 2BC 1008.7

Mother's Decisive Power in Her Home—Would that every mother could realize how great are her duties and her responsibilities, and how great will be the reward of faithfulness. The mother's daily influence upon her children is preparing them for everlasting life or eternal death. She exercises in her home a power more decisive than the minister in the desk, or even the king upon his throne (The Signs of the Times, November 3, 1881). 2BC 1008.8

12. Eli's Criminal Neglect—The course of Eli—his sinful indulgence as a father, and his criminal neglect as a priest of God—presents a striking and painful contrast to the firmness and self-denial of the faithful Hannah. Eli was acquainted with the divine will. He knew what characters God could accept, and what He would condemn. Yet he suffered his children to grow up with unbridled passions, perverted appetites, and corrupt morals. 2BC 1009.1

Eli had instructed his children in the law of God, and had given them a good example in his own life; but this was not his whole duty. God required him, both as a father and as a priest, to restrain them from following their own perverse will. This he had failed to do (The Signs of the Times, November 10, 1881). 2BC 1009.2

Warning to Parents Following Eli's Example—If parents who are following Eli's example of neglect could see the result of the education they are giving their children, they would feel that the curse which fell on Eli would assuredly fall on them. The sin of rebellion against parental authority, lies at the very foundation of the misery and crime in the world today (The Signs of the Times, November 10, 1881). 2BC 1009.3

Many Youth Becoming Infidels—By precept and example, let the young be taught reverence for God and for His Word. Many of our youth are becoming infidels at heart, because of the lack of devotion in their parents (The Signs of the Times, November 24, 1881). 2BC 1009.4

Parents and Soul Winning—Christian parents, if you desire to work for the Lord, begin with your little ones at home. If you manifest tact and wisdom and the fear of God in the management of your children, you may be intrusted with greater responsibilities. True Christian effort will begin at home, and go out from the center to embrace wider fields. A soul saved in your own family circle or in your own neighborhood, by your patient, painstaking labor, will bring as much honor to the name of Christ, and will shine as brightly in your crown as if you had found that soul in China or India (The Signs of the Times, November 10, 1881). 2BC 1009.5

The Duty of the Minister—All parents should strive to make their families patterns of good works, perfect Christian households. But in a pre-eminent degree is this the duty of those who minister in sacred things, and to whom the people look for instruction and guidance. The ministers of Christ are to be examples to the flock. He who fails to direct wisely his own household, is not qualified to guide the church of God (The Signs of the Times, November 10, 1881). 2BC 1009.6

Ministers and Their Children—But great as are the evils of parental unfaithfulness under any circumstances, they are tenfold greater when they exist in the family of those who stand in Christ's stead, to instruct the people. Ministers of the gospel, who fail to control their own households, are, by their wrong example, misleading many. They sanction the growth of evil, instead of repressing it. Many who consider themselves excellent judges of what other children should be and what they should do, are blind to the defects of their own sons and daughters. Such a lack of divine wisdom in those who profess to teach the Word of God, is working untold evil. It tends to efface from the minds of the people the distinction between right and wrong, purity and vice (The Signs of the Times, November 24, 1881). 2BC 1009.7

(Ch. 3:11-14). Results of Parental Unfaithfulness—The history of Eli is a terrible example of the results of parental unfaithfulness. Through his neglect of duty, his sons became a snare to their fellow men and an offense to God, forfeiting not only the present but the future life. Their evil example destroyed hundreds, and the influence of these hundreds corrupted the morals of thousands. This case should be a warning to all parents. While some err upon the side of undue severity, Eli went to the opposite extreme. He indulged his sons to their ruin. Their faults were overlooked in their childhood, and excused in their days of youth. The commands of the parents were disregarded, and the father did not enforce obedience. The children saw that they could hold the lines of control, and they improved the opportunity. As the sons advanced in years, they lost all respect for their fainthearted father. They went on in sin without restraint. He remonstrated with them, but his words fell unheeded. Gross sins and revolting crimes were daily committed by them, until the Lord Himself visited with judgment the transgressors of His law. 2BC 1009.8

We have seen the result of Eli's mistaken kindness,—death to the indulgent father, ruin and death to his wicked sons, and destruction to thousands in Israel. The Lord Himself decreed that for the sins of Eli's sons no atonement should be made by sacrifice or offering forever. How great, how lamentable, was their fall,—men upon whom rested sacred responsibilities, proscribed, outlawed from mercy, by a just and holy God! 2BC 1010.1

Such is the fearful reaping of the harvest sown when parents neglect their God-given responsibilities,—when they allow Satan to preoccupy the field which they themselves should carefully have sown with precious seed of virtue, truth, and righteousness. If but one parent is neglectful of duty, the result will be seen in the character of the children; if both fail, how great will be their accountability before God! How can they escape the doom of those who destroy their children's souls? (The Review and Herald, August 30, 1881). 2BC 1010.2

12-17. Typical Service the Connecting Link—The typical service was the connecting link between God and Israel. The sacrificial offerings were designed to prefigure the sacrifice of Christ, and thus to preserve in the hearts of the people an unwavering faith in the Redeemer to come. Hence, in order that the Lord might accept their sacrifices, and continue His presence with them, and, on the other hand, that the people might have a correct knowledge of the plan of salvation, and a right understanding of their duty, it was of the utmost importance that holiness of heart and purity of life, reverence for God, and strict obedience to His requirements, should be maintained by all connected with the sanctuary (The Signs of the Times, December 1, 1881). 2BC 1010.3

17. Sins of Priests Caused Some to Offer Own Sacrifices—As the men of Israel witnessed the corrupt course of the priests, they thought it safer for their families not to come up to the appointed place of worship. Many went from Shiloh with their peace disturbed, their indignation aroused, until they at last determined to offer their sacrifices themselves, concluding that this would be fully as acceptable to God, as to sanction in any manner the abominations practiced in the sanctuary (The Signs of the Times, December 1, 1881). 2BC 1010.4

26 (Psalm 71:17). A Place for Consecrated Youth—God gives all an opportunity in this life to develop character. All may fill their appointed place in His great plan. The Lord accepted Samuel from his very childhood, because his heart was pure, and he had reverence for God. He was given to God, a consecrated offering, and the Lord made him, even in his childhood, a channel of light. A life consecrated as was Samuel's is of great value in God's sight. If the youth of today will consecrate themselves as did Samuel, the Lord will accept them and use them in His work. Of their life they may be able to say with the psalmist, “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works” (Manuscript 51, 1900). 2BC 1010.5