The Importance of Discipline

“I have warned him that judgment is coming upon his family forever, because his sons are blaspheming God and he hasn’t disciplined them” (1 Samuel 3:13).

In 1 Samuel, we read about Eli who served as a priest in the house of the Lord, along with his two sons. “Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord” (1 Samuel 2:12). Eli’s two sons Hophni and Phinehas mistreated the people and the offerings of the Lord. They also slept with women and would not listen to the voice of the their father. As a result of their behaviour, God rejected Eli’s house. “Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house” (1 Samuel 2:31).

God already had a plan for his people, as Hannah gave Samuel to serve as a priest in the temple. Hannah’s perceived misfortune of barrenness, led to God’s answer for his people. Hannah made a vow to God that if he gave her a child, she would give him into the service of the Lord. Once Samuel was weaned, she took him and presented him to God. “Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there” (1 Samuel 1:28). Samuel served the Lord in the temple, at a time when the word of the Lord was rare and there were no frequent visions.

The Lord called Samuel and spoke to him, concerning what would happen next in Isreal. “On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end” (1 Samuel 3:12). Isreal soon engaged in a battle with the Philistines and Eli’s two sons were killed. The ark of the covenant was also captured and the news of this terrified Eli. He fell back from his seat and died. Eli’s daughter-in-law was pregnant and when she heard the news of the death of her husband and father-in-law and about the ark, she went into labour. She also died during childbirth and named her son, “Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel” (1 Samuel 4:21).

Eli and his sons were from the tribe of the Levites, who were chosen to serve God in the temple. Eli’s sons did not reverence God, nor did they have care and respect for the people. These men abused their power and used their spiritual authority to mistreat people. God held Eli responsible because his sons were blasphemous and he failed to discipline them. The concept of discipline is discussed many times in scripture and God is clear that it is important for everyone. This is one of the highest forms of love and the exercise of wisdom. “because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (Proverbs 3:12).


6 thoughts on “The Importance of Discipline

  1. What a wholesome counsel.
    This is where we see how importany it is to discipline our children.
    Unfortunately the discipline process is being fought( through human rights laws) so that we continue to have immoral offspring .
    We have to stand for the future generation

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sums up well how we raise our own children – that they’re under the authority unless/until they become fathers themselves.

    Too many children are trained to be independent. And yet, as God’s children, we’re told to be anything but that.

    God desires us to be dependent upon Him, and He is the only one can actually depend upon.

    Hadn’t spotted those words before about God holding Eli responsible – this makes absolute sense to me.

    Good post

    Andy B

    Liked by 1 person

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