If you are like me, it is easy to get caught up in living life and forget about our influence on others. Even those closest to us. In 1 Samuel 1-3, we see a contrast in how to invest in the lives of others. We see this contrast in a woman named Hannah and a prophet named Eli. Hannah struggled for years to have a child, but when she finally did have a baby, she dedicated her child to the Lord. So much so, that she took the child to serve Eli the priest. Several times in these chapters of 1 Samuel, we read where Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. Not only that, we can read where Hannah herself ministered to her son. It surely had to be hard for Hannah to dedicate Samuel in such a way, but she was not only committed to the Lord herself, she wanted her child to be dedicated to the Lord as well.
On the other hand, we see where Eli had sons and the only real description we get about them is that they were wicked men. What was interesting is that we never see where Eli’s sons served with Eli. They were priests, but seemed to be doing their own thing. Eli even had to hear from others what his sons were doing. The results? Samuel served faithfully for his entire life while Eli’s sons had tragic endings to their lives. Eli was so complacent with his own sons that he said when warned about their demise, ““It is the Lord. Let him do what seems good to him” (1 Samuel 3:18). Eli was so complacent with his own sons that he didn’t even ask God to have mercy on them or seek to help them repent and change.
What we all must realize is that it is important that we invest in the next generation and help them serve the Lord. The next generation could be our own children, but they could also simply be others in which we invest and teach to serve the Lord. What we cannot be is complacent. Let’s all be intentional in helping others serve God and help raise a generation who loves him.