“when Samuel was old” — He was now about fifty-four years of age, having discharged the office of sole judge for twelve years. Unable, from growing infirmities, to prosecute his circuit journeys through the country, he at length confined his magisterial duties to Ramah and its neighborhood (1Sa_7:15), delegating to his sons as his deputies the administration of justice in the southern districts of Palestine, their provincial court being held at Beer-sheba. (JFB)
I Sa 8:1-3 How sad that Samuel's sons were so rotten. He was such a good man.
As judges, they took bribes which perverted their judgment. As judges, the people would come to them to settle disputes and make judgments. i.e. land and property disputes, inheritance issues, money matters, etc.
Remember when Jesus told the story of the unjust judge and the lady that was having problems with her enemy? Lk 18:1-6,
We must always deal fairly and squarely with people.
The sons of Samuel had every advantage:
1. He gave them a good name.
a. Ben Samuel (sons of Samuel)
b. Joel - Jehovah is his God
c. Abiah - Worshiper of Jah
2. He gave them a good example
(Samuel was a judge of Israel, a prophet, a priest. He had anointed Saul, anointed David, the first two kings of Israel)
3. He gave them a good job, judges in Beersheba
But, what are the problems that accompany being PK's? (priests and prophets kids)
1. Dad ministering to everyone else at the expense of his own family.
2. He may have taken out his frustrations concerning flawed people on his own family.
3. He was away from home a lot.
4. Expectations of PKs are high. They tend to live in glass houses, under a microscope. They feel a real pressure to Measure up to the expectations of others, of parents, of their own imaginations.
5. They may have felt entitled, even to wrong things. (Rank Has Privilege)
6. They lived on 2nd hand faith. They probably felt that dad's faith was enough to get them by.
So, we see:
Eli's kids (the priest) -bad
Samuel's kids (the prophet) -bad
God's kids (the King) -???