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‘He Restrained Them Not’

Do you think juvenile delinquency is an evil that is peculiar to our day? If so, then you would do well to read your Bible, particularly such passages as are found in the book of First Samuel.

Eli was judge in Israel and a priest of the living God. When he grew old, instead of his children being a source of joy to that religious leader of olden days, they caused him much heartache and grief. After Eli had heard of the almost unimaginable sins which his sons committed—as recorded in First Samuel 2:22—he said unto them, “Why do ye such things? For I hear of your evil dealings by all this people…it is no good report that I hear. Ye make the Lord's people to transgress” (1 Samuel 2:23,24).

What a tragedy! The sons of this “man of God” were a stumblingblock to the Lord's people! However, the sons (though vile and wicked indeed) were not altogether to blame, for we are told in First Samuel 3:13, “For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.” Eli did not “curb” his children. He apparently just let them have their way. Perhaps he had the idea that “boys will be boys.” Yes, but those boys grew up to be men — “vile men”!

This case alone should be enough to convince us parents that placing restrictions upon our children is needful if we expect them to grow up to be useful citizens and individuals whose manner of life will be worthy of “the gospel of Christ.”

Fathers and mothers, think on these things!