Skip to main content
1 Samuel 1:21-28; 2:12-17, 22-30; 7:15-17, 8:1-4

Focus On the Family

  • Samuel Wilson
  • Weekend Messages
  • March 17, 2024

  • Sermon Notes

Focus On the Family

1 Samuel 1:21-28; 2:12-17, 22-30; 7:15-17, 8:1-4                                              


Illus. Wanted.


This Sunday is a first of its kind of what we are titling a “Family Sunday.” The heart behind it, is that the generations represented in our church would have the opportunity to worship together. To see the various parts of our family worshipping, and that the generations would lift up the name of the Lord together. One Scripture that has been front of mind in the planning for this day is found in Psalm 145:4.


Psalm 145:4, One generation will praise Your works to another, and will declare Your mighty acts.


As we lifted up praises to our Lord this morning, declaring His mighty acts, the generations were showing something to one another. We had to opportunity to display the way we worship in here each Sunday. And the children were able to show us what it looks like to come before the Lord like a child!

That said, this morning we are going to center our study together in the book of 1 Samuel as we have been doing. However, we are not going to cover any new sections beyond what we have studied the past few weeks, but rather, we are going to turn back to some of the familiar text with a different focus than the first time through, and that is, with a focus on the family.

The family is spoken of and referred to throughout both the Old and New Testament. Family was God’s creation and it still is. The Bible gives the set-up, the instruction, and the foundation upon which family is to be built.


Illus. First comes…


God was the One who put the family together. And it was to Adam and Even that he said, “be fruitful and multiply.” So there was a family unit in mind, a multiplication of the image of God filling the earth and subduing it.

Certainly, the Bible speaks to family, and the function of a family both within that unit and in our greater society. There are prescriptions and descriptions of the function of family. But what we know and see clearly, even in Scripture is, there is no perfect family.

That said, our perfect God has set standards that will help us do well and arrange our families in such a way that we will experience His blessings.


Illus. Examples.


For our study today, we will look back on three different family units, or parents from 1 Samuel so far. And we will place our attention on some of the dynamics in their families, while asking the Lord to give us wisdom and insight as we focus on our families presently.

I decided to make the points that follow into an acrostic of the word “dear,” which is beloved or loved. That said, know that all that is said and suggested will be said and suggested in love. With a focus on the family we will look at your devotion to the Lord, your engagement in instruction, assigning time to show the way, and recognizing that it’s not too late to build God’s ways today.


  1. Decide on Devotion to the Lord


1 Samuel 1:20-28


  • In first Samuel looked in depth at Hannah’s circumstances leading up to the birth of her son, Samuel, a few weeks back.


  • In brief, Hannah was unable to have children and earlier in the chapter she cried out to the Lord. When she did, she told the Lord that if He gave a son to her, she would devote, or give him to the Lord all the days of his life.


  • The Lord then gave her a son, and Hannah kept her vow.


  • She was devoted to the Lord prior to having the child, we see her going to the Lord in prayer, starting there. And upon having the child, she remained devoted to the Lord.


  • In chapter 2 of 1 Samuel, we read a prayer of Hannah. It is filled with thanksgiving to the Lord, her heart rejoices, she knows that the Lord is her rock and there is none like Him, and all things are by through, and to Him.


  • Hannah had decided on devotion to the Lord. Not only personally, but for her family.


  • And it was in the lead in her life and in her family. That is something that is clearly seen in her story.


  • And something that is deeply important as you focus on your family. Who is in the lead?


Psalm 127:1, Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…(NASB 95’)


  • Solomon, who had wisdom and discernment like the world had never seen, wrote this Psalm about the house, referring to the home and family.


  • Psalm 127 includes three aspects I want to point out, first: the Lord, then the house, and then the laborers who build it.


  • I love that it begins with the Lord. Because if you are going to build a smart home, you need to start with a building plan, or a schematic, something that you are going to build it according to.


  • Two times we see the word “build,” unless the Lord “builds,” they labor in vain who “build.”


Psalm 127:1, Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. (NLT)


  • When Solomon wrote “Lord” he used God’s covenant name, Yahweh, the One true God.


  • Unless God, the One true God is building the house, the home, those who build it are building in vain, what they are building is futile.


Matthew 7:24-29, “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and its collapse was great.”


  • Jesus spoke about the wise way, building on His words, and then the foolish way, not building on His words.


  • Both the wise person and the foolish person heard the words, they both built homes, and from the outside, it seems they looked similar, but what was different was the instructions they were built according to, and their foundation became clear when the storm came through.


Illus. In Genesis 6, the Lord gave a man named Noah specific instructions as to the construction of a boat that would save he and his family.


Illus. Dedication.


  • Through her dedication personally and for her family, Hannah was demonstrating dedication to the Lord for Samuel. She had an undeniable influence on him.


Illus. Influence.


Proverbs 14:26, Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for their children it will be a refuge.


Illus. Sacred Parenting.


Illus. Oh no!


  • The letter in our D.E.A.R. acronym is “E.”


  1. Engage in Instruction that Guides Forward


  • In chapter 2 of 1 Samuel, we are introduced to the sons of Eli, the priest in Israel at the time.


  • When we learn about them, we are introduced to them as “useless men” who did not know the Lord.


  • They were priests, who didn’t know the Lord, nor did they honor the Lord.


  • 1 Samuel 2 describes how they took the meat that was to be sacrificed to the Lord for themselves, and if anyone objected they would take it by force. They were sleeping with women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting. From verse 17, we read that their sin was great before the Lord.


  • In verse 22, we read that upon hearing about everything his sons were doing, Eli went to them…


2 Samuel 2:23-25, He said to them, “Why are you doing such things as these, the evil things that I hear from all these people? No, my sons; for the report is not good which I hear the Lord’s people circulating. If one person sins against another, God will mediate for him; but if a person sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father…


  • Eli’s sons disregard their dad. And though dad expresses that what they are doing is not good, it is clear that something is missing. Eli’s attempt at correction comes by way of a question, why are you doing these things? If a person sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?


  • Ultimately, the Lord would intervene, The Word of the Lord came to Eli, and the Lord made it clear that since Eli did not put a stop to it, He was going to put a stop to it, that Eli had honored his sons above God; and in 1 Samuel 2:30, “those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be insignificant.” The Lord makes clear, based on what was going on, Eli’s house would not endure. They were going to be cut off.


  • The Lord would put an end to it, that we see in their story.


  • We don’t see Eli putting an end to the sinful behavior, or intervening in what is happening in the tabernacle. And the Lord puts the responsibility on Eli. He had honored his kids above the Lord and the ways of the Lord.


  • While it would be impossible to know for certain, the question, “when did it start?” is worth considering. When did it start that his sons stopped listening to him?


  • There are many Scriptures that express the importance of training up a child and the need for instruction and discipline.


Proverbs 13:24, Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them. (NIV)


Ephesians 6:4, Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.


Illus. Heart work.

Illus. Parenting Styles.


  • When Paul wrote to bring children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. The word for discipline is paideia this involves correction, education, training, and discipline.


  • The word instruction is nouthesia, which is calling attention to things and counseling them against it.


  • The discipline and instruction is “in the Lord…”


  • It didn’t say, “Just bring them up in training and admonition,” period, but, “Of the Lord.”


  •  It’s a spiritual goal. Lead your children to Christ, disciple your children in Christ, teach them to love Christ.


Hebrews 12:11, For the moment, all discipline seems not to be pleasant, but painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.


Illus. Unpleasant.


Galatians 5:17, 19-25


  • This leads me to our next letter in our D.E.A.R. acronym.


III.    Assign Time to Showing the Way


1 Samuel 8:1-3, Now it came about, when Samuel was old, that he appointed his sons as judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in Beersheba. His sons, however, did not walk in his ways but turned aside after dishonest gain, and they took bribes and perverted justice.


  • Though Samuel was an amazing judge, prophet, and priest, his sons ended up turning away.


  • We looked last week at how they were assigned as judges, but their practices were far from the practices of their father.


  • Like in Eli’s case, it is difficult to know when this took place, or how things might have turned out that way.


  • Some suggest that it was their own fault for turning away in adulthood. But it seems to be that chapter 7 may give us some insights into why things might have gone down that way.


  • I wonder how this couple have been. Samuel grew up seeing the deeds of Eli’s sons the wrong ways they went about things and the tragedy of their story.


  • While we don’t know exactly, it seems that the end of 1 Samuel 7 may give us some indication.


1 Samuel 7:15-17, Now Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life. And he used to go annually on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and he judged Israel in all these places. Then he would make his return to Ramah, because his house was there, and there he also judged Israel; and there he built an altar to the Lord.

  • Samuel had built an altar to the Lord, but it could be that he was not home much. Samuel went on a preaching circuit annually. Throughout the course of a year, he would go to the three cities, comes back home, then back to doing ministry.


  • He seems to split up his time between these places.


  • And his set up, should be a caution to you and me. You see, he had an altar at home, but doesn’t seem to be there much.


  • And when we read that “his sons did not walk in his ways,” it strikes me that perhaps they did not walk in his walk because they had not seen the way he walked.


  • This comes down to time spent.


Illus. Demands.

Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he grows older he will not abandon it.


  • This verse has really been on our hearts lately regarding our own family. It took on more meaning recently when doing a deeper dive into the text.


  • To “train up” as child as written is to “narrow and stimulate their palate” in the way they should go.


  • That is interesting. The picture is of Hebrew midwives, who would rub the palate with of a newborn child with chewed dates or certain oils so that they would nurse.


  • In other words, the newborn is not eating, they need to nurse to live, so the midwives were taking the initiative.


  • Train in the way they should go. There are both objective realities to this, as well as subjective.


  • Objectively, the way they should go is toward “the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” that is Jesus…He is the Way they should certainly be trained up in. The subjective part is discerning, praying for insight from the Lord, and then agreeing with the Lord for what is best.


  • Stimulate their taste for godliness, for the good way to go.


  • And this is not just in what you say, but what you show


Quote: President Abraham Lincoln – There is but one way to train up a child in the way he should go, and that is to travel it yourself.


  1. Recognize It’s Not Too Late

DonateLike this sermon?

If you enjoyed the sermon and would like to financially support our teaching ministry, we thank you in advance for partnering with us in sending forth the word.


We have a service in progress. Would you like to join our live stream? Join The Live Stream No Thanks