Eli: The Parent’s Eye-Opener -- By: L. O. Lineberger

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 085:338 (Apr 1928)
Article: Eli: The Parent’s Eye-Opener
Author: L. O. Lineberger

Eli: The Parent’s Eye-Opener

L. O. Lineberger

“Now the sons of Eli were base men; they knew not Jehovah” (1 Samuel 2:12 A.S.V.)

“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” (1 Samuel 3:13).

The Bible is a textbook on the science of how to live. Notice I did not say a textbook on science. It is a manual of the spiritual life, THE book of religion. To change the figure, it is a master picture, the tints, shades, lights and colors of which are all skilfully and harmoniously blended to make a masterly portrait of the ideal life. In this incomparable Record, God has caused to be set down an honest and true account of some of the most wretched failures as well as many of the grandest successes there have been in the world.. Yes, the Bible is a work of art, and art hides nothing. The Divine Author-Painter has seen fit to set forth frankly and fearlessly in unmistaken word-colours the character of the men and women whom He has sketched for us. Everything is told: nothing is kept back. There is no toning up to make the picture less repulsive or more beautiful than the facts will allow.

Now God must have had a wise purpose in giving us the ugly as well as the attractive side of the life and character of these men of old. I think I see why He has done this: for, is there not a dark, ugly side to each of us? And how should we deal with this ugly side of our nature if God had not encouraged us, instructed us, and warned us by living examples of shameful failure and shining success on the part of men who were flesh and blood like ourselves?

And so the story of a man like Lot in all his covetousness, shortsightedness and failure is preserved here for us that we might be admonished not to do as Lot did; that we might not risk, as he did, the character, virtue and eternal welfare of our children for wealth, power and

a place in a society, which at best is sinful and of short duration. Poor Lot willingly hazarded all for a place in the Sun. By one single choice, he placed in peril his own manhood, jeopardized the character of his daughters, his home, and the faith of his family—in fact, Lot endangered everything that a father and a husband and a worshipper of God should have held as priceless. He offered up all on the altar of greed for gold, and lost it. He not only lost these best things of life, but, as is usually true, he lost those very things for which he had risked all to secure: he lost his honor, his position of power and influenc...

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