Relate: These are the men who served, along with their sons. How awesome is that? Even though there are two books of the Bible named after him, the prophet Samuel did not have the opportunity to do this. Yes, he had sons. He even tried to set them up as judges like he was. But the people would have no part of that. As godly as Samuel was, his boys chose not to follow in his footsteps. His mentor, the man who raised him almost as another son, could empathize. Eli was a high priest who truly loved God. Unfortunately, his boys only loved themselves. If Samuel had not been given to him for raising, there would not have been a single godly individual serving at the Tabernacle following Eli’s death.
I have known my share of godly men whose children have chosen not to follow in their footsteps. As if this was not enough torment, I have also known plenty of people who then criticize these leaders and question if their private life is all that it should be. After all, if they were “truly” following after God in their private life would not their children be doing the same? Even Billy Graham had this critique leveled against him during Franklin’s rebel years.
Enough of that. This verse today is a cause for joy. The chronicler is highlighting Heman and his assistants who all served as worship leaders side by side with their sons. Nearly twenty chapters later we will learn that Heman has fourteen sons and they all followed in the footsteps of their father. He-man. I am guessing that as he watched his boys worshipping God with everything they had in them, that is exactly how Heman felt.
React: I was in ninth grade when I first preached in my father’s church. While I personally felt as though I did a terrible job, I can only imagine the pride my dad felt that day. Although I have no children of my own, a part of me bursts with pride when someone I have had the opportunity to serve as a children’s, youth or college pastor goes off to Bible school or tells me they are planning to head overseas to serve God in another country, or… Whatever it is, there are few joys as pure. I can only imagine the joy experienced by families I know where father and son have served side by side.
To those men reading this who have raised up godly children, my hat is off to you. To those with children living in rebellion, my heart and my prayers go out. To those women and mothers reading this, pray for us men. We need it. Fatherhood is highlighted in the Bible as a mirror that helps us better understand Father God. Because of this, I firmly believe this is one of Satan’s greatest areas of attack. To those singles who have dreams to one day get married and raise a family, pray that you will find, and become a man that might help raise up the next generation of God followers.
I thank you for the legacy of a godly father. I thank You for the years and the time I have had with him. Help me to continue following You with the love and the character and the generosity of heart that my dad taught me. If someday I am to have a family of my own, help me to be a father my children would be proud to call dad. Until that day, help me to seek out younger men who do not have the privilege of having a godly father so they can learn what true, God-honoring manhood is all about.