Perhaps the saddest past of this whole sad story, and the most surprising, is that Samuel himself does not seem to have learned this lesson, in spite of all he had heard and seen. When he was old Samuel “made his sons judges over Israel… and his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment” (1 Samuel 8:1-3). Godliness is not inherited, and it is only by constant watchful, prayerful care that we can hope to train up our children in the way they should go.


          But even in this sad story of failure and repeated failure, there is a bright side. Samuel’s eldest son was Joel (1 Samuel 8:1) and he is especially mentioned in connection with the failure of Samuel’s sons. But in 1 Chronicles 6:33, we find that Joel’s eldest son, Heman, held a most honored place as one of the Singers, and in 1 Chronicles 25:1 we find him linked with Asaph and Jeduthun “who should prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals;” and in verse 4 we find fourteen sons of Heman, “all these were the sons of Heman God gave to Heman fourteen sons and three daughters. All these were under the hands of their father for song in the house of the Lord.”  


          Perhaps the words “under the hands of their father”, would tell us that this delightful family of seventeen children, all of whom sang, were together in subjection to their father, very different to the families of Eli and Samuel. How cheering also, is it to find Samuel’s grandson spoken of as “the king’s seer in the words of God”; almost the same position as that of his honored Grandfather.


          And there is another point we must notice: not only did this whole family serve the Lord together, but they worked in harmony with their cousins, the sons of Asaph, and the sons of Jeduthun. How often do we see jealousy and criticism for brethren,-and cousins,-to dwell together in unity.


          How cheering to find Samuel’s grandson and great grandchildren walking this good and pleasant pathway together. What an encouragement to our hearts to count on the Grace of God, not to excuse our failure, but for that Grace to come in when we humble ourselves, and, in His own way, perhaps after a long and weary time of waiting, bring deliverance.


          There is just one word more, the story of Hannah tells us of the great influence that the mother holds in the life of our children. Generally the father is away all day, and sees comparatively little of the children, compared to their mother; and so of necessity her influence is very great. I presume that it is for this reason that in the history of the kinds of Israel and Judah almost always the name of the mother is recorded. She was the one in so many cases who formed the character of her son. Would that all children had such good and wise mothers as Hannah, or as Lemuel’s mother, in Proverbs 31:1.