SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2010/08/29: "The Rod Of Discipline"

This page streams the audio-only sermon in downloadable flash format.  It begins playing upon opening this page

Want a download or CD copy?  Read this.

The sermon outline is below.

          The greatest problem that I’ve encountered over 33 years of counseling in the pastoral area is “Bad Parenting.” My challenge as I have approached the damaged person is to, in a sense, “Re-Parent” them. I do this by teaching and role-modeling what a healthy parent does with communication and conflict. I originally wrote this sermon 30 years ago, but never preached it again because of the “Spank/Don’t Spank” conflict.
This conflict occurs in most evangelical circles through a surface-reading of five Old Testament texts.
          In this sermon I demonstrate how to work through and interpret these “Old Covenant” passages. Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well in John Four demonstrates how His way of grace over-rides many of the taboos of Levitical Law. Here is a list of laws He violated:
1) He spoke to a half-caste woman which was forbidden. Doing so made Him unclean and unable to worship in the Temple without a special blessing from the priest.
          a) She was half-Jewish and half-non-Jewish
          b) She was a woman and Jewish males did not talk
                    directly to females that were not family members.
2) She was drawing water at the mid-day which means she was not accepted among the Samaritans, probably because of multiple marriages and divorces, or active prostitution.
3) Jesus gave her His finest theological lesson recorded in scripture on the nature of God. Women were not taught theology or to read in that culture.
4) He forgives her sin and commissions her to preach the Gospel in her region.
          Jesus’ new covenant of love over rides the letter of the law legalism of the Jewish system. Christian parents have a better way of disciplining their children: relationship and love.

Pastor Phil  <><<


August 29, 2010
Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland

Developing healthy offspring and disciples
1 Samuel 3:11-21
“Parenting is character building in a child, one brick at a time. Christian parenting involves constantly applying an unvarying rule of conduct, over and over, until the child displays the conduct unaided.”     Pastor Phil  <><<

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”    Proverbs 22:6   NKJ

“The Rod of Discipline is a consistently applied non-varying rule of expectation for the child’s behavior that produces the expected behavior from the child spontaneously in the future.”                             Pastor Phil  <><<

            A. CORRECTING IS NOT PUNISHING – Proverbs 22:15
             “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; The rod of correction
                 will drive it far from him.”
1. Discipline involves patient, repetitious teaching
                    2. Punishment is inflicting pain to achieve desired behavior
          B. “The Rod” is a Metaphor for Correction
                    1. It’s not a wooden stick used to beat the child – Prov. 29:15
                         “Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with
                               a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver
                               his soul from hell.”
                              a. 132,000 kids are seriously beaten in US yearly
                              b. More than 1,800 die yearly from parental beatings
                    2. If that’s so, what is the Shepherd’s Rod and Staff of Ps. 23?
                              a. David said, “they comfort me?”
b. My father’s correction instrument never comforted me
                    3. Consequences of Biblical sheep beating his sheep with rod
                              a. Abusive shepherd would have no flock
                              b. They’d run from the sound of his voice
                              c. They’d scatter from his presence
          C. Many Biblical scholars interpret the rod as the symbol of Authority
               “The rod and rebuke give wisdom, But a child left to himself brings                              shame to his mother.” Proverbs 23:14,15
                    1. Our children are our flock and we are their shepherds
                    2. Our Rod of Correction / Authority involves several things
                              a. Protection, care, guidance and nurture
                              b. Applied correctly through loving relationship
                              c. The child safely makes it to adulthood


            A. The Eli story occurs during the Period of Judges 1140 to 1100 BC
1. This was during the time of Samuel
                              a. Samuel was a Prophet - 1 Samuel 3:20
                              b. Samuel was a Priest – 1 Samuel 7:9
                              c. Samuel was a Judge – 1 Samuel 7:15-17
                    2. In the Eli Narrative Samuel acts as a Prophet
                    3. Eli is a Hebrew name whose root meaning is a Word Picture
                              a. “The tail of a thick fat sheep”
b. Eli was old, fat, bad eyes, unspiritual, undisciplined
                              c. Eli was a Backslider, refusing to clean his own house
          B. Eli refused to discipline his own sons: Phineas and Hophni
                    1. They are called the “Sons of Belial”(Sons of the Devil)
                    2. They were functioning ministers in the House of the Lord
                              a. Raped women who came for prayer
                              b. Stole sacrificial meat for their own tables
          C. Samuel father, Elkanah and mother, Hannah were childless
                    1. Hannah went to the Lord’s house to pray
                    2. Eli accused her of being drunk
                    3. He was not a spiritual man
                    4. God granted Hannah’s petition and gave her a son, Samuel
          D. On his 4th birthday, Hannah gives Samuel to Eli for temple ministry
                    1. Samuel wakes up hearing the Lord’s voice, “Here am I”
2. Humbling that God uses a little child to speak to Eli
                    3. Samuel gets a message for Eli – v 12
                            "In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken
                             concerning his house, from beginning to end.”
4. It’s a message of impending judgment and death – v. 13
                           "For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the
                            iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile,
                            and he did not restrain them.”
                    5. The wages of sin is death – Romans 6:23
     “Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD.”
          a. “God has no grandsons, only sons” David DuPluise
                    1. You can’t ride to heaven on your father/mother’s salvation
                    2. Each of us must approach God on the final day – Phil. 2:12b
                        “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”
b. Parent’s greatest achievement is leading kid’s to Christ
2. ELI’S SONS WERE GREEDY  - 1 Samuel 2:29b; 2:17
  “(you) make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people.”
  “Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men
    abhorred the offering of the LORD.”


3. ELI’S SONS WERE IMMORIAL – 1 Samuel 2:22
     “. . . they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of
          a. Eli was too busy as a Priest/Judge to restrain his sons
          b. If you lead God’s people you must rule well – 1 Tim. 3:4,5
             “(A bishop’s must be) one who rules his own house well, having his
                 children in submission with all reverence, (for if a man does not know
                how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)”
c. Religious activities are no good if you don’t love wife and kids
          d. What you spend the most time with is what you love
          e. God saw Eli honoring his sons above Himself
          f. Eli’s discipline consisted of worthless tongue lashings – 2:23-25
          g. No Rod of Discipline here – A tongue is no substitute for the Rod
          h. His sons needed serious physical restraint
          i.  They needed to be de-frocked from the priesthood
          j. They needed to sweat for their food
          k. Father’s are accountable to God for their son’s conduct
          a. The Ark of Covenant captured by Philistines
          b. Israel defeated and Eli’s sins slain
          c. Eli falls, breaks his neck and dies
          d. Eli’s Daughter-in-Law dies in childbirth
          e. Name the child “I-cha-bod” “The glory has departed”
f. All of this happened because Eli would not repent – 1 Samuel 15:23
            “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, And stubbornness is as iniquity
                and idolatry.”

1 Samuel 3:11-21
Then the LORD said to Samuel: "Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.
12  "In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.
13  "For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.
14  "And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever."
15  So Samuel lay down until morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision.
16  Then Eli called Samuel and said, "Samuel, my son!" And he answered, "Here I am."
17  And he said, "What is the word that the Lord spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that He said to you."
18  Then Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. And he said, "It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him."
19  So Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.
20  And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the LORD.
21  Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh. For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.


Billy Sunday was a 1920’s evangelist that traveled the world leading people to Christ. He led thousands to accept Christ as Savior. He neglected his own family. Both of his sons died of alcoholism.
At the end of his life his wife held him in her arms before he died. Billy Sunday lamented,
“Ma!” (He called his wife, “Ma!” “I’ve won the world to Christ and my own boys have gone to hell!”