A ‘collection of books’ still relevant to us today

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Although many people tend to think of the Bible as being one book, it is in fact a collection of many books.

Those who wrote them were inspired by God and despite that being many hundreds of years ago, they are still all relevant to us today.

The people who appear in them wrestled with many of the same kind of problems that we have to face today. The books deal with the relationship between God and us. They also explore how we should relate to each other - with family relationships in particular featuring prominently.

Some of the Old Testament parents were not as good parents as they might have been, often because they tended to favour one of their children over the others.

Sadly today many problems in families can occur when one child feels that he/she is not treated as well as his/her siblings.

Sometimes also parents can sadly fail to give their children the moral guidance and example that they need. The story of Eli the chief Priest at Shiloh, was a typical example of a less than successful Old Testament parent.

His two sons - who were also priests at the time - cheated on their expenses and said terrible things about God.

Eli should have removed them from office, but he failed to do that. He obviously let them away with too much and as a result they failed to succeed their father, in his important role.

This would have been something that they and Eli would have desperately wanted to have happen.

However Eli did have some success. The chief priest who followed him was Samuel – someone whom Eli had personally taught and mentored and who grew up to become one of God’s most important prophets.