Children of Belial
Probably the most devastating thing a Christian parent faces or has faced is seeing one or more of their children follow a path that little resembles their Christian upbringing. If this happens, it immediately creates a deep and prolonged soul-searching as to what went wrong. The Bible says to
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6
So what happened? How were they able to depart from their Biblically-guided training? The answer lies within the free will God gave to every person; a free will that is affected by one’s environment or cultural surroundings. We must first look at the universal condition that permeates every living person ever created.
Starting with Adam & Eve, they were, in a sense, the first children even though they were created with adult bodies and adult maturity levels. Everything was perfect as God taught them day by day. Then there entered another element into their environment with teachings opposite that of God’s. Satan was attempting to influence Adam and Eve to go against the teachings of God. Exercising their free will, they rebelled against God’s teaching and embraced Satan’s teachings, thus becoming the son and daughter of Belial.
Satan used a serpent then, now he uses songs and musicians, actors and movies, schoolmates, teachers, books, Biblically deviant church leaders, the internet, and the list goes on and on. The intent is to use their free will to draw them away from their parental Biblical training to follow that which is un-Biblical, thus becoming sons and daughters of Belial.
In the Old Testament book of I Samuel we see the High Priest Eli, providing Biblical training for Samuel which was most likely the same as for his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. Yet, Hophni and Phinehas followed a different course that was counter to Eli’s Biblical guidance; for which the Bible says this about them: Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. I Samuel 2:12
Here were two top leaders of the religious establishment in Israel, involved in the work of God’s tabernacle. Yet, they were defiling the sacrifices by stealing the best meat and also fornicating with various women who came there to worship; definitely anti-Biblical sons of Belial.
What does Belial mean?
- As a noun: unprofitableness; wickedness.
- As an adjective: worthless; wicked.
- In a collective sense: wicked men.
I’ve listed various characteristics of the children of Belial from the following scriptures:
|Deuteronomy 13:13||I Samuel 10:27||II Samuel 23:6,7|
|Judges 19:22;20:13||I Samuel 25:17,25||I Kings 21:10,13|
|I Samuel 1:16||I Samuel 30:22||II Chronicles 13:7|
|I Samuel 2:12||II Samuel 20:1||II Corinthians 6:15|
- Served other gods which Biblically decent people had not even known.
- Went out from among Biblically decent people.
- Attempt to draw other people to become sons of Belial with them.
- Their twisted way of merriment draws them into evil.
- Tend toward being drunkards or taking recreational drugs.
- Disrespect, dishonor, and disobey their parents.
- Even being in responsible religious positions does not immunize them from being children of Belial.
- They may be religious, but really don’t know the Lord.
- Tend to be obstinate; difficult to speak to concerning their conduct.
- Are full of evil folly.
- Are spiteful and full of vengeance.
- Are rebellious against legitimate authority.
- They are like thorns thrust away because they are so cutting they cannot be taken in hand.
- They are liars, bearing false witness.
- Prone to treason.
- There is no union, harmony, or agreement between those of Belial and with Christ.
- With Christ they are totally unsuitable.
Many reading this have seen their children follow a far different path than their Christian upbringing. For the rest of this writing, if I refer to only sons of Belial, it will always apply to any female child as well.
So where do parents go from here? Are their children doomed to remain sons and daughters of Belial, headed toward Hell and the Lake of Fire?
The parable, usually referred to as the “Prodigal Son” (Luke 15:11-24), can help provide an answer. The focused message is very pointed, concerning God’s grace and how the truly repentant are welcomed by God. Unfortunately, when we apply it to family situations, not expanding the possibilities can lead to disastrous consequences.
If you have a son of Belial who returns home after a time away, where he was rebellious and licentious, you cannot assume he has truly changed. Children, who are still of Belial and guided by Satan, will often return home to do even more damage.
Initially you must assume the best and welcome them back with rejoicing and celebration, as we see with the Prodigal son’s father, but you cannot let down your guard for a moment. The returned child must face a time of probation, where he must earn your trust. You must maintain your Biblical stance like an unmoving pillar. Then, you must diligently try and protect any other children in your family from a son who might still be of Belial.
The High Priest Eli moved toward his son’s way of Belial rather than taking charge and not letting his sons defile the Tabernacle. He actually benefited from his sons’ behavior when they constantly stole the choice meats from the sacrifices. They were the meats that contained the most fat. And Eli, ended up being so obese that he eventually fell off a seat by the wayside and broke his neck (I Samuel 4:18).
God did not fail with Adam & Eve in an ideal environment. Likewise, following God’s way of raising your children, never leads to failure. Each child can surrender to God and embrace their parents’ Biblical upbringing or they can rebel against that upbringing and seek for guidance from those who will feed their lustful self-indulgence. Satan will always provide the training; training in the ways of Belial.
So where does that leave you as a parent with a son of Belial?
You must pray for God’s protection and opening your eyes to the true condition of your son and his influence on the rest of your family. You must pray for his genuine conversion and for God’s mighty works of holy sanctification in his life.
If you firmly maintain a Godly stand and your son returns but fakes his conversion, it will not be long before he leaves once again. Hopefully, your other children will not be damaged by being drawn into his enticing net of Belial.
If the worst occurs, you at least know their true condition. The dishonor and disrespect for their parents is evidence of their lost condition. They could be heavily involved in church activities, but you still know they are lost and damaging tares in that church. The advantage for you is that you know how to pray for them and how important it is to be strong pillars and bright lights that uphold and point to God’s holy word.
And what about your life, as thoughts toward a son of Belial fill you with grief? God is sufficient for all your needs. He will comfort you and provide a life filled with joy and opportunities as you fully give your children into his care. God will give you hope for your children, knowing he does not want any of them to perish but come to true repentance. God never lets up, as he constantly works to turn your children away from Belial, to the truth and salvation through the wondrous work of Jesus Christ.
Here are a couple quotes from John Milton, one from Paridise Lost: Milton on Belial