Week 19

1 Samuel 1:1-14:52

1 Sam 1:8 “Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me-isn’t that better than having ten sons?” I’m sorry but this funny to me!! I’m sure he meant to be comforting/reassuring but really??!! Thought pretty highly of himself, I guess!

Vs 10: “Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.”

Vs 13: “Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he (Eli) thought she had been drinking.” Vs 15: “…I was pouring out my heart to the Lord.” Don’t think of outward appearance when we worship/pray…connect to God! He knows our heart…He sees our need!

Vs 23b: “…and may the Lord help you keep your promise.” (Elkanah to Hannah) He knew it would be hard for Hannah to dedicate Samuel to service in the Tabernacle. I can’t imagine! She had longed for this child for years and now, once he was weaned, she was going to give him up! Oh how hard this had to have been on her mother’s heart!

Vs 28: ” ‘Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.’ And they worshiped the Lord there.” May I do that! Truly give my children to God…they are His!

1 Sam 2:1-10 Hannah’s Prayer

Vs 12: “Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord.” What an awful way to be described! Lord, be with me and my family that none of us could be described that way!

Vs 17a: “So the sin of these young men was very serious in the Lord’s sight…” SIN IS SERIOUS!! Lord, help me to remember that all sin is serious in Your sight.

Vs 21: “And the Lord blessed Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.” First, what a beautiful testimony of God’s goodness…He will give us so much more than we give up to follow Him. Secondly, the final part of this verse..”Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord”…all any mother could want to be said of their child!

1 Sam 2:23b-24 “Why do you keep sinning? You must stop, my sons!” Vs 25b: ” ‘But if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede?’ But Eli’s sons wouldn’t listen…” Vs 26: “meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew…in favor with the Lord.” What  contrast between Eli’s sons and Samuel! And how sad! “But Eli’s sons wouldn’t LISTEN to their father…”

Vs 29b: “…Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me…” I think this was the core of the matter. Apparently Eli had spoiled his sons, Hophni and Phineas. In God’s eyes he had preferred them over Him…DANGEROUS!!! We can be thankful for our children and love them (as seen by Hannah) but they are God’s and should never come before Him and His will for life (also seen in Hannah when she left Samuel at the Temple…as she promised God).

Vs 31b: “All the members of your family will die before their time. None will reach old age.” How heartbreaking! Remember there are always consequences to actions. Think about my children, grandchildren and beyond with each choice!  Vs 32b: “But no member of your family will ever live out their days.” How would you live with the pain/grief/enormity of the reality of that statement??

Vs 33: “The few not cut off from serving at my altar will survive, but only so their eyes can go blind and their hearts break, and their children will die a violent death.” Oh! Can you imagine Eli at this moment?! I would imagine he was on his face, distraught, incapable of a response beyond grief!

1 Sam 3:1 “Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord…” Again, we see a sharp contrast  between Samuel and Eli’s sons. “Meanwhile”

Vs 4-10: the Lord repeatedly calls to Samuel but he is confused and thinks it is Eli calling him. This makes me think of me in some ways. How often has God called to me only for me to run to something/someone else? Samuel’s reasoning was he “did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before” (Vs 7) I think in my case it’s because I don’t LISTEN!! I get so distracted by all he things in life that I fail to really hear God’s call.

1 Sam 4:5-9 The Ark of the Covenant was brought into camp and the Israelites shouted so loud it scared the Philistines. They said, “The gods have come into their camp!…mighty gods of Israel…same gods” The little g and plural gods strike me! The Philistines recognized the power of our God but they didn’t understand it…so they attributed it to many “gods” rather than the one, true God. They were right to fer Him and His power but they didn’t “know” Him…like so many in our world today.

Vs 11: The Ark was captured by the Philistines and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phineas were killed. Just as the Lord had told Samuel…they both died in one day.

1 Sam 6:6 “Don’t be stubborn and rebellious as Pharaoh and the Egyptians were.” The surrounding heathen nations knew what God had done in Egypt, even after all those years.

1 Sam 7:2 “…Israel mourned because it seemed the Lord had abandoned them.” Vs 3: “…If you want to return to the Lord with all your hearts…” Isn’t that the truth? We can feel as if God has abandoned us but we’re the ones that walk away. “If you want to return”…we are the ones that turn away, walk away, abandon…

1 Sam 8:3 “But they were not like their father…” What a statement…this can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on the parent, I guess, right?! Lord, help me to live a life for You that if it was said “they were not like their mother” it wouldn’t be a good thing…but help me to raise them in a way that they would follow You and be a good example for any children they would have. Take control of our generations, Father!

Vs 6-18: the people demand a king from Samuel…he warns them that God would be displeased. God knows (Vs 7) “..for they are rejecting me , not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me…” This isn’t a rejection of human leadership (Samuel’s sons)…at the heart of the matter they are turning away from God yet again.

Vs 19: “But the people refused to LISTEN…” There’s my word again! I’m seeing so many instances where so much pain, tragedy and sorrow came from not listening. Lord, help me to truly LISTEN…to You and the godly influences You’ve placed in my life!

1 Sam 9:21 “Saul replied, ‘But I’m only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?'” God is no respecter of persons…worldly status/riches do not matter to Him.

1 Sam 10:1-8 Samuel anointing Saul and telling him what to do/what will happen…sure wish it was laid out that clear for me sometimes! Vs 6: “At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person.” LOVE THAT…a different person because of the Holy Spirit!

Vs 9: “As Saul turned and started to leave, God gave him a new heart…” Create in me a new heart, Lord! Daily…turn my heart to you and the things of You!

1 Sam 12:19 ” ‘Pray to the Lord your God for us, or we will die!’ they all said to Samuel…” So telling that the people said “your God” and not their own..very sad.

Vs 20-21: “Don’t be afraid,” Samuel reassured them. “You have certainly done wrong, but make sure now that you worship the Lord with all your heart, and don’t turn your back on him. Don’t go back to worshiping worthless idols that cannot help or rescue you-they are totally useless!” So thankful there’s forgiveness for the wrongs of the past but we can’t turn back to it!! This is such a needful reminder for me…all that stuff, the desires, the distractions, they are just “worthless idols”! They can’t help me, strengthen me or better me…they are totally useless in my life!

1 Sam 14:6b “Perhaps the Lord will help us, for nothing can hinder the Lord.” Amen!! Help us, Lord!

Vs 7-23: I’m going through something as a mom right now and this hits me in a unique way. I felt a tug saying “just be her (my daughter) armor bearer”…what?? So I read…and again…and I prayed. Vs 7: “Do what you think is best,” the armor bearer replied. “I’m with you completely, whatever you decide.” I think once our kids are adults we have to be their armor bearers…support them, be there with them, equip them with the tools we can (prayer, Biblical advice..), but know that ultimately they must make their own decisions. My job is to come alongside and prepare her for the fight ahead…whatever that may look like! Vs 12b: “Come on, climb right behind me,” Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “for the Lord will help us defeat them!” Ultimately she is in God’s hands and He is in control! Vs 13: “…and the Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer killed those who came behind them.” The armor bearer cut off those attacks Jonathan may not have seen coming. We, as parents, have years of our own experiences that we can utilize to help make them aware of those attacks they may not see coming! Also, through all of this, Jonathan was an adult and did what he felt led to. Saul, I’m sure, wouldn’t have let him go if he had checked with him first…yet God gave them the victory through Jonathan’s actions. He sees the big picture when I can’t!! Praying that I accept that she must find her own path as an adult and that I will just do my part to be the mom she needs at this stage in life.

Vs 52: “The Israelites fought constantly with the Philistines throughout Saul’s lifetime. So whenever Saul observed a young man who was brave and strong, he drafted him into his army.” This is the fulfilling of Samuel’s warning to the Israelites. He said if they insisted on a king, they would lose their sons to his army.

John 5:1-7:53

Jn 5:17 “But Jesus replied, ‘My Father is always working and so am I.'” AMEN!! YES!!

Vs 39-40: “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life.'” The point of the Scriptures…the point of reading and studying the Bible is to come to Jesus! To be pointed to Him and learn to truly hear Him!

Jn 6:13 The disciples picked up 12 baskets full of leftovers…why? To show them not to doubt? To provide for them going forward? So each of them could be a blessing and provide for others?

Vs 20-21: “Don’t be afraid. I am here!” Then they were eager to let him in the boat, and immediately they arrived at their destination!” Don’t be afraid…if we just allow Jesus into our “boat” we will get where we are meant to go!

Vs 24-25: “So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. They found him on the other side.” They sought after Jesus! Help me to be a seeker, Lord, but for the right reasons. Jesus went on to say they were only following Him because He fed them…help me to not follow You just because I’ve been blessed but to follow You for who You are!

Vs 29: “Jesus told them, ‘This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.'” It all comes down to belief…faith. Just BELIEVE!

Jn 7:13 “But no one had the courage to speak favorably about him in public, for they were afraid of getting in trouble with the Jewish leaders.” Lord, let me never be afraid of talking about You…of praising You…no matter what is going on around me!

Psalms 105:37-109:31

Ps 106:34-36 “Israel failed to destroy the nations in the land, as the Lord had commanded them. Instead, they mingled among the pagans and adopted their evil customs. They worshiped their idols, which led to their downfall.” Problems always arise when we don’t do as God commands. It’s so hard to be “in the world” but not “of the world”. I have to be careful what I allow in my life…it is so easy to just take a little step, and then another…allow a little, then a little more until next thing you know you are completely immersed in evil.

Vs 43: “Again and again he rescued them, but they chose to rebel against him, and they were finally destroyed by their sin.” Oh how many times these verse have been me! How many times has He “rescued” me just to have me turn around and rebel again?! So thankful His unfailing love and mercy kept me from being destroyed!!

Ps 107:2 “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you…” Amen!! What I’m wanting to do with this blog!

Vs 14: “He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; he snapped their chains.” YES!! He’s a chain breaker!

Proverbs 14:28-15:7