1st Book of Samuel Series
(oldest content first)
1 Samuel 1 :1-8 The Lord of Hosts
We are introduced to Elkanah and his family. His wife Hannah is unable to bear children causing her great distress . Yet despite this we will see the Sovereign God at work.
Hannah has been described as a woman of grace
because of the way she dealt with her difficult situation.
We can take comfort from what we read about Hannah's situation by remembering
that "When God gives us problems he also wants us to pray according to his purposes resulting in praise to him"
1 Samuel 1:9-28 - God Answers Hannah's Prayer
John Bunyan is quoted as saying: "In Prayer it is better to have to have a heart without words than words without a heart."
Surely, Hannah was that person - despite what Eli thought of her. God answered her prayer and she gave birth to Samuel whom God used to lead Israel spiritually in the years ahead.
We also see that though Eli lived in a religious house, it was not a godly place - whereas Hannah and Elkanah lived in a home that honoured God.
Hannah, true to her word, presents Samuel to the Lord at Shiloh saying:
"As long as he lives he is lent to the Lord"
From Sorrow To Joy Hannah's Prayer (1 Samuel 2:1-11)
We see in this prayer that instead of feeling sorrow for herself, Hannah turns to praising God for his goodness mercy and sovereignty towards her and humanity at large.
She begins her prayer by praising God acknowledging his Holiness and uniqueness and by the end of her prayer we see how God brings about his blessings and manifests his grace in the midst of sorrow suffering and Human weakness.
The Children Of Eli and Elkanah&Hannah:
Compare and Contrast (1 Sam 2:12-36)
We see the results of Eli's indifferent parenting in the way his sons are behaving in the Temple. But God is not going to let this situation continue for much longer
as he is going to deal severely with Eli and his sons.
But as ever, God is gracious despite what is happening.
He is going to raise up a faithful Priest in Samuel - yet as we read in Hebrews 7:23-25,
the Lord Jesus is the perfect High Priest Prophet and King!
The Ark of God or "God is not our lucky charm"
(1 Sam 4:1-22)
Samuel begins his ministry in Israel, and the Israelites go to war and are severely defeated by the Philistines. They re-group and make the faithful mistake and take the Ark into battle led by Eli's two wicked sons.
However, it leads to the death of Eli and his two sons and the wife of Phinneas as well as the Ark being taken by the Philistines, surely the "Glory has departed from Israel".
The Israelites used the Ark as a type of" lucky charm" to be used to ward off evil and trouble when the need arouse.
Do we ever obligate God in our lives by saying I will do this and that and then you will grant me my wishes and desires?
The Hands of Dagon, The Hand of God (1st Samuel 5)
The last verse in chapter 4 made for sorry reading "The Glory has departed from Israel"
We now see the hand of God at work as the pagan idol Dagon is destroyed before the Ark Of God.
The Ark Of God was a symbol of God's presence among his people. But here among the Phillistines it caused untold hardship so much so that they wanted it gone and sent back to Israel after 7 months in their presence. Because of their spiritual blindness they missed an opportunity to repent and receive a blessing from God instead they they were cursed and experienced the wrath of God.
Who is Able to Stand Before This Holy God (1st Samuel 6)
After 7 months, the Phillistines decided to return the Ark to Israel so that the plagues will stop. To appease the God of Israel the sent golden figures of mice and tumours with the Ark on the cart being drawn by the Cows that had been separated from their calves.
At Beth Shemesh, the people offered a sacrifice in thanksgiving for the safe return of the
Ark but God punished them because they disrespected the Ark.
They then asked the question: "Who can stand before this Holy God?"
God had provided the High Priest, who could offer sacrifices and intercede for them, but first they must repent for their sins and wilful disobedience of God's laws and practices.
Today we as believers we can stand before God because we have a mediator in Christ Jesus who by his death has made us holy because he is holy.
Happy Days Are Here Again with Samuel and without the Ark (1st Samuel 7)
After the the 70 men were struck down at Beth-shemesh, a new home was found for the Ark in the house of Abinidab where it remained for 20 years.
Now Israel must repent and put their trust in God rather than relying on the Ark as some kind of "Lucky Charm". They win a great battle due solely to God's intervention, and so Samuel begins his ministry to his people as Prophet, Priest and Judge.
He called his people to repent and turn away from Idolatry and reminded them that God was their "Stone of Help".