Read 1 Samuel 1
We learn three powerful truths. 1. Hannah prays earnestly. 2. God rewards her vow. God mightily uses Samuel as the first prominent prophet after Moses and the last judge of Israel (I Sam. 3:19-21; 7:15). 3. God requires parents to discipline their children in love as He does us (2:12-17,23-25; 3:12-13).
Samuel and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, grew up together in Shiloh. The two brothers were evil priests. In contrast, Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground (I Sam. 3:19). The Lord confirmed the word of His servant (Is. 44:26) because Samuel did not ignore anything that God had spoken. Samuel was true to his commitment when he said: Speak; for Thy servant heareth (I Sam. 3:10), meaning: "I will be a true spokesman of Your Word." God first spoke to Samuel one night when he was asleep (3:3). Samuel was quick to respond. This means that he didn't put it off until a "more convenient" time or respond in a halfhearted way. He recognized the high honor of serving God.
Consequently, the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the Word of the Lord (3:19,21). God is always looking for more Samuels.
Samuel stood out as a bright light in a time when the Word of the Lord was precious (meaning it was unknown by the majority of the people) (3:1). Indifference to and compromise of the Word of God prevailed among the priests and the people even though the Ark of the Covenant, representing the presence of God, was among them at Shiloh. Joshua had placed it there about 400 years earliers (Josh. 18:1).
The reason the Word of the Lord was not clearly understood then is the same reason it is not today by many who only preach what people want to hear and not the whole Word (Gal. 1:15-16). We cannot understand the Word of God or His will for our lives if we fail to read all the Bible. If we are truly concerned about pleasing the Lord, we will desire to keep His Commandments. Jesus taught that the Old Testament is necessary to fully recognize Him as Savior and Lord in the New Testament. Beginning at Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) and all the prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, etc.), He (Jesus) expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27). Now these things were our examples (I Cor. 10:6). From Genesis to Revelation, the history of the people of God illustrates spiritual truth for Christians today. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable (Matt. 4:4; II Tim. 3:16).
Thought for Today:
Because Thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise Thee (Ps. 63;3).
By Samuel who grew in favor with God and men (I Sam. 2:26). Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52).
1:6 sore without mercy; 1:16 daughter of Belial sinful woman; 2:1 horn strength; is enlarged rejoices greatly; 2:8 the pillars of the earth are the Lord's God alone sustains and upholds the earth; 2:10 His King . . . His Anointed Messiah; this is the first reference to Jesus' coming by the title Messiah; 2:13 in seething being cooked; 2:15 sodden boiled; 2:29 Wherefore kick ye why do you rebel?; 2:31 cut off thine arm break your strength; 3:18 every whit everything.
Pray for our Military worldwide • International Broadcasts sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer• Government Officials: Justice Samuel Alito and Rep. Chris Lee (NY) • Country: Bolivia (8 million) in South America • Major languages: Spanish and Quechua • Religious freedom • 92% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 3% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Do not worry about anything, but pray about everything (Phil. 4:6).
Optional Reading: Acts 2
NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.
Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 4:15