1 Samuel 4

1 Samuel Blog Bible Study

Overview

    The chapter begins with a line that seems better fit to the previous chapter’s end. “And the word of Samuel came to all Israel.” The story is not of something Samuel is saying, it is of the Israelites deciding to go to war with the Philistines and losing badly. When they are shocked by their loss, they bring the ark of the covenant into the battle. They think that by having the ark they will automatically win, although their line of reasoning is that God is letting them lose, so bringing the ark without consulting with God probably won’t bode well. And it doesn’t. They lose, AND the Philistines take the ark. The word that God spoke twice, once through the man of God in chapter 2 and through Samuel in chapter 3 comes true for Eli and his sons. Both of the sons die in the same day, and then Eli, upon hearing the news dies as well. Phinehas, one of Eli’s sons, has a pregnant wife who goes into labor upon hearing the news and as she dies names her child Ichabod which means “gone into exile” saying, “The glory has departed from Israel!” (v. 21b)

Characters

    Samuel, Israel (4,000 men killed on the field of battle and 30,000 fallen foot soldiers, the rest fled), the Philistines, elders of Israel, the Lord, Eli, Hophni, Phinehas, a man of Benjamin, the wife of Phinehas, the women attending to her, and Ichabod.

Key Verse

Verse 3 “And when the troops came to the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, that it may come among us and save us from the power of our enemies.””

Cross References

Joshua 18:1 “Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at Shiloh and set up the tent of meeting there. The land lay subdued before them.”

Conclusion

    Rather than ask the Lord why they were defeated, they ask each other. Rather than ask the Lord what to do, they decide on their own. Rather than believe that it is God who works through and in the ark of the covenant, they think the object is the power.

This is yet another situation easy to think was “those people,” in “that time.” However, we are prone to do this as well. When we are confused, concerned, or have a problem do we go to God first or our friends or even our pastor? God did not set up relationships to supersede Him, but rather to encourage the relationship with Him. My husband may be someone I discuss everything with, but I should be spending time every day going to God. We often continue along the same path by choosing a plan of action amongst ourselves. We can even make this option seem like the holy choice. It could involve church people or doing an event at the church, but that does not automatically make it God’s will. We can also imbue power into items instead of God. This can happen, as I mentioned by holding events at the church. Yes, God’s Presence is there as it was with the Ark, but if we are not in relationship with God and pursuing Him and discerning His Will, we will not receive the blessings that would come through obedience to His Will. We can do this in many ways, Christian novels or bands who have Christians in them can hold weight with us that puts their opinions above God’s and what the Bible actually says. We can find self-help books instead of the Bible and follow them instead of God.

Let us be careful to put God into the entire situation, not just think on Him in passing. I challenge you to reflect on a problem, big or small that you have either recently or are currently handling and turn to God with it.

Dear Lord, I want You to be the Master of my life because I know Your plans are not only good, but are the best. I want to follow You entirely. I know that You love me, and I want to learn to love You more and to hear You more and more clearly speaking into my life.

Recently I was/am struggling with _____________.

I know that I need Your help in coming to a decision and solution. Please help me have patience to wait on Your answer and guidance.

Please help me to see the Biblical and Godly way to move forward and not to take action until You have given me directions.

As I hand this over to You, I pray that you bless the ears, hearts and minds of my friends who I confide in that they may also hear from You and confirm what You tell me to do.

I pray that I do not hold their opinion in higher esteem, or give it more weight, than Yours. I pray that I would not give anything more esteem, honor, and weight than I give to You.

Thank You for being with me always, for loving me no matter what, and for helping me with this.

Amen.

Jesus in the Old Testament

There is a bunny trail I am going to follow to connect a few points across the Old Testament, so this first part will be discussing the sins of Eli and his sons in more depth. Here are the notes from my Bible:

    “The key word “weight” (“honor,” “glory”), introduced in 2:29-30, figures prominently in this section. Eli, after a lifetime of spiritual carelessness, dies under his own weight (4:18).”* I want to also go back to the notes for that section because chapter 2 was so full I did not write some of them that apply to this portion. “Specifically, Eli is charged with honoring his sons above the Lord (2:29). To “honor” someone is to give him “weight,” and it is a fine irony that in the present instance the spiritual infraction has a physical manifestation—both father and sons have put on weight!”* By eating the food brought to be offered in the greedy way that they did, the three of them have gained substantial weight. That was not in God’s original plan for the priests, and here in chapter four it comes to be the death of Eli because he falls and breaks his neck under his own weight (verse 18).

1 Samuel 2:29-30 “Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’ Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel declares: ‘I promised that your house should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”

1 Samuel 2:13-17 “The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw.” And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” He would say, “No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force.””

When we read that line “the custom of the priests” it is easy to just assume that since they are priests and it is what they do it must be right. We tend to place our pastors and priests up on a pedestal, give them more weight than maybe they deserve, or more than we give to God. We often would rather our pastor tell us in church on Sunday than pursue God during the week to find out His will for our lives. But that is why God put the books of Law into the Bible because He wants us to know right from wrong. And in reading this section about what Hophni and Phinehas, and Eli, too since he was eating along with them, are doing God provided what was supposed to happen also:

Leviticus 3:5, 16 “Then Aaron’s sons shall burn [the peace offering] on the altar on top of the burnt offering, which is on the wood of the fire; it is a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the Lord…And the priest shall burn them on the altar as a food offering with a pleasing aroma. All fat is the Lord’s.”

This literally means to burn it, not to cook it a little (or in the case of Hophni and Phinehas, not at all) and then eat it. Let’s repeat the end of verse 16 with emphasis: “All fat is the Lord’s.”

Leviticus 7:23, 25, 31 “”Speak to the people of Israel, saying, You shall eat no fat, of ox or sheep or goat…For every person who eats of the fat of an animal of which a food offering may be made to the Lord shall be cut off from his people…The priest shall burn the fat on the altar, but the breast shall be for Aaron and his sons.”

God wasn’t starving his priests, he had plans for their food in the offerings. From my notes on Leviticus 3:1-17: “Most of the meat of a peace offering was shared between offerer and priest (7:15-21, 31-34). All of the fat, however, was burned as an offering to the Lord (3:3-4). This was because the fat was considered the best part of the meat (to this day, fat is added to food to make it taste better). By giving it to the Lord, the Israelites were acknowledging that he was their sovereign King who was worthy of their honor and praise.”*

    The theme of “weight” continues with the story of Eli’s daughter-in-law, so here are the notes from my Bible on this:

    “And when hearing of the ark’s “capture” by the Philistines causes Eli’s daughter-in-law to give premature birth to a son, she names him “Ichabod” (“no honor/glory/weight”), explaining that the “weighty one” had departed (vv. 21-22). The theme of giving God due weight, which is ultimate weight, continues to build.”*

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 5

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Goals for the Week of April 18th

Successes

As I am reading the book How to Keep a Spiritual Journal by Ron Klug, I have begun journaling every day and have been using a number of the activities in the book. This has unstopped any Writer’s Block and helped my evenings to be much more calming. I spend at least 10 minutes writing every day, and it has already been helping me keep perspective and recognize themes as well as begin several blog posts and even revision my goals.

Davy went the whole week without a wet bed at night. There were a few naps that went long in which we needed to wash the sheets, but he is getting so much better! He also is going by himself a lot of the time now, can get all of his clothes on himself now with limited aid in turning things right side out for him or showing him the direction to step into underwear.

Kyrie has more teeth coming in. She claps, dances, sings, reads to herself, plays by herself and with Davy wonderfully, eats well, and is great at being a baby. When Davy was born he seemed to be racing to be a big kid. Kyrie seems content to be a baby, and we are enjoying her. I am sticking to my plan of taking a picture of her every day “with” Davy.

We filed our taxes! This was a huge success because we have been so swamped and the W2 got mailed to Tucson instead of emailed to us as it had in the past. Again this year we had several changes to make that meant I had to learn new lines to fill out because I do our taxes. But it all got figured out and turned in on time! We even went out to celebrate on Saturday. We got to hang out with our friends who just had the baby. That was awesome and fun. I got to hold baby Zoey and burp her without my daughter getting jealous because Louis took Kyrie. That was very nice! Louis took us to P.F. Chang’s for the Great Wall of Chocolate and Oolong Tea. Yummy! Kyrie ate most of my first piece of cake so I took a second portion, thank you very much!

Discipleship in our home is going well. We have been sharing about God’s values and how to see yourself the way God sees you.

I have been working out again, and it is going quite well. Davy has been doing some with me, and I think that it really is showing my discipline.

I also listened to a sermon this week that Louis assigned me. It was by Adam Cox on the exile in Babylon.

Last Week’s Goals

Bible Lists

I read everything that was a goal for the week plus 4 bonus chapters!

List 1: 2 Peter, 1, 2, & 3 John, Jude, & Revelation 1-9
& Chapter 10

List 2: Acts 22-26

List 3: Finish Jeremiah & Ezekiel 1-4

List 4: Psalm 19-23
–30 & Lamentations 1-2

List 5: 2 Samuel 1-5

List 6: Exodus 33-37

Reading

Read 2 Books.

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. 50%-52% = 2%

How to Keep a Spiritual Journal: A Guide to Journal Keeping for Inner Growth and Personal Discovery by Ron Klug 55%-79% = 24%

Vanilla Beaned by Jenn McKinlay 21%-End = 79%

The Light of the Fireflies 34%-End = 66%

2% + 24% + 79% + 66% = 171% = 1.7 Books read this week.

This Week’s Goals

The past few weeks I have been slowly weeding out the goals I am repeatedly not following through with. This week I am adding back in goals that are routines to be able to rejoice in success.

Davy

Homeschool at Least 3 Days

Play Twister

Kyrie

Start meal planning for her. This week start with 3 meals planned

Take a picture every day of Kyrie “with” Davy

Schedule a blog post of these pictures a day

Marriage & Family

Be a calm and supportive presence for the family when we go to General Security to get our Exit Visa

Visa Trip

Bible Lists

List 1: Finish Revelation & Matthew 1-4

List 2: Finish Acts & Acts 1-2

List 3: Ezekiel 5-8

List 4: Psalm 31-34

List 5: 2 Samuel 6-9

List 6: Finish Exodus & Leviticus 1

Reading

Read 2 Books.

Overcoming Missionary Stress by Marjory F. Foyle 17%

Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo 44%

Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths by Michael Vlach 16%

The History of the Moravian Church by Joseph Edmund Hutton 62%

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. 52%

How to Keep a Spiritual Journal: A Guide to Journal Keeping for Inner Growth and Personal Discovery by Ron Klug 79%

The Gospel of John Volume 2: The Daily Study Bible Series by William Barclay 1%

The Secret Healer 5%

Exercise

3 Strength Days

2 Cardio Days + Visa Trip Walking

4 Ab Days

Every Day

Memverse session

Drink 18 cups (our kitchen cup is kinda small) of water each day (On our visa trip drink about 7 bottles of water each day)

Journal

1 Samuel 3

1 Samuel Blog Bible Study

Overview

    This is a story many people know well, when the Lord calls Samuel. It is interesting to me that Samuel was ministering to the Lord before knowing the Lord, before he had heard from the Lord. He had faith and believed in God, but had not entered into that relationship with Him yet. This is also true in ministry. There are many stages we go through on our way from sinners to saints. Believing in God, honoring Him, and growing in relationship with Him are all parts of that, but may come at different stages.

Louis believed in God long before becoming a believer. He also believed that Jesus had died on the cross, but still did not feel like God was in, or even wanted, a relationship with him. One night, sitting before the rugged wooden cross at Community of Hope, God spoke to Louis and he accepted the relationship.

In our ministry in Lebanon we have many people who come to the center for the services and Bible Studies for a long time before they accept Jesus into their hearts. We have people do ministry and go out to do the distributions of Bibles who may not believe themselves yet. Serving the Lord draws us closer to Him whether we are believers or not. Only God can judge the hearts of people, and we must continually live a life that ministers to the Lord and shares Him with others so that no matter where people are in their journey toward Christ we are helping them toward Christ.

This chapter also continues the judgment on Eli, letting Eli and Samuel know that it is close now. Again God tells Eli through a man of God, now Samuel, that he should have done more to restrain his sons. Also, God is passing the torch on to Samuel by now speaking to him more commonly. At the beginning of the chapter it is explained that the word of the Lord was rarely heard any more in Shiloh, and there were not many visions. The chapter ends with Samuel walking with the Lord and hearing from Him commonly, which lets the region know that Samuel is a prophet of the Lord. In this way also, as the people around us are at different places in their path toward God, those with whom God has a relationship should be evident. We should be reflecting the light of Jesus while not taking for granted that those in church around us are Christian, because they might not yet be. We must stand up for God and draw even our friends and family into the adventure of following and listening to God.

Characters

Samuel, Eli, the Lord, the house of Eli, Israel from Dan to Beersheba

Key Verse

Verses 19 “And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.”

Cross References

1 Samuel 2:21 “Indeed the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the young man Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.”

1 Samuel 9:6 “But he said to him, “Behold, there is a man of God in this city, and he is a man who is held in honor; all that he says comes true. So now let us go there. Perhaps he can tell us the way we should go.”

Conclusion

    God is raising up Samuel as his prophet and will use him in great ways throughout this book. I think there is also something to the way that Samuel responds. He does not yet know the Lord, but Eli does, and Eli discerns that God is speaking to Samuel. Eli is going to be punished for his sins, but he is still a priest of the Lord. There may be spiritual leaders in our lives or countries who we do not approve of their actions. It is God’s job to judge and take care of punishing them. God may still be using them to train up their replacements before their great fall, God knows best. Eli is right in his training of Samuel. Because of Eli’s guiding Samuel is able to enter into relationship with God. None of us are perfect leaders, but God has us leading somewhere in our lives, and we may be just as messed up as Eli, but God can still use us. We also may not have had the best teachers to get us to where we are, but God has used them as well.

Samuel answers that he is listening. Another reminder to listen to God when He calls, and to remember what He says. If God is speaking it is important.

Jesus in the Old Testament

    “Eli’s rejection from office is irrevocable, and he will eventually die under his own unrighteously accrued weight (4:18), yet there are nevertheless hints in the narrative that his spiritual life may have experienced some healing from the God who abundantly pardons (Isa. 55:7). For instance, Eli humbly submits to his rejection (1 Sam. 3:18) and, despite his physical—and formerly spiritual—blindness (4:15), he is described in 4:13 as “watching” and “trembling” for the ark of God. “*

1 Samuel 4:13, 15, 18 “When he arrived, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching, for his heart trembled for the ark of God. And when the man came into the city and told the news, all the city cried out… Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes were set so that he could not see… As soon as he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell over backward from his seat by the side of the gate, and his neck was broken and he died, for the man was old and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.”

Isaiah 55:6-7 “”Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

“Because God’s grace is persistent, even one whose life has been marked by failure can have hope for renewal (cf. Jesus’ words to the thief on the cross; Luke 23:39-43). Our sin can never outstrip God’s grace if we will simply persist in coming to him (Rom. 5:20).”*

Luke 23:39-43 “One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.””

Romans 5:20 “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,”

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 4

To receive this Bible Study in your email CLICK HERE

 

Goals for the Week of April 11, 2016

Successes

There were four days when Davy’s bed was dry this week.

We registered Davy for school this week.

I got to read and Louis was a great help with the kids while I rested many times.

We are learning to keep our Sabbath, and to rest.

We planned our visa trip.

We had many meetings with the interns we have coming this summer.

Davy and Kyrie are adorable. Many cute things were said and done by them this week. If I wasn’t so tired while writing this I would go on and on.

Last Week’s Goals

Bible Lists

List 1: Hebrews 4-10
Finished Hebrews, James, and 1 Peter I gave myself a grace break here because Hebrews is hard to read, so I only gave myself one chapter per night. However, I was able to just push through and read the 4 chapters per night so I had lots of bonus reading done in the New Testament.

List 2: Acts 17-21 23

List 3: Jeremiah 49-51 52 & Ezekiel 1-3

List 4: Ecclesiastes 11-12 & Psalm 18-22

List 5: 1 Samuel 29-End 2 Samuel 4

List 6: Exodus 30-32 36

We all got sort of sick this week, so it was hard to read without fading, especially reading out loud to Davy at night.

Reading

Last week I was able to read through my entire Bible lists, so this week I am going to focus on taking the time Louis and I agreed would be alone time to read. Also, there are still times when I am stressing out unnecessarily, which might be helped if I just bring a book into a known situation of stress. A lot of these books have turned out to be slow going as I process through them., so I am continuing to find the balance for reading through them. The discipline I need to continue to grow in is to stop, relax, and breathe. I need to rest, to take alone time, and to stop worrying, fretting, and stressing.

 

Read 2 Books. It would also be great to finish a book on the list below!

The History of the Moravian Church by Joseph Edmund Hutton 57%-62% = 5%

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. 50% I read a few pages, but not enough to increase the percentage.

How to Keep a Spiritual Journal: A Guide to Journal Keeping for Inner Growth and Personal Discovery by Ron Klug 18%-55% = 37% I picked up momentum on this one, and have begun several blog posts inspired by this book. One of the things it has inspired me to do is keep a journal, or at least notes, on the books I am reading. This will help my reviews become easier to write so that I can hopefully work toward having one ready each week.

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr read to 38%-End = 62% Great book! So glad I read it, and I highly recommend it.

    Began 3 more fiction reads:

Vanilla Beaned by Jenn McKinlay = 21% I LOVE THIS AUTHOR. I was so excited to have this book, but I also know that I could read the whole thing in one day, so I waited to start it until I finished the other fictional story I was reading. Then I read 21% in one sitting, and I had to stop myself, so I started two more books:

The Light of the Fireflies = 34% This book is creepy, but also has a childlike innocence woven into the writing. It was a new Kindle First book, so I got it for free and I am not sure if I am going to like it, but it is gripping thus far.

The Secret Healer=5% This was also a Kindle First book that I got for free. I barely started it, and it is also sad and gripping.

5% + 37% + 62% + 21% + 34% + 5% = 164% = 1.6 books read this week. So much closer to 2 than in the past few weeks! Yay!!!

This Week’s Goals

Bible Lists

List 1: 2 Peter, 1, 2, & 3 John, Jude, & Revelation 1-9

List 2: Acts 22-26

List 3: Finish Jeremiah & Ezekiel 1-4

List 4: Psalm 19-23

List 5: 2 Samuel 1-5

List 6: Exodus 33-37

Reading

Read 2 Books.

Overcoming Missionary Stress by Marjory F. Foyle 17%

Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo 44%

Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths by Michael Vlach 16%

The History of the Moravian Church by Joseph Edmund Hutton 62%

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. 50%

How to Keep a Spiritual Journal: A Guide to Journal Keeping for Inner Growth and Personal Discovery by Ron Klug 55%

The Gospel of John Volume 2: The Daily Study Bible Series by William Barclay 1%

Vanilla Beaned by Jenn McKinlay 21%

The Light of the Fireflies 34%

The Secret Healer 5%

1 Samuel 2:12-36

1 Samuel Blog Bible Study

Overview

The story of Hannah and her son Samuel continues to be told in this second section, and it shows the stark contrast between the priests who do not honor God or even believe in him and Samuel who is worshipping God. Hannah makes Samuel a linen robe each year for and gives it to him when they come to make their sacrifices. Eli blesses Hannah and she has five more children, three boys and two girls. Samuel grows in stature and favor with the Lord and with those who come to make sacrifices.

The second story that we see unfold is that of Eli and his sons. The sons of Eli do not know God and take advantage of their role as priests to get the best meat and to sleep with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. They were taking advantage of the people who came to make offerings to God and also were contemptuous of the offerings, not following God’s commands about the offerings, but instead doing as they pleased. Eli talks to them, but they do not care to listen. So a man of God comes to Eli and tells him that because of the way Eli and his family were showing the Lord how they despised him, they would die. Both of Eli’s sons would die on the same day as a sign that this was all true, and God would raise someone else up to be the priest, and Eli’s family would have to beg for their positions just to eat a bite of bread.

Characters

Hannah, Samuel, Elkanah, Eli’s sons: Hophni and Phinehas, the priest’s servant, the Israelites who came to Shiloh to give offerings, Hannah’s three sons and two daughters, the women serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting, a man of God, and Eli’s family: Aaron’s lineage.

The Key Verse is how the cross references are chosen and then the conclusion is often my summary based on everything above that. So, with so much to unpack here I am going to go through the steps several times instead of listing every cross reference all together for my two key verses.

Key Verse #1

Verse 30 “Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.”

This verse was talked about in my Bible’s introduction to 1 & 2 Samuel as being key to the both books. It provides a framework not just to look at Eli’s life and parenting by, but also for the characters who are coming soon. “For Saul, God does not appear to be a major concern, perhaps not a reality at all. For David, God is his ultimate concern. For David, God is the ultimate reality. And he carries ultimate weight. This is what it means to “honor” God. By the criteria established early in the books—”those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed” (1 Sam. 2:30)—Saul is destined to fall and David to rise.”* This is the same for Eli’s sons, they do not seem to consider God a reality at all. It is sometimes difficult when reading the Bible to determine what it all means to us. Reading about Eli and his sons is an indirect method of teaching from God until the man of God comes and speaks directly into Eli’s life. When we read the verses about the offerings and when we read about Eli’s correction of his sons, we do not necessarily know what is good or bad or wrong or right. But, the man of God comes and states quite clearly that the three of them are despising God with their actions. Eli merely talking to his sons is not enough to correct the sins they were committing. And as we continue to read, these direct truths should be applied to help us understand the discipline of God.

Cross References

Exodus 27:21 “In the tent of meeting, outside the veil that is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute forever to be observed throughout their generations by the people of Israel.”

Exodus 29:9 “and you shall gird Aaron and his sons with sashes and bind caps on them. And the priesthood shall be theirs by a statute forever. Thus you shall ordain Aaron and his sons.”

Jeremiah 18:9-10 “And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it.”

Conclusion

    Eli is of the line of Aaron, and yet he did not follow through with his position to minister to the Lord and guide others into their devotion to God. He does not even guide his own sons in devotion to God. This is an occurrence that happens throughout the Bible, where God is forgotten in several generations because the parents do not train their children in the ways of the Lord and they fall away.

Key Verse #2

Verse 35 “And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.”

Finally, God is telling Eli about the replacement he is going to raise up, and it is a beautiful beginning for the anointings we know are coming soon in the story. Samuel and also David are going to be raised up, and through David’s line Jesus will be the one to intercede for us forever.

Cross References

1 Samuel 2:35

1 Kings 2:27,35 “So Solomon expelled Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, thus fulfilling the word of the Lord that he had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh…The king put Benaiah son of Jehoiada over the army in place of Joab, and the king put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.”

1 Chronicles 29:22 “And they ate and drank before the Lord on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and they anointed him as prince for the Lord, and Zadok as priest.”

1 Samuel 25:28 “Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live.”

1 Kings 11:38 “And if you will listen to all that I command you, and will walk in my ways, and do what is right in my eyes by keeping my statutes and my commandments, as David my servant did, I will be with you and will build you a sure house, as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you.”

2 Samuel 7:11, 27 “from that time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house…For you, O Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have made this revelation to your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.'”

2 Samuel 22:51 “Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.”

Psalm 18:50 “Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.”

Psalm 89:20 “I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him.”

Conclusion

    The completion of God’s Word did not all happen at once. Through the man of God who came to Eli we learn that God is going to remove Eli’s family from the office of priest, and that he will raise up his own anointed. David is anointed by God as king, and then Solomon is anointed by God as king, but ultimately He raises up Jesus as His anointed as king and priest. We see in the 1 Kings reference Zadok, who is a priest in the line of Aaron, and that Solomon’s replacement of priests, many years later, continues to fulfill the Word of the Lord. In conclusion, I believe we must listen to God, trust Him, and follow Him even if all the details aren’t what we thought they would be in a situation. We are blessed to be able to see how throughout the Bible there is a plan, a greater story that is told. We don’t have to wait through the years that the people in the Bible had to wait. God’s promises to people often were not fulfilled in that person’s lifetime. When God told Noah to restart the world it may have seemed impossible, when God told Abraham he would make him a great nation when his wife was barren and they were old, it seemed impossible. But we know the end of the story, so we know that it will all turn out just as God said it would. Now we must have that same faith in our own lives. As we pray and ask God, and hear from God, we must believe that He will handle things far better than we ever could imagine or dream.

Jesus in the Old Testament

    Seeing Hannah and Samuel alongside Eli’s sons is quite the contrast. “Their lot is judgment (v. 25). Eli, too, is judged, for though he rebuked his sons (vv. 22-25) he did not restrain them (3:13)—something he, as high priest, could and should have done. Specifically, Eli is charged with honoring his sons above the Lord (2:29).”*

In the introduction to 1 & 2 Samuel the indirect method with which stories teach lessons was discussed. When we read what happens in a story we cannot always judge the right and the wrong easily. So, we may not have even seen this lack of honor that Eli is giving God. Family is an idol with which it is easy to replace God because it seems like we are doing right taking care of our family. If you have children you have had to deal with choosing if the child gets a treat or not, how you are going to discipline, and what the child will get away with. Spoiling our children does not raise them up to be Godly men and women because it makes them the most important in life, a being that everyone must revolve around. It sets them up for failure. But beyond spoiling our kids, giving them preference to our own Quiet Time, favoring them over God, and thinking of them more than God, these are all ways that they gain honor and God loses honor in your heart. Idolatry is a root issue running in many of us, and this is a great opportunity to pray and ask God what you hold in higher esteem than him. You may be surprised at the answer. Our idols are often not big golden calves like Aaron created. Instead the height we place things above God might be hidden from us.

Dear Lord, I know that my relationship with You is not perfect. I know that there are times I do not turn to You, times when I live in my flesh and even forget You. I want to be in right relationship with You, pursuing You with all my heart. I want You to hold the highest place of honor in my life and in the lives of my family. Please show me where I am spending my time, money, and energy on things that are not of You. Show me what I am placing on the throne instead of You. I love You Lord, and I want to destroy any idols in my life for You to be the one and only Lord of my life. Amen.

    “God’s desire to be honored, or glorified, may on a shallow reading seem vainglorious. But that God should require his creatures to honor him, to give him weight, is no more vainglorious than that the law of gravity requires to be acknowledged. Simply put, God has weight! To neglect this fact is to lose one’s own center of gravity. Giving God the center is at the heart of accepting the gospel. Every line of the prayer Jesus taught his followers to pray manifestly gives weight and centrality to God (Matt. 6:9-13). As our hearts are gripped with the magnitude of what God has done for his people in the gospel of grace, we are compelled to gladly ascribe all honor and glory to God alone.”*

Matthew 6:9-13 “”And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 3

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1 Samuel 2:1-11

1 Samuel Blog Bible Study

Overview

Chapter 2 is a big chapter. It is packed full of so much. My Bible Notes separate the commentary into two sections, verses 1-10 and verses 11-36 because there are two main stories happening alongside one another. It took me two days to do this study as well, so I decided to go along with that recommendation and break it up into pieces so that we can dig into each of these two fascinating, parallel stories.

The first story continues the story of Hannah and her son Samuel. Throughout this chapter we see, and will see in the next section, Samuel growing in his work ministering to the Lord. First, Hannah prays a prayer of praise as well as a display of her understanding of God’s wisdom. She gives God the glory for being in control of everything. Then we see that Samuel worships and ministers to the Lord in the tent of meeting.

Characters

Hannah, Elkanah, Samuel, the Lord, the mighty, the feeble, my enemies, the full, the hungry, the barren, she with many children, the poor, the needy, princes, His faithful ones, the wicked, man, the adversaries of the Lord, His king, His anointed, and Eli

Key Verse

Verse 10 “The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces against them he will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed.”

Cross References

1 Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces against them he will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king
and exalt the power of his anointed.”

Psalm 2:9 “You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

1 Samuel 7:10 “As Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to attack Israel. But the Lord thundered with a mighty sound that day against the Philistines and threw them into confusion, and they were routed before Israel.”

Psalm 18:13 “The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered his voice, hailstones and coals of fire.”

2 Samuel 22:14 “The Lord thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered his voice.”

Psalm 96:10-13 “Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns! Yes, the world is established, it shall never be moved; he will judge the people with equity.” Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.”

Psalm 98:7-9 “Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.”

1 Samuel 2:1 “And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.”

Psalm 89:24 “I have found David, my servant; with my holy oil I have anointed him, so that my hand shall be established with him; my arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not outwit him; the wicked shall not humble him. I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him. My faithfulness and my steadfast love shall be with him, and in my name shall his horn be exalted. I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers. He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.'”

Conclusion

    Wow, just the cross references for that verse have so much to think about. As an American I struggle along with many people with the violence of Scripture. How can this God that in America is mostly focused on for His Love and Mercy, Forgiveness, Grace, etc. break people and destroy them. It makes verses about God’s judgment seem negative to us. But isn’t justice exactly what we pray for and want? We want people to have equality and equity, which is an American value. And the Psalms discussing his judgment in the above cross references share the joy that the whole world can feel because it causes such pain to the whole earth that sin and injustice are everywhere, and that so much bad happens to everyone. We can trust God in both the discipline he gives and in the future that He will judge the earth. We cannot judge the earth for we are flawed and broken and damaged as well. We deserve the worst punishment for our own sins, and yet God forgave us. He anointed us to go forth with His word. We must exalt in the Lord, give him praise, and raise up our joy along with all of Creation that His Will is being done in all the earth. We must have faith in His timing. He created time after all, He can control it and He can ensure that His Word is kept.

This verse stood out to me as a key verse in many ways. All of Hannah’s prayer is full of truth about God, and shares wisdom that I would want my son to grow up knowing about God. This last verse of her prayer introduces the next conflict in 1 Samuel. Eli as a priest was not necessarily perceived by the Israelites or by himself as an adversary of the Lord, but we find out in this chapter that God does see him as an adversary. By not raising up his children in the way they should go, by allowing them to do the despicable things they are doing, and by allowing them to continue being priests while they despise the Lord he is showing himself to be an enemy of God. And God is the one that judges and is in control of all things as Hannah just stated. In addition, we know that there is no monarchy at this time in the Israelites’ history, so Hannah’s comment about God giving strength to his king must be talking about a future king, or about God himself (Jesus!) as king. Also God exalts the power of his anointed. At the end of this chapter (verse 35) we hear that God is going to anoint someone new (I am thinking Samuel), so Hannah’s prayer becomes a prophecy of many things to come.

Jesus in the Old Testament

    Hannah’s prayer brings many things to the surface as far as the “theological tone of the books of Samuel” and also contains many of the characteristics of the prayer of Mary in Luke.*

Luke 1:46-55 “And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

    My Bible Notes share points that both women make: the Lord’s deliverance, uniqueness, holiness, right and ability to abase the proud and exalt the humble, faithful care for those who place their trust in him and judgment on those who don’t, and they both condemn prideful boasting. And, as I mentioned, Hannah’s ending is in anticipation for the kings that we will meet in these two books of Samuel, but the ultimate True King is to be Jesus Christ. (*Paraphrased)

Matthew 1:1 “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”

Luke 1:31-33 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

    “Hannah’s story and her prayer reflect key truths of the gospel. First, God must be at the center! When he is, even life’s greatest battles can become the ground of blessing (Rom. 8:28), for God delights to embrace and encourage his own even in the midst of severe trial (cf. Isa. 40:11).”*

Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Isaiah 40:11 “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”

    “Second, Hannah’s story and her prayer reflect the gospel truth of God’s strange reversal of what the world holds dear and counts significant. God delights to show favor to the weak and the socially marginalized. His power interlocks with human weakness and resists flaunted human strength (2 Cor. 12:9). The supreme example of this principle is the gospel itself—where God delights to accept and approve of those who trust in his Son by faith, rather than those who bring the strength of their own performance to the table.”*

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share with us.

Next Week: 1 Samuel 2:12-36

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Goals for the Week of April 4th, 2016

Successes

Davy went a 3 sleeps in a row without wetting the bed! That is a nap, through the night, and another nap. As I am writing this he is sleeping at night, so perhaps we can make it a longer streak for the coming week!

Often there is a whirlwind of cleaning just before having guests, but this week we had most of the cleaning done two days before the guests. Then we took our Sabbath on Thursday and had guests on Friday. It was actually far calmer and more peaceful than expected!

We are really falling into a rhythm with our roles in life and ministry. We had one hiccup this week in which I was not sure of my place in the work we are doing, but Louis and I were able to come to a resolution that made our lives more peaceful and gave me room to follow Christ. This is what I think the husband’s discipleship of the wife should look like. Another success in this time that could have been a fight was that I felt no guilt. Often when Louis takes things off my plate I feel extremely guilty or left out, but this time I was joyous to focus on the things I knew God was pleased with me to do and to let Louis do the other things.

Learning to listen and receive, which it turns out are hard for me. I only realized that this was a part of my week because of this pause to think of successes. Therefore, this habit of taking the time to pause and reflect on the week and look forward to next week is really a success. This is allowing me to be in my life instead of drowning.

Bible Reading Lists

List 1: John

List 2: Acts 10-13 and 14-16 BONUS!

List 3: Jeremiah 41-44 and 45-48 BONUS!

List 4: Ecclesiastes 6-9 and chapter 10 and Psalms 11-17 BONUS!

List 5: Jonah and 1 Samuel 26-28 BONUS!

List 6: Exodus 25-28 and chapter 29 BONUS!

SUCCESS!!! SUCCESS!!! SUCCESS!!! I read 19 bonus chapters! I definitely think that the focus on discipline has helped me in this area. Louis and I decided together that I needed to start my day reading the Bible before I got out of bed. This was way harder than I thought it would be, so I moved to making coffee and reading while I woke up with coffee, and while I didn’t read through my whole list then each time, that head start helped when I was reading to Davy in the evening. This coming week I am hoping to continue to move into getting my reading done in the morning so that reading with Davy can all be bonus.

Reading

Complete HSP Assignments SUCCESS!!! It felt good to not have to keep this note in the back of my head. I have a folder now with each of the assignments and will be working through them in the coming days and weeks. Each one includes a list which takes several days or weeks to go through. Now that I am started I will be working through this in parallel to reading.

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. 48% – 50% = 2% While this is a low percentage, I was finally able to get the assignments started from the chapter I had read previously and to finish the chapter I was on. So, this was a success to keep moving forward.

How to Keep a Spiritual Journal: A Guide to Journal Keeping for Inner Growth and Personal Discovery by Ron Klug 9% – 18%= 9%

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr read to 38%

2% + 9% + 38% = 49% So, almost ½ of a book. Part of learning discipline for me is to

Blogging

Schedule 4 Blog Posts for The Mommy Book Blog

Book Review: The Magician’s Elephant Posted

1 Samuel  Blog Bible Study scheduled to begin reposting. And I spent a chunk of time each day working on several blog post rough drafts. By trying to get actual posts done I got more done than before when I was trying to put the goal at just organizing. Interesting.

Schedule 1 Post for Lisses to Lebanon

Winterization Posted

This Week’s Goals

Bible Lists

List 1: Hebrews 4-10

List 2: Acts 17-23

List 3: Jeremiah 49-52 & Ezekiel 1-3

List 4: Ecclesiastes 11-12 & Psalm 18-22

List 5: 1 Samuel 29-2 Samuel 4

List 6: Exodus 30-36

Reading

Last week I was able to read through my entire Bible lists, so this week I am going to focus on taking the time Louis and I agreed would be alone time to read. Also, there are still times when I am stressing out unnecessarily, which might be helped if I just bring a book into a known situation of stress. A lot of these books have turned out to be slow going as I process through them., so I am continuing to find the balance for reading through them. The discipline I need to continue to grow in is to stop, relax, and breathe. I need to rest, to take alone time, and to stop worrying, fretting, and stressing.

 

Read 2 Books. It would also be great to finish a book on the list below!

 

Overcoming Missionary Stress by Marjory F. Foyle 17%

Serving as Senders Today: How to Care for Your Missionaries As They Prepare To Go, Are On The Field And Return Home by Neal Pirolo 44%

Dispensationalism: Essential Beliefs and Common Myths by Michael Vlach 16%

The History of the Moravian Church by Joseph Edmund Hutton 57%

The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You by Elaine N. Aron, Ph.D. 50%

How to Keep a Spiritual Journal: A Guide to Journal Keeping for Inner Growth and Personal Discovery by Ron Klug 18%

The Gospel of John Volume 2: The Daily Study Bible Series by William Barclay 1%

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr read to 38%

Blogging

Mommy Book Blog: Publish 1 & Schedule 1

Lisses to Lebanon: Schedule Serving as Senders Posts & Post Financial Information

EDIT: It seems that the original posting did not make it into the blogosphere of internet. Sorry about that.