BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 4: 1 Samuel 7

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Summary of 1 Samuel 7:

The ark of the covenant is now at Kiriath Jearim, guarded by Eleazar. The ark stayed here 20 years until the Israelites rid themselves of foreign gods and Ashtoreths.

All the Israelites gathered at Mizpah where Samuel interceded for them with the Lord. They fasted and confessed their sins. The Philistines, hearing of this gathering, went to Mizpah and attacked. Samuel continued to pray to God and sacrificed a burnt offering. The Lord sent loud thunder, panicking the Philistines. The Israelites routed the Philistines, slaughtering them as they fled beyond Beth Car.

Samuel set a stone to show the Lord helping them. The Philistines did not invade again. Throughout Samuel’s lifetime, Israel regained the land taken from them by the Philistines and there was peace with the Amorites. Samuel served as judge all the days of his life, making his home in Ramah.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 4: 1 Samuel 7:

9) Part personal question. My answer: Samuel told the Israelites to give up their foreign gods. When they did, he interceded for them with the Lord, offering up burnt sacrifices. He prayed for the people on Israel’s behalf and he served as judge for the people and priest as well. Give up idols and reflect God wherever we are. We need to pray for others and intercede for them with God if need be.

10) They gave up their foreign gods. They confessed their sins. They relied on God when threatened by the Philistines. They had faith. God defeated the Philistines for them and gave them lasting peace. God answered their prayers.

11) In chapter 4, the Israelites demanded God to be with them. They put their faith in the ark, an object, not God. Their hearts were twisted and not fully with the Lord. They were prideful. In chapter 7, they entreated God to be with them. They put their faith in God. They confessed their sins. Their hearts were full of faith. We learn we have to have true faith if we want God to fight our battles for us. We have to ask God, not demand God to help us.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 4: 1 Samuel 7:

Once your heart is right for God, He is there. All the pieces come together. He protects and saves and prospers. It’s as simple as believing faith in Him.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 4: 1 Samuel 7:

Image result for 1 samuel 7The ark did not rest in the temple; instead, it rested in the house of Abinadab.

For 20 years, the people weren’t right with God. Their cities were in ruins, their armies were defeated, and they were under Philistine domination. They refused to turn to Him.

Where was Samuel for all this time?

God raised up Samuel as a prophet and a judge (1 Samuel 4:1). Yet Samuel was strangely absent from the whole Ark of the Covenant fiasco. 1 Samuel 4:1 is the last place Samuel was mentioned, right before Israel schemed to use the ark as a good luck charm in battle. We don’t know where Samuel was but presumably in training still.

What was important about repenting to the Lord?

Samuel called the nation to repentance.

  • The repentance had to be inward (with all your hearts) and
  • Outward (put away the foreign gods).

The inward was more important than the outward, and it had to come first. That is why Samuel first called Israel to return with all your hearts, then told them to put away the foreign gods.

However, inward repentance is a secret thing. It is hidden. No one can really “see” the heart of another. Yet the inward was proved by the outward. We can know if Israel did return with all your hearts by seeing if they really did put away the foreign gods.

The Israelites were serving two gods and thought they weren’t rejecting him because of this. They felt they only added the worship of other gods to their worship of the LORD. Samuel called on Israel to turn their backs on these other gods and serve Him only.

Baal was attractive because he was thought to be the god of weather, bringing good crops and financial success. Ashtoreth was attractive because she was thought to be the goddess of fertility, thus connected to love and sex.

Why Mizpah?

  • This is where Jacob separated from Laban (Genesis 31:49) and was the gathering place for a repentant Israel in Judges 20:1. This was a place remembered for separation and repentance.
  • This showed the spiritual need Israel felt at the time. They expressed their repentance both by putting away the bad and by pursuing the good.

A ceremonial pouring of water demonstrated the soul poured out before the LORD. It was an expression of emptiness and need. Lamentations 2:19Arise, cry out in the night, at the beginning of the watches; pour out your heart like water before the face of the Lord.

Israel also expressed their sorrow over their sin by fasting (a message that nothing else really mattered except getting right with God) and by confession (a straightforward claim of guilt and responsibility).

1 John 1:5-10 makes it clear that confession is vital to maintain relationship with God. As God convicts us of sin or sins that hinder fellowship with Him, we must confess it and receive forgiveness and cleansing for our relationship with God to continue without hindrance.

“We have sinned against the LORD.” This is almost exactly what David said when he was confronted with his sin in 2 Samuel 12:13.

With God fighting for them, Israel was invincible. Small faith in the true and living God is more powerful than strong faith in a lie.

How 1 Samuel 4 is different from 1 Samuel 7:

Image result for 1 samuel 7The last time Israel was in this kind of situation they said, “Let’s get the Ark of the Covenant and take it into battle with us. Then we can’t lose!” Now they are much wiser before the LORD, and instead of trusting in the ark they did the right thing and asked Samuel to cry out to the LORD our God for us.

The battle was won before it began because the LORD answered Samuel.

The Bible speaks of Samuel as a mighty man of prayer: Samuel was among those who called upon His name; they called upon the LORD, and He answered them. (Psalm 99:6)

God not only sent thunder, He also sent confusion to the Philistines and confidence to Israel.

Samuel was:

  • A man of faith
  • A man of peace
  • A man of military prowess
  • A servant
  • A man of prayer
  • A man of hard work
  • A judge
  • A leader

 

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 3: 1 Samuel 6

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Summary of 1 Samuel 6:

The priests and the diviners of the Philistines hatch a plan to send the ark of the covenant back to the Israelites: they made gold models as a guilt offering of 5 gold tumors and 5 gold rats in a cart with cows who had never been yoked before. They put the guilt offering and the ark in a cart. If the cart went towards Beth Shemesh, then it was God against them. Otherwise, it was chance.

When the ark returned to the Israelites, they sacrificed the two cows as burnt offerings to God and the large rock they set the ark down upon remained a witness. However, 70 Israelis died because they looked into the ark.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 3: 1 Samuel 6:

6) The Philistines knew they had to send a guilt offering to God. By sending gold models, the Philistines hoped to send the originals out of the country as well. They put the objects in a cart and put stipulations on what it meant if the cows went one way or another, thinking the animals would prove it was by chance and not by God all of this happened. We put stipulations and meaning on objects or actions as well and say it means God is with us or it’s His will or not, when in reality we have no clue.

7) The people made a burnt sacrifice to God, using the cows sent over. However, 70 people looked into the ark and God killed them for it since this was against His laws. Believers blatantly disregard Him and His commands such as we see here with looking into the ark of the covenant.

8 ) Personal Question. My answer: God is in control, and He rewards His people when they obey and puts consequences on them when they disobey. As long as I obey, I’m rewarded. When I disobey, I’m not.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 3: 1 Samuel 6:

This isn’t exactly an encouraging passage. However, it does make a point: obey God or suffer the consequences.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 3: 1 Samuel 6:

The Philistines kept the ark of the covenant for 7 months because they did not want to part with such a trophy. However, ultimately, they had to. It can take a long time before we realize the futility of resisting God.

The Philistine priests had enough sense to know they offended the LORD God. Therefore, they knew they should do something to express their sorrow and repentance before the LORD. We were not told in 1 Samuel 5 that the plague involved rats. Acknowledging God’s judgement is one way to give Him glory.

The Philistines admitted that the God of Israel judged their gods and had jurisdiction over their lands. They confessed that He was Almighty God, yet they did not worship Him instead of their gods. Big mistake.

The testing of God by the Philistines:

The Philistines decide to test God to make sure the plague was sent by Him. The test was stacked against God. Two milk cows which have never been yoked should not pull a cart at all; instead, they should have resisted their yokes. Additionally, the Philistines separated the babies from their mothers. The “maternal instinct” of the cows would draw them not towards the land of Israel, but back home to their own calves. The Philistines devised a test that “forced” the God of Israel to do something miraculous to demonstrate He really was the cause of the plagues.

God never wanted the ark to be transported by a cart. He wanted it to be carried by poles set in rings on the side of the ark (Numbers 4:15).

The ark didn’t have “handles” and was not to be carried by lifting it directly in one’s hands. Instead, it was to be carried by inserting gold-overlaid wood poles into gold rings at each corner of the ark. The poles were to remain inserted in the rings, and to be the source of contact with the ark. Apart from touching the poles, it was forbidden to touch the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:12-15).

Ironic how the Philistines were wise enough not to look in the ark of the covenant and instead placed the models next to it, but the Israelites weren’t.

Image result for 1 samuel 6Of course, the cows showed God’s glory. Two cows who never pulled a cart before with no driver left home and marched the ten miles or so to a city they had never been to. They left their own calves behind and went straight on a certain road, with never a wrong turn, never a stop, never turning aside into the fields to feed themselves, never turning back to feed their own calves. The cows were unhappy about doing God’s will cause they lowed.

The Israelites finally had God back (He had never left them, but in their minds He had).

What the Israelites did right upon the return of the Ark of the Covenant:

  • In a strict sense their offering was against the Mosaic Law. First, they offered female animals to the LORD, which was forbidden (Leviticus 1:322:19). Second, they made a burnt offering to the LORD away from the tabernacle, which violated the command in Deuteronomy 12:5-6. Yet God knew both their hearts and the remarkable circumstances, and He was no doubt honored.
  • The Israelites were careful to let the Levites handle the ark, as was commanded by the law (Numbers 4:1-615). Beth Shemesh was a priestly city (Joshua 21:16), so priests were on hand.

What the Israelites did wrong upon the return of the Ark of the Covenant:

  • The Ark of the Covenant was only to be touched and handled by specific Levites from the family of Kohath, and even they were commanded to not touch the ark itself (Numbers 4:15). The men of Beth Shemesh sinned by not only touching the ark, but also looking into it inappropriately.
  • God dealt with the Israelites more strictly than He dealt with the Philistines who just transported the ark by a cart. God did this because the Israelites, who had His law, should have and did know better. It is sad to consider that the Philistines showed more honor to the holiness of God than the Israelites.

Isaiah 55:8-9 shows this thought: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” We need to respect the fact that God is God and we are not, and there are some things we just will not, and should not, know.

What is the holiness of God?

Holiness means that God is separate, different from His creation, both in His essential nature and in the perfection of His attributes.

Image result for holiness of godWhen Peter saw the holy power of Jesus he said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!” (Luke 5:8). When the disciples on another occasion saw the holy Jesus shining forth at the transfiguration, they were greatly afraid (Matthew 17:6). When we meet the Holy God, we are excited and afraid all at the same time.

Holiness is part of the new man we are in Jesus (Ephesians 4:24), and we are invited to be partakers – sharers of Jesus’ holiness (Hebrews 12:10).

Though God is holy and apart from us, instead of building a wall around His apartness, God calls us to come to Him and share His apartness. As it says in 1 Peter 1:16, God calls us to be holy, for I am holy. Holiness is not so much something we have as much as it is something that has us.

We don’t know why they picked this village. All we know is the men of Kirjath Jearim received the ark and it stayed there for many years until King David brought it to the city of Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6).

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 2: 1 Samuel 4-5

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Summary of 1 Samuel 4-5:

1 Samuel 4:

Israel fought against the Philistines who defeated them. Not understanding why, the elders of Israel decide to bring the ark of the Covenant out from Shiloh and take it into battle, hoping then they’ll defeat the Israelites. At first, the Philistines were scared, knowing the history of the God of Israel and how powerful He is. However, they rallied and the Israelites were defeated, losing 30,000 men. They fled to their camp and the ark of God was captured. Eli’s sons, who brought the ark back, died in the battle.

Hearing the ark of the Covenant had been captured, Eli who was 98 years old, fell over dead after having led Israel for 40 years. Phineas’ wife gave birth after his death, named her boy Ichabod, which means no glory.

1 Samuel 5:

Image result for 1 samuel 4 & 5The Philistines took the ark from Ebenezer to Ashdod and set it in their god Dagon’s temple. The god had fallen before the ark of the Lord! God afflicted tumors upon the people for stealing the ark. The ark was moved to Gath where the same tumors afflicted those people. Next, the ark was sent to Ekron where people died and were afflicted with tumors so the Philistines decided to send the ark back to Israel.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 8, Day 2: 1 Samuel 4-5:

3) The ark of the covenant was the place God/His glory dwelled. It held the broken Ten Commandments by Moses and the Testimony by God, the gold jar of manna, and Aaron’s staff. The Israelites were hoping God would be with them in battle if they took the ark of the covenant with them and grant them victory over the Philistines.

4) When the ark of the covenant arrived in the Israelites’ camp, all Israel shouted so loud the ground shook and scared the Philistines to the point they almost retreated. When the ark was captured, Eli and his two sons died because of it. When the ark was captured, all of Israel mourned and of course the Israelites were defeated in battle. Phineas’ wife gave birth to her baby.

The Philistines took the ark from Ebenezer to Ashdod and set it in their god Dagon’s temple. The god had fallen before the ark of the Lord! God afflicted tumors upon the people for stealing the ark. The ark was moved to Gath where the same tumors afflicted those people. Next, the ark was sent to Ekron where people died and were afflicted with tumors so the Philistines decided to send the ark back to Israel.

God is in control. Just because the Israelites thought God would show up and give them victory if they brought the ark with them, didn’t mean He did. They did not consult God on this matter. God also afflicted tumors on people as punishment for stealing the ark. God is God. He does what He wants.

5) This would be when they use God’s word to justify their actions. Pick and choose pieces of the Bible they think support their decisions. They claim God is with them in this or that decision when He’s not.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 2: 1 Samuel 4-5:

Great lesson on God being in control. Just because you parade God around doesn’t mean He’s going to do what you want Him to do when it’s not in His will.

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 8, Day 2: 1 Samuel 4-5:

Who were the Philistines?

The Philistines were an immigrant people from the military aristocracy of the island of Crete (Amos 9:7). Small numbers of Philistines were in the land at the time of Abraham, but they came in larger numbers soon after Israel came to Canaan from Egypt. They were organized into five city-states. The Philistines were the first people in Canaan to process iron. Israel competed on more equal terms with Moab and Ammon, but the Philistines had Greek military equipment (such as helmets, shields, chain mail armor, swords and spears) making the Philistines more formidable opponents.

During this time there was no great world power (such as Egypt or Assyria) seeking to dominate the region. So, Israel’s battles were waged against her near neighbors, such as the Moabites, the Ammonites, or as here, the Philistines.

Why bring the Ark of the Covenant into battle?

  • The Ark of the Covenant was the representation of the throne of God in Israel. Kept in the most holy place of the tabernacle, the people never saw it. Only the high priest entered and saw the ark, and only once a year. The elders wanted to take this representation of the throne of God out of the holy of holies (it could be moved when the tabernacle was to be moved), cover it, and bring it into battle with them. They hoped it would give confidence that God was really with them.
  • The ark went into battle before. The ark went in front of the marchers around the city of Jericho (Joshua 6:6-8). Moses told the priests to lead the ark into battle against the Midianites (Numbers 31:6). Later, Saul brought the ark into battle (1 Samuel 14:18), as did David (2 Samuel 11:11).
  • The elders rightly sensed they needed God’s help to win the battle. But they were wrong in the way they sought help. Instead of humbly repenting and seeking God, they turned to methods that God never approved. They only cared if it worked.
  • The elders believed the presence of the ark would make God work for them. “Their idea was that God should be forced to fight for them. If He was not willing to do it for their sake, He would have to do it for His honour’s sake.” (Ellison)
  • They regarded the ark as the ultimate “good luck charm” and believed they could not lose with it there. They looked to the ark to save them, not to the LORD.

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Spurgeon’s Take on the Israelites’ Use of the Ark of the Covenant:

“Instead of attempting to get right with God, these Israelites set about devising superstitious means of securing the victory over their foes. In this respect most of us have imitated them. We think of a thousand inventions; but we neglect the one thing needful… They forget the main matter, which is to enthrone God in the life, and to seek to do His will by faith in Christ Jesus.”

Why did the Israelites’ shouting upon seeing the Ark of the Covenant not work?

The Israelites thought they could manipulate God and force Him into doing what they wanted Him to do.

Bible Scholar Clarke says this: “Had they humbled themselves, and prayed devoutly and fervently for success, they would have been heard and saved. Their shouting proved both their vanity and irreligion.”

Their shouting was not from the heart nor did the Israelites have faith.

The Philistines knew the history of God and of the ark going into battle with the Israelites, but they did not submit to God. Hence, the tumors sent when the ark was taken as punishment for unbelief.

What do we learn from the Philistines’ victory over the Israelites?

  • Instead of giving up when things look bad we should trust the LORD and fight all the harder and decide we will not give up. Courage and persistence win many battles, even sometimes for the wrong side.

Why did the Israelites lose this battle?

  1. The Philistines fought with the courage of desperate men.
  2. The Israelites felt the battle would be easy with the ark of the Covenant there and did not try as hard.
  3. God did not bless Israel’s superstitious belief in the power of the ark instead of the power of God.

God did not appreciate being summoned to win a battle like a genie in a bottle. The Israelites believed if God was with them, they didn’t need to try so hard. We do this same thing. We think if God is on our side, the work will be easy.

Not only did Israel lose this battle, they lost far worse than they did before taking the ark into battle. The loss which prompted them to take the ark resulted in the death of about four thousand men of Israel (1 Samuel 4:2). With the ark more than seven times as many men of Israel were killed.

Fun Fact: In the late 1970’s, a five-line inscription was found on a grain silo in the ruins of Izbet Sarteh. When deciphered, it was found to contain a Philistine account of this battle, the capture of the ark, even specifically mentioning the priest Hophni. This is the earliest known extra-biblical reference to an Old Testament event.

Why did God allow the ark to be captured?

  • Losing the ark was far worse than losing the battle.
  • The very “thing” they thought would win the battle was captured. Israel made an idol of the ark and God often deals with our idolatry by taking the idol away.
  • God wanted to make sure the Israelites understood their mistake and punished them severely.

Even a good thing can be made an idol. God does not tolerate idols.

God still used the ark for His glory as He punished the Philistines wherever the ark traveled.

We see the fulfillment of God’s promise that the two sons of Eli would die on the same day as proof of His ultimate judgment on the house of Eli (1 Samuel 2:34).

Image result for aphek to shilohThe battle was fought near Aphek (1 Samuel 4:1), and it was at least 20 miles from Aphek to Shiloh. The messenger had a long way to go, the route was mostly uphill, and he carried very bad news.

Because the news was so bad he came with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. These were some of the traditional signs of mourning. The messenger brought bad news, and he let his appearance reflect how bad the news was.

The next time we encounter Eli’s family, they have moved as a group to Nob. Several Bible passages mention Shiloh’s destruction as a punishment for sin (Psalm 78:60-64Jeremiah 7:12 and 26:9). As an important site for worship, the Israelites were even more in despair at its destruction.

Bible scholar Ellison explains:  “The glory of God had indeed departed, but not because the ark of God had been captured; the ark had been captured because the glory had already departed.”

Why does God let bad things happen to good people?

  1. He allowed it as a righteous judgment upon Israel as a nation and the family of Eli. They simply received what they deserved.
  2. Secondly, God allowed it as a correction to the nation, so they would not trust in the ark of God, instead of in the God of the ark.
  3. Finally, though it seemed so terrible to man, was it all that terrible to God? At that moment, did God wring His hands in heaven, worried about how things would turn out? Worried about His reputation? Worried about the Philistines and their gods? Looking at it this way, the glory had not departed at all. Instead, God was just beginning to show His glory.

What do we learn from the defeat of the Israelites and the capture of the Ark of the Covenant?

  • Many circumstances that we regard as a calamity, God uses in a marvelous way to glorify Himself. Israel was right to be sad at the loss of life and the ark on that day. But they should have been confident, knowing God was well able to take care of Himself.

Bible Scholar Poole explains: “Thus as God was no loser by this event, so the Philistines were no gainers by it; and Israel, all things considered, received more good than hurt by it, as we shall see.”

1 Samuel 5:

No doubt, the Philistines were jubilant and confident in the superiority of their god over the God of Israel. They faced the God of Israel in battle and believed their god Dagon delivered them and defeated Israel. Dagon was half-man, half-fish and believed to be the father of Baal by the Philistines. Now, the Ark of the Covenant of Israel’s God stood as a trophy in the temple of their god Dagon. The victory seemed complete.

Instead, the statue bowed down before the ark of the covenant.

What do we learn from the ark being with the Philistines?

  • God will glorify Himself. He doesn’t need man to do so.
  • God can be as a fragrance of life to some and the aroma of death to others (2 Corinthians 2:15-16). It’s our choice.

God had given the Philistine priests a chance to turn from their god Dagon to Him. They rejected God despite the evidence. Now they would be punished. God would try again, only this time, it would be harsh.

What were the tumors? Possible answers include:

  1. Hemorrhoids
  2. Bubonic plague
  3. Dysentery, bloody flux, and ulcerated anus

The Philistines sent the ark back. They got rid of God. But we can’t get rid of God nor push Him away. One day, we’ll all answer to Him.

Coffee and God: Beauty All Around

Bible and Coffee
Coffee and God: Monthly Coffee Chats

Hey all!

These are quickly becoming some of my favorite posts — where I can talk about anything and everything under the Sun.

On my mind today is beauty. Specifically, beauty all around.

Our lives are pretty routine. We wake up, get coffee (perhaps the most important thing you’ll do the entire day), and immediately go into morning routine mode. Shower, wake kids, drive kids, go to work, pick up kids, grab items at the grocery store for dinner, make dinner, drop kids off at extracurricular activities, finish laundry, etc. Before you know it, the day is gone.

Sure, you probably got a lot of tasks done. But at the end of the day, that’s just what they were — tasks.

Did you accomplish anything real? Did you notice anything going on in the world around you?

I am super guilty of this.

I’m a pretty focused person. When I’m engaged in a task, that’s all I think about. This is usually a good thing. I get a lot done — a lot of “tasks” done. But what do I really accomplish?

Did I notice the leaves falling to the ground all around me? Did I breathe in the fresh air and marvel at the miracle of life? Did I notice the bald eagle in the tree he or she always sits in? Did I truly see the 6 raccoons in my tree? Did I appreciate all my body accomplishes — a lot of it without my thought?

Did I listen to my kids tell me boring stories about their day? Did I look into my dog’s eyes and appreciate the unconditional love (probably the only kind I actually have here on earth)? Did I call a friend who may not be feeling well? Did I call my parents?

Most importantly, did I pray to God today? Did I feel His love? Did I thank Him for all that I am, all that I have, all that He has for me, all that He wants me to do, and for my family? Did I pause and take the time to appreciate God, to stand in awe of Him, to worship Him?

Today, I’d just like to encourage you to notice the moments of your day. To appreciate the migration of Canadian geese, the hibernation of the trees, the deer that graze the meadows, and the water that falls from the sky that nourishes the world around you. But most of all, take the time to appreciate God and all He does for you.

This doesn’t have to be a 30 minute prayer session. It can just be moments here and there in your day. That’s all God wants. He wants us to pause, thank Him, and go about the blessed life we live.

Can you do that?

The Book of Judges: Israel Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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After the death of Joshua, a strong leader who obeyed God and led the Israelites faithfully to his last days, a void was left. Who would fill that void?

Preoccupied with fighting for land, military leaders became the law of the land, the Judges. Judge Ehud, Gideon, and Samson all did their best but when you’re fighting for your homeland, little else matters.

Most of the time the Israelites hid in the hills, outnumbered and out technologied (made that word up) by their opponents who had chariots, which would be the equivalent to tanks in modern times. The Israelites relied on guerrilla warfare and strategy to make up for numbers and strength.

The book of Judges in the Bible is filled with tales of flawed characters who mostly did allowed their sinning self to control their lives and shut God out.  Samson lusted for women. Gideon led the nation into idolatry. Abimelech killed most of his brothers so he could be king. And the list just goes from bad to worse throughout the entire book of Judges.

Why did the Israelites sink into sin?

  • Influenced by those around them, Israel slowly turned from God to idol worship.
  • Separated by enemies in the valleys, the Israelites slowly separated from each other.
  • Controlled by sin, the Israelites fought each other as well; it was every tribe for itself.
  • “Everyone did as he saw fit.” Judges 21:25

What do we learn from the Book of Judges?

God allowed suffering as a consequence of the Israelites’ disobedience. When things grew really terrible, the Israelites would turn back to God. He’d send a judge to rescue them. But soon they’d degenerate back to sin.

This cycle continued over and over again, but God would not give up on His people. He would rescue them once and for all–by instituting kings over the people.

Why did BSF skip the Book of Judges?

To this, I have no answer. Judges contains the famous story of Samson and Delilah as well as Gideon. I’m assuming for time constraints, but since BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) did break this study into two parts, one lesson in the Book of Judges would have been nice. Yes, it’s full of evils, but how can we rid ourselves of sin without studying the devastating effects of sin?

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 5: 1 Samuel 3

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Summary of 1 Samuel 3:

God first speaks to Samuel late at night as he lay in the temple. Samuel thought it was Eli calling him but by the third time, Eli realized it was God calling Samuel. He tells Samuel to ask the Lord to speak. The Lord tells Samuel He will carry out the consequences against Eli and his sons. Eli does not punish Samuel for these words. Samuel continues to grow and prosper, and he was recognized all over Israel as a prophet of the Lord.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 5: 1 Samuel 3:

12) God repeatedly calls Samuel until he figures it out. He does this for us as well. God calls Samuel when he’s tired and in His temple. God calls us too when we least expect it. God reveals. Samuel is honest with Eli, but he’s afraid of him as well. Eli is gentle with Samuel.

13) It’s a huge privilege and responsibility as the Lord’s servant. If you abide sin, you suffer severe consequences. If you’re obedient as Samuel is, you are blessed by God’s presence and voice. As Christians saved by Jesus, we all have a huge privilege and responsibility as God’s people. It’s not quite as big as a priestly role, but it’s one we need to take seriously.

14) Personal Question. My answer: God has revealed to me His love, how to live, how to love others, how to be saved and how to save others, how to be kind and gentle, and how to behave. These are just a few revelations. God’s Word reveals all secrets to life. Tell others. Live out a Godly life.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 5: 1 Samuel 3:

I love how God uses children. Children are often dismissed by adults as not knowing anything. Samuel proves God cares for them just as much as adults. I can just imagine how cute Samuel must have been, running to Eli and saying, “Here I am!” If only we could do the same thing when God calls.

Another amazing video on 1 Samuel HERE

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 5: 1 Samuel 3:

We see for the third time Samuel ministered to the LORD (also in 1 Samuel 2:11 and 2:18) just as Aaron and his sons did at their consecration as priests (Exodus 29:1) and just like Paul and Barnabas did before they were sent out as missionaries (Acts 13:1-2).

The only word of the LORD we read of in the first two chapters of 1 Samuel is the word of judgment brought by the man of God against Eli. God didn’t speak often, and when He did, it was a word of judgment.

Why did God stop speaking to His people?

  • Because of the hardness of heart among the people of Israel
  • Because of the corruption of the priesthood.

God will speak, and guide, when His people seek Him, and when His ministers seek to serve Him diligently.

Eli was spiritually and physically blind. His age made him an ineffective leader for Israel.

What’s the lamp of God?

  • Literally, before dawn
  • Foreshadowingly, the dark spiritual times of Israel
  • Exodus 27:21 refers to the responsibility of the priests to tend the lamps until sunrise, or just before dawn.

We don’t know for certain how old Samuel was. Some scholars believe God spoke to Samuel in an audible voice, instead of in an “inner voice,” though this is not certain. But Samuel was so impressed by what he heard, he responded by saying, “Here I am!”

Image result for here i am lordWho in the Bible responds with, “Here I am!”

Samuel was an obedient boy who showed concern for Eli by running to him. Eli was blind and might need help.

What do we learn from the repeated calls from God?

When speaking to us, God almost always confirms His word again and again. It is generally wrong to do something dramatic in response to a single “inner voice” from the LORD. If God speaks He will confirm, and often in a variety of ways.

Samuel was a godly and obedient boy, serving God wonderfully. Yet, he had not yet given his heart to the LORD. Even children raised in a godly home must be converted by the Spirit of God.

What do we learn from Eli’s directives to Samuel?

  • Make yourself available for God to speak (Go, lie down)
  • Not be presumptuous about God speaking (if He calls you)
  • Respond to the word of God (Speak, LORD)
  • Humble yourself before God and His word (Your servant hears).

Some scholars believe since the Lord came and stood this could be an appearance of the LORD, perhaps in the person of Jesus before Bethlehem. This was not a dream or a state of altered consciousness.

Tingling ears are signs of an especially severe judgment (2 Kings 21:12Jeremiah 19:3).

Through the word of the man of God in 1 Samuel 2:27-36, Eli already heard of the judgment to come. This word to young Samuel was a word to confirm the previous message from God.

Probably, the judgment declared by the man of God in 1 Samuel 2:27-36 was a warning, inviting repentance. Because there was no repentance God confirmed the word of judgment through Samuel. Or perhaps Eli pleaded that God might withhold His judgment, and this is God’s answer to that pleading.

All of our sins are atoned for unless we reject the sacrifice of Jesus for our sin. As Hebrews 10:26 says, if we reject the work of Jesus for us, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.

Of course, Samuel didn’t sleep at all. We see young Samuel laying on his bed, ears tingling at the message from God, wondering how he could ever tell Eli such a powerful word of judgment (Samuel was afraid to tell Eli).

It was hard to tell God’s judgment, but it is our responsibility to do so.

What does “Let none of his words fall to the ground” mean?”Image result for 1 samuel 3

  • This phrase means all of Samuel’s prophecies came to pass and were known to be true words from God.

Since the days of Moses (some 400 years before the time of Samuel) there were not many prophets in Israel and certainly no great prophets. At this important time in Israel’s history, God raised up Samuel as a prophet.

Coming in this place in Israel’s history, Samuel is rightly seen as Israel’s last judge and first prophet. Samuel bridges the gap between the time of the judges and the time of the monarchy when prophets such as Nathan, Elijah, and Isaiah influenced the nation.

When did the Lord first appear in Shiloh?

  • He appeared to Samuel in 1 Samuel 3:10.
  • Now the LORD appeared again.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 4: 1 Samuel 2:12-36

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Summary of 1 Samuel 2:12-36:

Eli the priest’s sons were wicked. They were taking more than their share of the food offered to God, which angered God. Every year, Hannah would bring her son, Samuel, a new robe. She had more children. Eli chastised his sons who were also sleeping with the serving women to the Tent of Meeting. God wanted to put Eli’s sons to death because of their sins. God was in control, but the sons still chose to sin.

Samuel flourished, but Eli paid the ultimate price for his sons’ sins, cursing all his descendents to die young. God will kill both of Eli’s sons on the same day and raise up a new faithful priest who will follow His commands.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 4: 1 Samuel 2:12-36:

9) Eli’s sons start taking the choicest pieces of the sacrifices for God for themselves, and they were sleeping with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Eli chastised them but didn’t do anything about it.

10) None of Eli’s descendants would live to be old men. His two sons will die on the same day. He is being replaced permanently as the priest to the people with someone else who has more faith.

11) Personal Question. My answer: I do let my kids get away with things such as doing chores or helping me out because it’s easier than fighting them on it. Be a better parent.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 4: 1 Samuel 2:12-36:

This is the first time I’ve really noticed that Eli turns a blind eye to his sons’ sins despite the seriousness of the sins. As the parent, it’s Eli who suffers the consequences as well as the sons.  It shows the importance of dealing with sin.

Another amazing video on 1 Samuel HERE

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 4: 1 Samuel 2:12-36:

The ancient Hebrew calls them sons of Belial. Belial was a pagan god and the phrase sons of Belial refers to worthless and wicked men. This was a significant problem, because the sons of Eli were in line to succeed him as high priest and they already functioned in the priesthood.

What was the first sin of the sons of Eli the High Priest?

With many of the sacrifices brought to the tabernacle, a portion was given to God, a portion was given to the priest, and a portion was kept by the one who brought the offering. According to other passages in the Old Testament, the priest received a portion of the breast and the shoulder. But now some 400 years after the Law of Moses came, the priestly custom changed – they did not take the prescribed portion of the breast and shoulder but took whatever the fork (fleshhook) brought up out of the pot.

God’s portion was always given first, so it was wrong to take the priest’s portion before they burned the fat.

The fat was thought to be the most luxurious, best part of the animal, so they gave it to God. The idea was that God should always get the best, and God should get His portion first. But in their pride the sons of Eli took their portion before they burned the fat.

Why did the sons of Eli want raw meat?

Perhaps it was so they could prepare it anyway they pleased; or more likely, it was because raw meat was easier to sell and they sold the meat and pocketed the money.

The greed of Eli’s sons was immense; they did not hesitate to use violence and the threat of violence to get what they wanted.

How was Eli’s sons’ sin so great?

  • Greedy for the best meat
  • Violent to get what they wanted
  • Intimidated others to the point they were scared to sacrifice to the Lord–this hurt others.

What is Samuel’s role?

  • God raised up Samuel because of the corruption of Eli’s sons. God knew how bad Eli’s sons were, so He guided the whole series of events that resulted in Samuel’s service at the tabernacle.

Corrupt ministers do not stop – or even hinder – the work of God. It may look like it; but every time there are men like Eli’s sons, God raises up someone like Samuel.

Image result for picture of ephodWhat’s a linen ephod?

  • A priestly garment, signifying Samuel as distinguished already (Exodus 39:27-29).

As a child, Samuel served the Lord. Often children are discounted. They can do great things for His kingdom.

What was the second sin of the sons of Eli the High Priest?

Eli is too old to deal with his sons, and thus only rebuked them. However, his sons were committing sexual sins at the tabernacle. This was an ancient version of the modern sex scandals among pastors or preachers. Exodus 38:8 refers to the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting

Even worse, the sons made people hate to worship God with their offerings at the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:17).

Jesus intercedes for us. Unfortunately, the sons chose sin and thus the consequences were death.

We don’t know who this man of God was. He’s one of the wonderful anonymous characters of the Bible.

The father referred to is Aaron, who was the first High Priest. Since the High Priesthood was a hereditary office, Eli was a descendant of Aaron, whom God had revealed Himself to.

What are the duties of the priesthood of Ancient Israel?

  • The priest was first a minister of the LORD. Before he served the people, he was a servant of God.
  • The priest brought sacrifices for atonement and worship.
  • The priest was to lead the nation in prayer, and to pray for the nation.
  • The priest was clothed in specific garments, for glory and for beauty (Exodus 28:2). He was to represent the majesty, dignity, glory, and beauty of God to the people.
  • The priest was also charged with the responsibility to receive the offerings of God’s people and to make good use of them.

What was Eli’s greatest sin?

Eli put his sons before the Lord. By not correcting his sons the way he should, Eli showed he loved them more.

The arm was a picture of strength and might in Hebrew thinking (Psalms 10:1577:15, and 89:10). Thus, cutting off the arm  said the house of Eli would be left powerless and without strength.

God promised that the priestly line would not stay with Eli and his descendants but would pass to another line of descendants from Aaron. This was fulfilled many years later, in Solomon’s day. Abiathar (from Eli’s family) was deposed as high priest and replaced with Zadok (who was from another family).

1 Kings 2:27 reads, So Solomon removed Abiathar from being priest to the LORD, that he might fulfill the word of the LORD which He spoke concerning the house of Eli at Shiloh.

This was a promise to Aaron in passages like Exodus 29:9. God did not remove the priesthood from the line of Aaron, but He did remove it from the line of Eli.

Image result for picture of priestly kingWho is the “faithful priest?”

  1. This promise was partially fulfilled in Samuel because he functioned as a godly priest, effectively replacing the ungodly sons of Eli
  2. The promise was partially fulfilled in Zadok in the days of Solomon because he replaced Eli’s family line in the priesthood.
  3. The promise was fulfilled completely in Jesus Christ because He is a priest forever in the order of Melchezedek (Hebrews 7:12-17).

What’s the ultimate punishment for Eli?

Everyone in his family would be beggars.

What lessons do we learn from Eli?

  • Consequences are grave for greedy, lackadaisical behavior. Angry God enough and this is what happens.
  • We are all responsible for the consequences our behavior brings.
  • Take parenting seriously.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 3: 1 Samuel 2:1-11

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Summary of 1 Samuel 2:1-11:

Hannah praises God in her prayer as she leaves her son, Samuel. She boasts of God’s strength, His holiness, His omniscience, of how God feeds and raises up, He humbles and exalts, He silences the wicked, and God’s people prevail.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 3: 1 Samuel 2:1-11:

6) Personal Question. My answer: God is faithful. His will prevails. He is in charge of who wins and loses and who He exalts or humbles. He is our Rock. I’m encouraged to stay faithful.

7) Part personal Question. My answer: Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac. God sacrificed Jesus. I’ll sacrifice whatever He tells me.

8 ) God will defeat those who come against Him. He will silence the wicked. He will give strength to the coming Kings of Israel. He is sending Jesus (the King and the Anointed) to conquer all. This is the time before the kings, so she must be speaking of Jesus here.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 3: 1 Samuel 2:1-11:

Great prayer example for us all. Praising God. Listing His character and power. Thanking Him.

Another amazing video on 1 Samuel HERE

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 3: 1 Samuel 2:1-11:

1 Samuel 1:28 ended, “So they worshipped the LORD there”. This song records the worship Hannah offered on the very day she left her little boy – her only child – at the tabernacle.

Hannah showed a depth of commitment and love for God that may humble us. On the day she made the biggest sacrifice of her life she rejoices in the LORD.

She could not rejoice in leaving her son. In the most desperate situations, when we have nothing else to rejoice in, we can rejoice in the LORD.

The horn is used often as a picture of strength in the Bible (Psalms 75:4-5 and 92:10). This is because the strength of an ox or a steer could be expressed in its horn. Hannah spoke of strength and power being exalted in the LORD.

What does the horn in the Bible signify?

  • Power
  • Might
  • Dominion

Hannah had a strong sense of vindication over her rival, Elkanah’s other wife named Peninnah. Peninnah cruelly brought Hannah low (1 Samuel 1:6-7), but now Hannah rejoiced because the LORD lifted her up.

Image result for 1 samuel 2We see a classic form of Hebrew poetry – repetitive parallelism–saying the same thing just differently.

  • “There is no one holy like the Lord.”
  • “There is no one besides you.”
  • “There is no Rock like our God.”

Hebrew poetry does not rhyme words by sound as much as it rhymes ideas. The ideas of the three lines of 1 Samuel 2:2 all rhyme together, having different words yet “sounding” the same.

Hannah had her rival in mind when she said not to talk so proudly. Pride can be expressed in many ways, but it usually is expressed by our words.

God humbles the strong, which He can change very quickly.

LORD can change our place quickly and exalt the weak (Luke 14:7-11).

Hannah knew she was barren because the LORD had closed her womb (1 Samuel 1:6). She knew God first set her low, and then brought her high. She could see the hand of the LORD in it all.

God is in control of the foundations of the earth.

God uses His power to set things right. It isn’t enough for us to believe God has this power. We must know He will use it for His glory and righteousness.

Who is “the king” and “the anointed”?

Hannah speaks of Jesus as the king and anointed one.

Fun Fact: This is the first place in the Bible where Jesus is referred to as the Messiah.

It’s MESSIAH in Hebrew, CHRIST in Greek, and ANOINTED in English.

Zecharias, the father of John the Baptist, quoted Hannah in Luke 1:69 when he prophetically called Jesus a horn of salvation, quoting from 1 Samuel 2:10. Mary the mother of Jesus quoted Hannah’s song often (Luke 1:46-55).

Young as he was, Samuel had a ministry to the LORD. Our young people can praise, serve, and please God too.

The Living Bible translates it well: And the child became the Lord’s helper.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 2: 1 Samuel 1

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Summary of 1 Samuel 1:

A man named Elkanah of Ephraim had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Hannah was childless. He would sacrifice to the Lord and give double portions to Hannah because he loved her. Yet, Peninnah taunted Hannah because she had no children, which made Hannah sad. So she prayed to God, vowing if He gave her a son, she’d give him to God. Eli thought her drunk, but she was only praying. Sure enough, Hannah had a son and named him Samuel, meaning “heard of God.”

When Samuel could leave his mother, Hannah took him to the temple at Shiloh and gave him to the Lord.

BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 7, Day 2: 1 Samuel 1:

3) Hannah was provoked by Elkahan’s other wife, Peninnah, because she had no children. She took her tears to the Lord and gave it all to Him to handle. She was also the favored wife.

4) Personal Question. My answer: Eli was judging Hannah based off appearances. You can’t judge a book by its cover, and don’t jump to conclusions. Ask questions before assuming.

5) Part personal Question. My answer: She prays a heartfelt prayer to God, giving Him all her anguish. She keeps her vow of giving away her precious son to God. I’m challenged by agreeing to give stuff up. It’s hard.

Conclusions: BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 2: 1 Samuel 1:

I love the example of faith of Hannah. So much more here about faith and prayer that BSF did not have time to touch on. Please read my End Notes for the full discussion and what Hannah teaches us.

Another amazing video on 1 Samuel HERE

End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 7, Day 2: 1 Samuel 1:

God begins 1 Samuel 1 with a man He is going to use. God often uses man for His purposes.

He was a descendant of Zuph, and his family line shows he was a Levite (1 Chronicles 6:16-30). He is called an Ephraimite here because his family lived in a Levitical city in the boundaries of Ephraim, not because he was of the tribe of Ephraim.

Polygamy was a fact of life in the ancient world. However, the Bible never puts polygamy in a favorable light. Strife and conflict always characterize polygamous families in the Bible.

According to the Law of Moses, Israelites could not worship God through sacrifice at any time and in any way they pleased. They were to bring sacrifices to the tabernacle and the priests, which at this time were at Shiloh.

These priests are mentioned by name because they were known as notoriously wicked priests (1 Samuel 2:1724). Their mention here shows how godly Elkanah was. Even though the priests were wicked, he still offered sacrifices to the LORD, knowing that the wickedness of the priest did not make his own service to the LORD invalid.

As Elkanah brought his family each year to the tabernacle for sacrifice he ate a ceremonial meal at the tabernacle with his family, giving portions to his wives and their children. He showed his favor and love to Hannah by giving her a double portion.

Because of the conflict between the two wives, Hannah could not enjoy this display of love and favor from Elkanah.

Beyond Hannah’s painful trial, there was a purpose of God. God used the trial of a closed womb to accomplish something great in her life and to further the whole plan of salvation.

It seems strange that Peninnah (who seems of a bad character) was blessed with children and Hannah (who seems of a good character) was cursed with barrenness. God’s ways are not our ways.

What do we learn from Hannah’s hardship?

  • Even though things were hard, God was still in charge.
  • God has a purpose in all our trials.
  • Often, we don’t understand God’s ways until He completes His plan.

In Elkanah’s response to Hannah’s sorrow, we see that he really did love her; yet like many men he was insensitive. He did not recognize that she had needs he could not fulfill (such as the desire to be a mother).

Hannah was in bitterness of soul and great anguish, yet she did the right thing. Hannah took those bitter and anguished feelings to God honestly in prayer.

Fun Fact: Hannah began her prayer by calling on the LORD of hosts. This title is used some 260 times in the Old Testament and has the idea “LORD of the Mighty Armies.” Hannah felt attacked by her rival, so she called on the LORD of Mighty Armies to be her protector.

Hannah promised her son to the work of the LORD, vowing he would be a Nazirite from birth. According to Numbers 6, the vow of a Nazirite included:

  • Abstinence from any product from a grape vine, signifying distance from all fleshly pleasures.
  • Taking no part in any mourning for the dead nor to come near a dead body because the dead show the corruption and the fruit of sin. Also, this showed that the Nazirite had greater concerns than the ordinary joys and sorrows of life.
  • Never cutting the hair because it was a public, visible sign to others of the vow.
  • Typically, the vow of a Nazirite was taken for a set and rather short period of time. Samuel and Samson (Judges 13:5) were unique because they were Nazirites from birth

The child was already dedicated as a Levite because God regarded the tribe of Levi as His own special possession. But the time of a Levite’s special dedication to the LORD only lasted from the age of 30 to 50 (Numbers 4:2-3). Hannah took something that already belonged to the LORD and gave it again to Him in a greater way – for the whole life, and in the dedication of a Nazirite, which was a greater consecration than a Levite.

This is literally, “as she multiplied to pray.” We only have recorded a bare summary of Hannah’s prayer. Can you imagine her whole prayer?

What do we learn from Hannah’s prayer?Image result for mountain

  • Prayer does not need to be aloud.
  • Prayer only needs to be from the heart.
  • Pray your heart, soul, and anguish before the Lord, and give it to Him.

Eli misunderstood Hannah, but the fact that he suspected that she was drunk shows that it may not have been unusual for people to become drunk at the “fellowship meals” with the LORD at the tabernacle. The fact that Eli suspected Hannah of drunkenness doesn’t speak well for what went on around the tabernacle.

Hannah did not accept Eli’s accusation, but she did not respond in a haughty or arrogant tone or get defensive. She would explain herself, but she did it remembering that he was her high priest.

Eli may have spoken this only as a kind wish; but it was in fact a word from the LORD.

The change in Hannah’s countenance shows that she received the promise from Eli with faith, something necessary if we will inherit the promises of God (Hebrews 6:12).

Hannah shows how we can regain the joy of fellowship in the house of the LORD again: by pouring out our heart before the LORD and by receiving His word with faith.

Hannah could genuinely worship the LORD in faith while the promise was still not yet fulfilled. This is a glorious pattern of faith.

To use the term remembered is an anthropomorphism, a way of explaining God’s actions in human terms that we can understand, even if it doesn’t perfectly describe God’s action. It isn’t as if God ever forgot Hannah, but it is proper to say He remembered her.

What do we learn from Hannah’s example?

  • Patience. It didn’t happen right away. Hannah had reason enough to be discouraged, but when the promise of God was spoken she did not lose faith in the promise, even when it took some time. She is a great example of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:12).
  • Keep your vows. Even in difficult situations, they could worship the LORD.

In that culture, a child was usually not weaned until two years of age, or sometimes three years. It is reasonable to assume that Hannah was in no hurry to wean Samuel.

The fact that 1 Samuel 1:24 mentions three bulls brought to Shiloh but 1 Samuel 1:25 mentions only one being sacrificed (with some of the meat available for a fellowship meal) emphasizes that one of the bulls was specifically made as a burnt offering for the cleansing and consecration of little Samuel.

This could be translated, “And I also made myself to present for the LORD.” The idea is not that Hannah “owned” the child and “lent” him to the LORD. Instead, the idea is that the child is her “prayer,” or the fulfillment of her prayer to the LORD.

The name Samuel means “Name of God” but Hannah – as was common among the Hebrews – made a pun on the name by saying that she had “asked the LORD for him.” Asked in Hebrew sounds like Samuel.

Worship is a repeated characteristic of this family (see also 1 Samuel 1:31928). Praising God on the day you give your little son away may not be easy, but it is praise God is pleased with even as we are told to bring a sacrifice of praise to God (Hebrews 13:15).

God helped several barren women in the Bible: Sarah (Genesis 11:30), Rebekah (Genesis 25:21), Rachel (Genesis 30:22), and Elizabeth (Luke 1:7).

Image result for butterfliesWhat do we learn from Hannah’s life?

  • She did not cling to her woes.
  • She did not cling to her blessings.
  • All belong to God.

The longing for children may be the strongest in life. Look at the thousands spent on fertility treatments. Instead, with no such technology available, Hannah went to God. And God answered. Every year she made Samuel a garment–a huge expenditure when cloth and thread were made by hand.