Pastor's Blog

Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Wednesday May 12, 2009 1 Samuel 1-2 & Proverbs 22:1-16

1 Samuel 1:20 (NASB77)

20 And it came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, "Because I have asked him of the LORD."   (Samuel means "heard of God')                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

1 and 2 Samuel give to us the story of the transition of the nation of Israel from a loose knit federation of individual tribes governed by judges to a nation ruled by a king. It is the story of a nation trading theocracy for a monarchy so they could be like the other nations of the world. 1 and 2 Samuel give us the stories of the prophet/priest named Samuel, Saul - the first king of Israel, and David - the king who had a “heart after God.” 1st and 2nd Samuel cover the time period roughly from 1050 to 931 B.C.

The Samuel narrative begins with prayers of a woman who was deeply grieved by the fact that she had no children. To make matters worse, her husband’s other wife was fertile and delighted in rubbing Hannah’s nose in it. Hannah prayed – with deep passion she prayed. She had one burning desire - to be a mother - to bring a son into the world so that she would no longer feel inadequate as a wife.

Hannah did what many other people have done in prayer – she made a vow – God if you give me a child I will give him back to you and he will never cut his hair as a sign of this commitment to you. I cannot say that the vow is the reason God answered her prayer, but the fact is she became pregnant and she kept her vow . . . literally.

It is not a mere side note in the story that Hannah was observed in prayer by Eli the priest. The child that was going to be born would have a significant role in the life of Eli and the nation of Israel. Eli’s conversation with Hannah on this day sets the stage for when she brings the boy back to the Tabernacle when he was 3 or 4 years old and says, “Eli, I am leaving my boy here with you to serve God for the rest of his life.”

Hannah shows us what loving God is all about. The thing that she wanted more than life itself was to have a son. And yet, when God gave her that son she willingly brings him to the Lord and says here he is – he is yours. And she gave up that cherished gift from God with a spirit of joy and gratitude. Makes me wonder — perhaps there are things we have been asking God for that we have not received yet because we have not come to the place Hannah did – where she mentally surrendered what she was longing for before she received it. Hannah had determined in her heart to give her son totally to the Lord

Samuel became one the greatest prophets and leaders in the history of Israel. The nation was blessed because of his ministry. Samuel’s life no doubt made Hannah very proud of him, and very thankful to God for his great favor toward her. Hannah gave God her only son, so the Lord blessed her with 3 more sons and 2 daughters. You cannot out-give God.

Hannah’s story reminds us of the power of prayer. Not only did God give to her the child that she prayed and wept for, but God’s blessing rested on that child all the days of his life. When Hannah left Samuel with Eli, the environment in the Tabernacle was not all that godly. In fact, Eli’s sons were totally wicked – and they were the ones supposedly leading the people in worship! But because of the prayers of a mother, Samuel grew up in an environment that was wicked as a man of God – a man who heard the voice of God and did the will of God. In an environment full of compromise Samuel did not – he kept the faith and stood for righteousness – and because of it the presence of God filled his life and the nation of Israel was blessed. God hears the prayers of his people – so keep on praying!

Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Thursday May 13, 2010   1 Samuel 3-4 & Proverbs 22:17-29

Friday      May 14, 2010   1 Samuel 5-6 & Proverbs 23:1-18

Saturday  May 15, 2010   1 Samuel 7-8 & Proverbs 23:19-35

Sunday    May 16, 2010   1 Samuel 9-10 & Proverbs 24:1-22

Monday   May 17, 2010   1 Samuel 11-12 & Proverbs 24:23-34

Tuesday  May 18, 2010   1 Samuel 13-14 & Proverbs 25:1-14


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