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April 15, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: 1 Kings 8-9
Audio: 1 Kings 8-9

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

1 Samuel 2 (ESV)

And Hannah prayed and said,

“My heart exults in the Lord;
    my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
    because I rejoice in your salvation.

“There is none holy like the Lord:
    for there is none besides you;
    there is no rock like our God.
Talk no more so very proudly,
    let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
    and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty are broken,
    but the feeble bind on strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
    but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
    but she who has many children is forlorn.
The Lord kills and brings to life;
    he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
    he brings low and he exalts.
He raises up the poor from the dust;
    he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
    and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord‘s,
    and on them he has set the world.

“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
    but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
    for not by might shall a man prevail.
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 horn of his anointed.”

11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli the priest.

12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord. 13 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, 14 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. 15 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.” 16 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.” 17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.

18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy clothed with a linen ephod.19 And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the Lord.” So then they would return to their home.

21 Indeed the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.

22 Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. 25 If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death.

26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man.

27 And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh? 28 Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. 29 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?’ 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. 31 Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.32 Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33 The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep hiseyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants of your house shall die by the sword of men. 34 And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day. 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. 36 And everyone who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and shall say, “Please put me in one of the priests’ places, that I may eat a morsel of bread.”’”

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Next: 1 Samuel 3

Back: 1 Samuel 1

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Treating the Offering of the Lord with Contempt

    As I was reading this second chapter of Samuel, I first was struck with Hannah's God-exalting prayer (which focuses squarely on God's sovereignty).

    Then we learn about Eli's son's who were "worthless men" and who "did not know the Lord" (1 Samuel 2:12). Not only would they sin greatly before the Lord by forcing people to give their offering under threat (1 Samuel 2:16) but they would also "lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting" (1 Samuel 2:22).

    Eli confronts his sons and says to them in 1 Samuel 2:23-25a, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. 25 If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?"

    The second half of verse 25 is very interesting?

    "But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death" (1 Samuel 2:25b).

    This is similar to Pharaoh who hardened his heart against God (Exodus 8:15, 32) but God also hardened his heart (Exodus 9:12; 10:20, 27) just has He had promised (Exodus 7:3-4). 

    Just as conception is the work of God (Ruth 4:13), He can close a woman's womb (1 Samuel 1:5-6) then open it (1 Samuel 1:19) according to His will. 

    Throughout the Scriptures, we see the sovereignty of God on display is every aspect of human life – from conception through death and beyond. Some pastors, teachers and authors struggle with the "fairness of God" in what they think is an "extreme view" of sovereignty but this is to define fairness through the lens of our humanity (which is limited, corrupt and always bent on dethroning God from His throne and limiting His authority over us). Even well-intended, God-loving people can do this unintentionally if they interpret Scripture and define God based on human logic and reason instead of what Scripture says about God.

    As R.C. Sproul said, "If there is one single molecule in this universe running around loose, totally free of God’s sovereignty, then we have no guarantee that a single promise of God will ever be fulfilled.”

    As we continue through this second chapter of 1 Samuel, we learn that Eli was taking for himself the "choicest parts of every offering" (1 Samuel 2:29). Both he and his sons exploited God's people for selfish gain. So while Eli realized his son's were doing "evil", he didn't see that what he was doing was as well.

    Does Ananias and Sapphira come to mind? They took from the Lord's offering and God took their lives (Acts 5:1-11).

    But then we read, "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" (1 Samuel 2:35). A faithful priest does what is in accordance with God's heart and mind, not selfish gain, ambition or lust.

    Once again, God's sovereign plan WILL come to pass. His will WILL be done. Just as God was with Hannah when she cried out to Him for a child and vowed to dedicated him to the service of the Lord, He was with her when He opened her womb and He was responsible for her conceiving Samual. God was with Samuel from the very beginning (even before he was molecules in Hannah's womb). 

    If God was not sovereign over every aspect of Samuel's life (from conception onward), God could not say "I will raise for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind." 

    We cling to the promises of God because we cling to God's sovereignty.

    We put our faith in Christ for our salvation because we believe in God's sovereignty. 

    We live and die to the glory of Almighty God because we trust in His sovereignty. 

  2. It’s clear in Hannah’s prayer of worship that she trusts in God’s sovereignty without question. That’s why she is able to rejoice even as she lets Samuel go to live with and serve a priest of God, rather than keeping him to herself.

    Hannah kept her vow to God. 

    How many of us have made vows to God because we wanted something, and when He’s given it to us, we’ve later broken our vow and gone back to living for ourselves, or “figured out a way” to justify dividing our hearts…giving God just a little of what we first vowed?

    I know I have. 

    How grateful I am for this promise:  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 



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