Read I & II Samuel 1 -- 3
In Today's Reading:
Samuel, the last judge; his mother and her sorrow; her song; Samuel hears the voice of God; all Israel knows Samuel as a prophet
Near the end of the period of the Judges, we are introduced to Hannah, a godly woman who had lived many years in deep sorrow and humiliation because she could not have children. Since the Hebrew culture considered this a disgrace, year by year, when she (Hannah) went up to the house of the LORD . . . (Peninnah, Hannah's adversary) provoked her; therefore she (Hannah) wept, and did not eat. . . . And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your handmaid, and remember me, and not forget Your handmaid, but will give to Your handmaid a man (male) child, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life (I Samuel 1:7,11). And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked (noticed) her mouth. Now Hannah . . . spoke in her heart; only her lips moved . . . therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said to her, How long will you be drunken? (1:12-14). Although she was wrongfully accused, Hannah did not become angry, but graciously answered Eli: No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD (1:15-16).
It was Eli's responsibility to rebuke those who did evil. In this case, Eli's misjudgment was truly a test of the genuineness of Hannah's humility. Had she reacted in indignation and anger toward Eli for being so judgmental she would have returned home with a bitter attitude. However, instead of being angry, she told Eli her deep sorrow. Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant you your petition that you have asked of Him (1:17). God did answer and Hannah's son Samuel united the tribes of Israel into one nation.
Hannah lived centuries before the New Testament experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit; and yet we see her maintaining a godly attitude while being rebuked. The acceptance of such an undeserved rebuke in a right spirit often brings an answer to our prayers.
Put on therefore, as the elect (chosen) of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies (compassion), kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering (Colossians 3:12).
1:6 provoked her sore = ridiculed her without mercy; 1:12 marked her mouth = noticed her mouth moving; 1:16 daughter of Belial = a sinful woman; 2:1 horn = strength; 2:8 pillars of the earth = God alone sustains and upholds the earth, a symbolic phrase like sun rises and sun sets; 2:10 His anointed = Messiah, a reference to Jesus Christ; 2:13 in seething = being boiled; 2:15 sodden = boiled; 2:29 Wherefore kick ye = Why do you rebel?; 2:31 cut off thine arm = break your strength; 3:19 did let none of his words fall to the ground = did not ignore or show casual concern for His Word; some theologians believe it means = heard him when he prayed.
By Samuel who grew in favor with God and men (I Samuel 2:26). And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52).
Government Official (listed on their birthdays): Rep. Peter Deutsch (FL) · Country: Tibet (population unknown) (province of China) in eastern Asia · Major language: Tibetan · The Chinese government is still committed to promoting atheism while at the same time, officially permitting Lamaism (a form of Buddhism) · No religious statistics are available, but at one time all were Lamaists · Lamaism was all but exterminated by Chinese invaders in the 1950s, but it is now permitted under strict control · Prayer Suggestion: Keep your mind on the Lord and trust Him; He will give you peace (Isaiah 26:3).
Optional Reading: Acts 2
NOTE: Bible Pathway covers the Old Testament with devotional and commentary insights over a nine-month period, January through September. Each day during these months, an optional reading of one chapter a day from the New Testament will also be listed. The October, November, and December issues will provide a daily commentary on the New Testament readings. Thus, the reader goes through the New Testament twice each year using the Bible Pathway plan.
Memory Verse for the Week: John 3:18