Read I 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, every year. . . she went up to the LORD's house, her rival taunted her. . . . Hannah wept and wouldn't eat. . . . Making a vow she pleaded, O LORD of Hosts, if You will take notice of Your handmaid's affliction and remember me and not forget me and give Your handmaid a son,then I will give him to the LORDall the days of his life (I Samuel 1:7,11). Although Hannah had prayed for a son for many years, she did not give up. While she was praying in the LORD's presence, Eli (the priest and judge) watched her mouth.Hannah was speaking in her heart, and although her lips were moving, her voice couldn't be heard, so Eli concluded that she was drunk. . . . Eli scolded her (1:12-14). Although she was wrongfully accused, Hannah did not become angry, but graciously and humbly answered Eli: Oh no, my lord. . . . I'm a woman whose spirit is troubled. I haven't had any wine or beer; I've been pouring out my soul before the LORD. Don't think of me as a wicked woman;I've been praying from the depth of my anguish and provocation (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 entreated Eli, telling him of her sorrow. Eli responded, Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant the petition that you've requested from Him (1:17). Hannah returned home rejoicing.
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.
Therefore, God's chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12).
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 with people (Luke 2:52).
Government Official: Rep. Peter Deutsch (FL) · Country: Turkmenistan (4 million) southwestern central Asia · Major languages: Turkmen and Russian · Religious freedom: 76% Muslim; 6% Russian/Armenian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Let your prayers be praise to the Lord (Psalms 150:6).
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: I Peter 2:2