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Bible Pathways - Apr. 1, 2008


April 1

1 Samuel 1

Highlights In Today's Reading:

The people ask for a king like other nations! The early chapters of I Samuel describe this change in Israel's history. God used Samuel as the last Judge and the first Prophet. We open with Eli the priest and the tears of childless Hannah. She "pours out her soul before the Lord." He answers her pleas and later Samuel is born (1:9-20).

Samuel and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, grew up together in Shiloh. These two brothers were indifferent to the honor of representing the Almighty God. In contrast, Samuel grew spiritually because he let none of his words fall to the ground (3:19; compare 2:26). This means that Samuel did not ignore anything that God had spoken. Samuel was true to his commitment when he said: Speak; for Thy servant heareth (3:10), meaning: "I will promptly respond." God first spoke to Samuel one night when he was asleep (3:3). He thought Eli had called and he ran to Eli and said: Here am I (3:5). Samuel was quick to respond when others would have turned over and gone back to sleep. This means that he didn't put it off to a "more convenient" time or respond in a shoddy, halfhearted way. He recognized the high honor of serving God.

The Ark of the Covenant represented the power of God, His Word, and His presence among them. It had been at Shiloh since Joshua placed it there about 400 years earlier (Joshua 18:1). But general indifference to the Word of God prevailed among the priests and the people. Consequently, the Word of the Lord was precious in those days (meaning it was unknown by the majority of the people and was seldom, if ever, referred to) (3:1). But the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the Word of the Lord (3:19,21). God is always looking for more Samuels.

The reason the Word of the Lord was not clearly understood is the same reason it is not clearly understood today. We cannot understand God's Word or His will for our lives if we never read all the Bible. We will desire to keep His Commandments if we are concerned about pleasing the Lord. Jesus said that the Old Testament is of utmost importance in fully recognizing Him as Savior and Lord. Beginning at Moses (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy) and all the prophets (Isaiah, Jeremia, Ezekiel, Dan, Hosea, Joel, etc.), He (Jesus) expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27). Now these things were our examples (I Corinthians 10:6). From Genesis to Revelation, the history of God's people illustrates spiritual truth for Christians today. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable (Matthew 4:4; II Timothy 3:16).

Thought for Today:

Many call themselves Christians who are unwilling to turn loose of this world. Thus they miss the blessings that come from obeying God.

Christ Portrayed:

By Samuel who grew in favor with God and men (I Samuel 2:26). Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man (Luke 2:52).

Word Studies:

1:6 provoked her sore =b> ridiculed her without mercy; 1:12 marked her mouth =b> noticed her mouth moving; 1:16 daughter of Belial =b> a sinful woman; 2:1 horn =b> strength; 2:8 pillars of the earth =b> God alone sustains and upholds the earth; 2:10 His king . . . His anointed =b> Messiah, this is the first reference to Jesus Christ by the word Messiah; 2:13 in seething =b> being boiled; 2:15 sodden =b> boiled; 2:29 Wherefore kick ye =b> Why do you rebel?; 2:31 cut off thine arm =b> break your strength.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for our Military worldwide • The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts for the month of April sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer • Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Government Official: Justice Samuel Alito • Country (Religious statistics from Operation World and Religious Freedom in the World): Israel (6.1 million) in the Middle East • Major languages: Hebrew and Arabic • Witnessing to Jews about Christ the Messiah is actively discouraged • 80.2% Jewish (mostly secuclar); 14.6% Muslim (largely Sunni); 2.1% Christian; 1.6% Druze; 1.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray persistently; you will receive an answer (Luke 11:9-10).

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 1:23

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