Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways - Apr. 1, 2009


April 1

1 Samuel 1

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Wow!! We learn three powerful truths. 1. Hannah (perhaps wiser than most of us) prays over her desire. 2. God rewards love and obedience. Her son, Samuel, is mightily used of God in leading the nation and is the first prominent prophet after Moses and the last judge of Israel (3:19-21; 7:15). 3. God requires parents to discipline their children in love as He does us (2:12-17,23-25; 3:12-13).

Eli was priest and judge of Israel for 40 years (4:18). This was at the house of the Lord (3:15) which Joshua had placed in ancient Shiloh centuries earlier (Josh. 18:1; Judg. 18:31).

The sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord. . . . Wherefore the sin(s) of the young men was very great before the Lord: for (these) men abhorred the offering of the Lord (I Sam. 2:12,17).

In striking contrast, Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a linen ephod (2:18). The child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the Word of the Lord was precious (rare) in those days; there was no open vision. . . . Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground (3:1,19). This means that Samuel was obedient to everything that God had spoken. Some believed that God perfomed everything He said through Samuel. Both are true.

In contrast, the conduct of Eli's two evil sons, Hophni and Phinehas, flagrantly disregarded all that God had spoken as if it was unimportant. Eli's failure to remove them from priestly responsibilities was in direct disobedience to the Law of God.

In later years, God spoke through Samuel saying: To obey is better than sacrifice (15:22). Therefore God said to Eli: Wherefore . . . honourest thy sons above Me . . . them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed. . . . I will judge his (Eli's) house . . . for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not (2:29-30; 3:13).

Pity the parents who consistently neglect to discipline their children. If we expect our children to please God, we must patiently instruct and supervise them in all His ways, as well as set an example for them to follow.

All who fail to discipline their children will miss the blessings that come from obeying God. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it (Prov. 22:6).

Thought for Today:

If our children are to learn to obey God, they must learn from their parents. If we, as parents, don't obey God, they won't either.

Christ Portrayed:

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

Word Studies:

1:6 sore => 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 is enlarged over rejoices greatly over; pillars of the earth are the Lord's =b> God alone sustains and upholds the earth; 2:10 His King . . . His Anointed =b> Messiah, this is the first reference to Jesus' coming by the title Messiah; 2:13 in seething =b> being cooked; 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; 3:18 every whit =b> everything.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for our Military worldwide • Arabic International Shortwave Broadcasts for the month of April sponsored by Mary Hoffmeyer • English International Shortwave Broadcasts to all of Africa for the month of April sponsored by Thomas & Marrianne Beaghen • Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Government Officials: Justice Samuel Alito and Rep. Chris Lee (NY) • Country: Gambia (1 million) in West Africa • Major languages: English and Mandinka • Religious freedom • 87% Muslim; 10% animism and ancestral spirit worship; 2% Roman Catholic; .7% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray in one accord and praise God as the Creator (Acts 4:24).

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: Matthew 6:1

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