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Bible Pathways - April 1, 2006

April 1, 2006

Read 1 Samuel 1

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 . . . she went up to the house of the LORD, so she (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 Thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of Thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget Thine handmaid, but wilt give unto Thine handmaid a man (male) child, then I will give him unto 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 . . spake in her heart; only her lips moved . . . therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou 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 entreated Eli, telling him of her sorrow. Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of Him (1:17). 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 even 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, longsuffering. . . . forgiving one another (Colossians 3:12-13).

Word Studies:

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 king . . . His anointed = Messiah, this is the first reference to Jesus Christ by the word Messiah; 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.

Christ Portrayed:

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

Prayer Needs:

Pray for our Military worldwide · Country: North Korea (22 million) in northeastern Asia · Major language: Korean · Violent oppression against all religions · 68% atheist; 31% Buddhism, Confucianism, and other Korean religions; 1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Praise God for godly men of old who were faithful to record His Word of Truth (Habakkuk 2:1-2).

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: Ruth 1:16

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