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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Monday, April 8, 2013

April 8 - 1 Samuel 1-3: God Blesses Hannah and Calls Samuel

Today’s Reading: 1 Samuel 1-3

The Message

English Standard Version

Today we begin 1 Samuel. This book begins with the birth of Samuel, continues through the kingdom of Saul and ends with David becoming king.

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Compare the faith of Hannah, a barren woman, and Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of God.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

There was a man, Elkanah, who had two wives. Hannah, his favorite wife, had no children and was crushed by her barrenness. One year, while praying, she promised to dedicate her firstborn son to God. So God gave her a son. And Hannah dedicated him to God. When Hannah gave Samuel over to God she prayed a great song of joy. She visited him once a year.
Samuel served Eli in the tabernacle from a small boy. Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were wicked men—embarrassingly bad for God. So God took Eli's priesthood promise and gave it to Samuel.

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God blesses Hannah with a son because she vowed to give him to God.

God realizes Hannah was serious about her vow. So God gave her a son. And she fulfilled the vow. God blesses us when we whole-heartedly vow to use what God has given us to set things right on the earth.

Hannah's prayer is worthy of a Psalm.

Hannah's song is both a great prayer to God and a jab at Peninnah (Elkanah's other wife). Peninnah has taunted Hannah for not having any children. The prayer comes from a heart long burdened with wanting a son and now must give him over to God, only to see him once a year. Yet she is not bitter or resentful of her vow. This may be why God gives her more children.

Hophni and Phinehas' sins were so great God took away Eli's part of the priestly promise.

What should not be lost in this story is God's punishment of Eli. Since Eli has not taught his children to honor God he now shares in the punishment—his family's priesthood ends with them. God's promises can be revoked when we do not obey Him.

What do you think of Hannah's prayer?

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