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1 Samuel 2






BY: Josh Boles

Today’s chapter picks up right where we left off yesterday. In chapter one we know that Hannah spends a good deal of time praying. Today, we get to examine one of her prayers. Before we get into this, we have to remember the context of her prayer. She had just dropped her son of to live in service to the Lord, apart from her. I don’t know about any of you, but if I had to go today to drop Lawson off to live with somebody else, I might have a hard time dealing with that. Hannah did not go off to grieve, or sulk, she praised the Lord.

Not only did Hannah go pray, she burst into song celebrating. Doesn’t this sound a little crazy? At first glance it does, but lets think about it for a second. Hannah was so thrilled that the Lord had answered her prayers, but perhaps even more thrilled that her son would be a faithful servant to the Lord and a leader of the faith that would go down in the history books. Obedience to the Lord always requires a sacrifice, Hannah understood that.

Just think for a minute where we have been spending our time over the last several months. We have been talking a lot about the Law, and sacrifices. In order for a burnt offering to be acceptable worship, it would have had to been the best they had to offer. It would have been a great sacrifice to make because whatever they were sacrificing would have given them the most return for their labor, but they understood what was required. Think back to Abraham, who was willing to give the ultimate sacrifice, his Son.

I think this song can teach us a lot about obedience and sacrifice to the Lord, because although we do not have to give burnt offerings to the Lord, there are still sacrifices involved in following Jesus in our current context. I want you to think back to a time when you had to sacrifice something big. Was your first response celebration, or sorrow? Now, go read 2 Chronicles 29:27. “Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the LORD began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel.” The songs of celebration began after the sacrifice was made.

You see, Hannah was not concerned with personal matters. She was concerned with the Kingdom of God. We see this in verse 1 and 2. I think this is key, because when we are more focused on the Kingdom of God than we are on ourselves, those sacrifices have greater meaning. We are able to lay aside our personal preferences and willingly sacrifice our time, energy, pride, resources, or whatever it may be to the Lord.

Hannah not only found Joy in her sacrifice. But she truly praised the majesty of the Lord. It was not just lip service to things she knew she was supposed to do. Just look at verses 2-3. Like Hannah does here, it is always good to start our prayers off praising the Lord because everything we do is for His glory, even in times of trials and sacrifice.

Hannah’s prayer is just chalk full of incredible words. I would ask you to read it several times and see what you can full out of it. Hannah talked about the grace of God in verse 4-8, and the protection of the Lord in verse 8-10, and how the Lord reigns at the end of verse 10. Hannah not only knew these thing but got to see them happen in her son’s life and her own. Just skip over to verse 21. Isn't that cool!

Finding joy in sacrifice. Funny thing isn't it? Chapters like yesterday and today really make you think about perspective. They should make us think of the way we do things, and the way we react to circumstances in our lives. I think one key thing we can learn from Hannah before we get into the narrative of Samuel’s calling is to pray over every detail of our lives. It is revealed to us in the New Testament that this is actually God’s will for our lives, to remain in constant communication with Him, even when we don't feel like it. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Hannah did just that. She prayed, and rejoiced in the Lord in ALL circumstances. We should do the same!

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1 Samuel 1





BY: Josh Boles

Today we are beginning a new journey through 1 and 2 Samuel. This will be a long journey, but will be well worth it. Before we get into chapter 1, I wanted to give you a brief overview of where we are heading.

The books of Samuel are a very pivotal point in the History of Israel. As we enter into Samuel, we are coming out of the era of Judges, meaning that the Judges will no longer be leading the people of Israel. Now Israel will have a king and establishes themselves as a great nation in the land of Canaan. As Samuel brings this era to a close, we are introduced to Saul, the first king of Israel. Then, as we all know, the story progresses to king David, who will lead the Israelites to fully inherit the land they have been promised.

In chapter 1 we are introduced to Samuel’s mother, Hannah. Hannah is described in commentaries and theology books to be a minor character in the book of Samuel. Although she is a minor character in the plot of Samuel, her faith in God and devotion to Him is a MAJOR point of focus in the narrative of first and second Samuel. We all grey up reading the great stories of David and Goliath, or Samuels obedience, but what would be the case if Hannah would not have shown the faithful obedience that she did.

As we are introduced to this story we are told in verse 2 that Elkanah had two wives. Later in verse 6 we see that this second wife is a rival to Hannah. We see here that she taunts Hannah just so that she can provoke her. Basically Peninnah is being mean just because she can. I want you to think for a minute what Hannah’s reaction was. Obviously, she was very upset as we see in verse 7, but think about what her response was.

Hannah had every reason humanly speaking to become bitter, and lash out against her rivals. What I love about Hannah is that she does not react to people based on the principle of their actions, but rather the principle of God’s grace. She choses instead of storing up bitterness, to go before the Lord and pray. How many of us can say that when we feel great oppression from other people. Is it our first priority to pray? Maybe it should be. Another reason I love Samuel is how well the New Testament reflects the concepts we see here. Does Hannah’s reaction bring any verses to mind? How about Matthew 5:44?

The next thing we see as Hannah is praying, she makes her request known to God. But notice that as she is praying her intention is not to simply get what she wants, she is interested in serving the Lord in her request. Just read verse 11 again to see. I don’t think Hannah is bargaining with the Lord in this case, because we will see later that she is sincere. I think that she simply understands the dynamics if her relationship to the Most High God. Our relationship with the Father is much less about getting things from Him as it is living in devotion and service to Him. Hannah gets this.

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