March 19th

1 Samuel 1-3

  • 1:5 – It was not unusual for a man to abandon a barren wife; this verse indicates that he’s a man of unusual character
  • 1:1-8 – Note the similarities between these two women and Rachel and Leah. The less loved wife is able to bear children. Rivalry ensues. But notice how differently Hannah deals with her situation than Rachel.
  • 1:8 – Elkanah sounds like a wonderful, loving man.
  • 1:11 – Hannah is offering the son she hopes for up as a Nazirite, dedicated to the Lord’s service, like Samson.
  • 1:12-14—This isn’t the first or last time that a person deep in prayer will be mistaken for a drunk.
  • 1:19-20 – Obviously a huge answer to prayer! Note that in ancient Israelite culture, names had deep meaning. We’ve seen this a lot. Names were not given frivolously, but with great purpose and thought.
  • 1:24-28 – What an incredibly difficult follow through! Hannah desperately wanted a son, but promised him to God’s service. She follows through with her promise and gives Samuel to the Lord. I’m not sure that I could do the same.
  • 2:1-10 – The deep faith and commitment to God expressed in her prayer makes it a little more clear how she was able to keep her promise.
  • 2:12-17 – The sons of Eli would have been priests as well and were not following the laws of how to sacrifice, but instead, taking the parts of the sacrifice that were meant for God. I’m not sure if every Bible translation uses this word, but my Bible calls them scoundrels.
  • 2:21—Hannah’s faithfulness in giving Samuel to God as a Nazirite results in her having three more sons. The Old Testament is consistent: faithfulness to God always results in some sort of blessing, usually something much better than what the person asked for. The catch is that faithfulness is often much harder than people bargain for, and the blessing often doesn’t come when expected. In Hannah’s case, she had to give up her son- the only child she’d ever have, as far as she knew. In ancient Israel, this also meant she was giving up her only security- in that culture, a woman’s children were expected to care for them in their old age since they couldn’t earn money for themselves. Hannah puts complete faith in God, and she’s rewarded for it.
  • 2:25—This is somewhat disturbing- it seems like God is preventing them from doing anything to redeem themselves. In fact, this is very much like Pharoah in Exodus and the Canaanites in Judges: God has given them plenty of opportunities to turn from their sin, and they haven’t done it. In fact, Hophni and Phinehas are arguably worse than Pharoah since they’re God’s priests. Unlike Pharoah, they know better than to do what they’re doing. They know God’s law and they’re intentionally ignoring it.
  • 2:27—The ancestor he’s talking about is Aaron, Moses’ brother
  • 3:1 – This means God was not speaking directly to people much at this time. This could be a choice by God or it could be because of Israel’s distance from God.
  • 3:4-10—Have you ever wondered if God’s been calling you to do something, and you simply didn’t recognize his voice? I think this may happen to us more often than we realize.

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