Monday, August 31, 2015

Watch For What We Ask

O. T. #588  "Watch For What We Ask"
August 31, 2015
1 Samuel 8
And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.  1 Samuel 8:5


We would be wise to watch what we ask for from God. Sometimes it is not what is best for us, yet He gives it to teach us a lesson. Then we live to regret it. Such is the case of Israel.

As Samuel grew old, he made his sons judges over Israel. However, his sons turned aside to lucre. This is the first mention of lucre, which refers to plunder, gain, profit in the Hebrew language.
Of all people, Samuel should have should have learned from Eli's mistakes (3:13). Did he not properly train his sons and restrain them? Now they were perverting judgment.

We must be careful to mold and train our children in the ways of God. What we teach them can last a lifetime and affect future generations.Without that training, they probably go the way of the world. However, we can't blame ourselves for the choices our grown children make. They are accountable to God for their actions.

How important is filthy lucre to us?
Shall we look at the Scriptures' warnings for us (NIV)?
In Titus 1:7 and 11 Paul warned Titus that the elder/pastor is to not shamefully gain.
In Paul's letter to Timothy, he warns the overseer/pastor and deacons to not be a lovers of money, not loving silver ( 1 Timothy 3:3 and 8).
In 1 Peter 5:2, we read where Peter warns the elders to not be greedy for money.
What applies to our leadership should apply to the lay person, shouldn't it?


The elders of Israel rose up to handle it in their own way. They told Samuel to make us a king.
Why did Israel want a king?
Life Application Study Bible answers that question:
  1. Samuel's sons were not fit to lead Israel.
  2. The 12 tribes of Israel continually had problems working together because each tribe had its own leader and territory. It was hoped that a king would unite the tribes into one nation and one army.
  3. The people wanted to be like the neighboring nations.
That is exactly what God did not want for His children. It would be too easy for them to forget God was their intended leader. It wasn't wrong for them to want a king, they just went about in the wrong way and wrong time. A king would symbolize power, security, and lead them into battle (Deut. 17:14,15). God even told Israel to set a king over them when they came into their Promised Land. However, the stipulation was that God would choose the man. He was to not be a foreigner, but one of them. He was to not accumulate large amounts of horses, gold, silver, or wives for himself.

Oh, Israel, you are going to live to regret this. Watch out for what you are asking. Don't do it. (We can read what a mess their Saul made during his reign as Israel's king. He perverted justice and charged taxes, plus trying to kill David, the anointed king by God. )

Are we careful what we ask of God? Are we carefully and prayerfully considering who to vote for as the next president of our nation?


Pray for God's will, not my will.

Distinguish if it is for self-gain when I pray.

Friday, August 28, 2015

He Got Around

O. T. # 587  "He Got Around"
August 28, 2015
1 Samuel 7-Part 4
And he went from year to year...


Do we grow weary being a Christian? Year after year, decade after decade, are we going and doing, in the service of the Lord? Are we staying in our own little world or do we get around, following Jesus to minister to the needs of others. Samuel got around. Although today's lesson only covers 3 verses, they are needful, or else God would not have included them, right?

How did Samuel get around to those cities? Did he walk, ride a donkey? Certainly there was no air conditioned van, no bus going to the cities where he ministered. In the scope of it all, it is not important, is it?

The hand of the Lord was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. Did you read in verse 14 where the land which the Philistines had taken from Israel was returned?

The two cities mentioned, Ekron and Gath, became the eastern border of the Philistines. So the Philistines resided in the coastal plains, and the Amorites resided in the hills west of Israel between the Jordan Valley and the coastal plain. Israel was also at peace with the Philistines. (MacArthur)

Are we asking God to conquer our enemies and fill our land with His peace?


Apparently Samuel had an effect on the national revival in Israel. He reeducated the people in the laws of the Lord almost single-handedly. He played the parts of judge, priest, Levite, ruler, and prophet.

Samuel became a circuit preacher. Annually, he traveled to Bethel, Gilgal, Mizpeh, and return once again to Ramah, which allowed him to manage the affairs of the people as a judge.

Samuel was sharing the Word, the Laws of God with the people.
He delivered his people spiritually, not physically. Samuel prepared God's people for receiving David, the king of God's choice, and ultimately the Son of David, Jesus Christ. (Falwell)

Do we go around sharing Jesus, like Samuel did? Are we encouraging others to be faithful to God? How do others see us?


Be faithful to God my own self, then encourage others to be faithful to God.

Share His faithfulness.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Raise YOur Ebenezer!

O. T. #584  "Raise Your Ebenezer!"
August 27, 2015
1 Samuel 7-Part 2
Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizepeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. 1 Samuel 7:12


How has God helped you? Three times He has given me my breath of life back, allowing me to live. He has protected me from injuries, provided for me in needy times, answered my prayers, loved me back to Him whenever I strayed. Yes, He is my stone of help and I will raise my Ebenezer up to remind me of such. I am in the process of writing a book about the wonderful things my Savior has done for me, for His glory.
Samuel raise his Ebenezer up, too. Keep reading to find out why.

A slow national revival was stirring in Israel for 20 years. Under the direction of Samuel, they put away their idols. When Samuel started making offerings unto God at Mizpeh, the Philistines heard what was happening. Then Philistines drew near the city, determined to squelch this by attacking Israel. Of course, this frightened the Israelites.

So what did Israel do?
  • They asked Samuel to Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that He will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.  (verse 8)
  • Samuel took a lamb and offered it as a burnt offering unto the Lord and cried out unto Him for Israel.
  • During that time the Philistines drew nearer to battle against Israel.
The Israelites looked only to God as their source for physical deliverance. The word save in Hebrew is the word yasha'. It is the name Joshua in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New Testament. They both come from this same word-yasha, meaning Jehovah is salvation.
When we cry out to the Lord to save us from our sins, He will also deliver us.
[Resource: Liberty Bible Commentary]

Do we cry out for God to save us from our sins and save us from our enemies?


Obviously the Lord was pleased with the offerings given to Him and His children seeking His deliverance. They had repented from sin, turned from idols, and were determined to obey God alone. Look what happened in verse 10 as He came through for them:
  • The LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines. It threw them into a panic.
  • The Scriptures said He discomfited the Philistines.  
  •  The Lord did to His enemies by what was said by Hannah in  her prayer found in 2:10.
  • He discomfited them.
  • The Philistines were slaughtered by Israel along the way to a point below Beth Car.

Aren't there some words you like to say over and over, roll them off your tongue? Discomfited is one for me.
In the Hebrew language, discomfited means to make an uproar or agitate greatly; make a noise; destroy; move.

Yes sir, the Lord discomfited those Philistines! Thunder can have that kind of effect on a person, (cause you to panic) can't it? Especially when it is so close it rattles the windows, as was the case a couple of weeks ago at my house. The electricity went out immediately and remains so for 3 hours.

The Lord enabled Israel to do all of this. He gave the victory to HIs children. He fought the battle and gave the blessings.

What did Samuel do?
  •  He took a stone and set it up between the cities of Mizpah and Shen. It was a memorial of God's great help and deliverance.
  • He named the stone Ebenezer, which means stone of help.
The hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.

This was a temporary peace in the land. Although the Philistines did later attack Israel, this battle was a turning point in the relationship between the two nations. (D. Jeremiah)

During tough times, we may need to remember the crucial turning points in our past to help us through the present. Memorials can help us remember God's past victories and gain confidence and strength for the present. ( Life Application Study Bible)

Do we raise our Ebenezer when God gives us help?

I had to look up the song about this, which we used to sing in our services. It is entitled Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. The second verse reads:
Here I raise mine Ebenezer; Hither by Thy help I'm come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home. Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wand'ring from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood.

[from: The Baptist Hymnal, 1991]


Gonna raise my Ebenezer today! Gotta look for me a stone or something to remind me of His help.

Thank You Jesus for being my help and hope.

Praise You for seeking me when a stranger and wandering from Your fold.

Glory to Your Name for rescuing me with Your precious blood.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Put It in Its Place

O. T. #585  "Put It in Its Place"
August 26, 2015
1 Samuel 7-Part 2
Then the children of Israel did put away Baalm and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD.
1 Samuel 7:4


Throughout the years, I have allowed things to become very important to me-my job, my family, money, my new car. Looking back, they did become idols in my life at various times. God is so longsuffering, patient, with me. I deserved His blowing me away, but He didn't. Eventually, I had a change of heart and He was first place. I had to put those things in their place. My God was #1.
It took Israel 20 years to work through that, also. They had to put their idols in their place-away, destroyed.

The Ark of the Covenant remained 20 years in Israel at the house of Abinadab, with his son Eleazar ministering to it. during tat time, Israel lamented after the Lord. Lament means moan, cry out loud, in Hebrew.

I wonder if Samuel was age 30 or 40 by this time. He was recognized as the prophet to whom God spoke. In addition to being a prophet, Samuel functioned as a priest, military leader, judge, and king as well.
What did Samuel tell the people of Israell?
  • return to the Lord with all their hearts;
  • put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among them;
  • serve God.
Samuel told the people if they did those things, then  God would deliver them out of the hand of the Philistines. Israel did put away their gods and served the Lord only.

Shall we look around for any "gods" that we may have in our life? It may take on various forms, may not even have a physical form, such as a job or ministry, or we may be able to see it and touch it, like a house or car. Whatever form, if it has become more important in our life than God, then it is a god to us. do we spend more time with it, think more about it, than we do our God? Time to take inventory. What do I need to change or get rid of in my life, Lord?


So Samuel gathered all Israel at Mizpeh and he prayed for them. What else happened?
  • They worshiped God by pouring out water, as an offering. It seemed to have pleased the Lord as an outward sign of their repentance in their heart. I Samuel tell us that God looks upon the heart.
  • They fasted that day.
  • They admitted sinning by saying, "We have sinned against the LORD."
  • Samuel functioned as judge to the Israelites at Mizpeh.
Doesn't Satan always find a way to squelch our enthusiasm for the Lord? When those Philistine leaders heard about this, they went to Mizpeh. This frightened the Israelites.

We will pick up the story next time. What did Israel do next? Did they seek the Lord? Did they run or stand up to their enemies? What did the Lord do?

What do we do in our time of trouble? Are we willing to do things God's way? Even when it is difficult?


Take spiritual inventory often.

Ask myself if I have anything in a place more important than God.

Repent of my sins.

If so, remove it or put it in its place.

Worship God only, the One who sits on His Mercy Seat.

Love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Enjoy fellowship with God as He leads me down the path He has for me today.

* Sorry for not posting yesterday. I had a doctor appointment. We are adjusting my medicine.

Monday, August 24, 2015

What's in Your Attic?

O. T. #584 "What's in Your Attic?"
August 24, 2015
1 Samuel 7
And the men of Kirjath-jearim came, and fetched up the Ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadabin the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the Ark of the LORD.
1 Samuel 7:1


Is there a box hidden away in your attic? If so, it may hold  mementos, keepsakes, or unwanted items which bring back painful memories. There is an unusual item in our attic. It is the wooden leg which my father wore after he lost his leg in France during WWII. Needless to say, I don't go up there, so I have never thrown it away or burned it up. I haven't thought about it in years until now. I wonder if his black sock and everyday shoe are still on the end of it. I don't think I want to know bad enough to check. I'll just leave it there so some day when I am gone, my children will find it and be reminded of the sacrifice their grandfather made so they could enjoy freedom in America.

So what is in your attic? Actually, I am referring to the small place in your mind where you keep the door closed, even locked. You don't open it because it exposes painful memories of times you want to erase or forget. Friend, open that door to Jesus so He can help you forgive whoever or whatever needs forgiving by you. Then He will exchange your pain for the peace of God.
The Israelites had a box stored away in a man's house, it was the Ark of God. Let's take a peek.

After the bubonic plague killed so many Philistines due to their capturing the Ark of God, they passed it around to 5 cities, possessing it 7 months. These were idol worshipers, and they had many gods who were false. Yet they knew about the One True Living God of Israel.

Finally, the Philistines returned the Ark to Israel, who made an offering upon receiving it. The men at Beth-Shemesh sent word to the inhabitants of the city of Kirjath-jearim, which was near the battlefield, to come down and fetch it. this was done for the safe keeping of the Ark. So they did. For 20 years the Ark remained in the house of Abinadab. His son, Eleazar, for practical purposes, is the priest ministering to it. They were probably Levites. (Keep in mind, the Philistines destroyed the Israelite city of Shiloh where they had kept the Ark before taking it into battle (4:1-18).

How long have we been going to the same church? Do we attend services there out of habit or do we go to sincerely worship God?


Evidently, during this 20 year period, Israel neglected God and chased after foreign gods. After those 20 years, Israel returned to the Lord.  (MacArthur)

Falwell described this period as a slow national revival. Time and gradual restoration were required because of the deep moral depression prior to the death of Eli and the destruction of Shiloh.

Life Application Study Bible provides these insights:
Israel mourned, and sorrow gripped the nation for 20 years. The Ark was put away like an unwanted box in the attic, and it seemed as if the Lord had abandoned His people. Samuel, now a grown man, roused them to action by saying that if they were truly sorry, they should do something about it. How easy it is for us to complain about our problems, even to God, while we refuse to act, change, and do what He requires. We don't even take the advice He has already given us. Do you ever feel as if God has abandoned you? Check to see if there is anything He has already told you to do. You may not receive new guidance from God until you have acted on His previous directions.

Well, my husband says that we must go back and do the last thing God told us to do. They we will hear further instructions. What can I say?


                                   ... of what ever is keeping me from total surrender and following God.
                                   ... of my wants and desires to do His will, His way.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Warning Others

O. T. #583  "Warning Others"
August 21, 2015
1 Samuel 6-Part 2
...because they had looked into the Ark of the LORD, even He smote...
1 Samuel 6:19


It was fun to sing the song with my granddaughter about the 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed and falling off, bumping their head. Mamma called the doctor and he said for them to stop jumping on the bed. And then there was one. It wasn't fun to the Israeli city when so many died. It was a tragedy. Do we not realize when danger results in death or injury by the experience of others? Will we jump off the cliff if our friends do it? (How many times have we said that to our teens?) Why do we not head the warnings? So many diseases due to pleasures-smoking, drinking, drugs. Will we not warn our loved ones? 

After seven months of the Ark of God being with the Philistines, it was returned. As the Israeli men were harvesting wheat, they saw it coming on a new cart pulled by two cows. The Levites came and made a  burnt offering of the cows using the wood of the cart which carried the Ark and a large stone at the location. They placed the Ark upon the large stone as an alter. How exciting it must have been in the communities of Israel. The Ark of God represented the presence of God. Because God is holy and His glory is present at the Ark, it was no ordinary box.

Exodus 26 gives a description of the Ark as God instructed Moses to have it built. It was placed behind blue, purple, and scarlet embroidered curtains, the veil which separated the Holy of Holies room in the Tabernacle. The Ark itself was made of shittim wood, overlaid with pure gold, 3' by 2'; it had a Mercy Seat affixed to it on top; two cherubims of gold, each were at the end of the Ark. As I recall, Aaron's budding rod and the Tablets with the Ten Commandments, Moses' staff were placed inside.

Instructions were given to the Israelites concerning the Ark-only the Levites  of the family of Kohath were allowed to touch (move) it. No one was to touch any holy thing. (Num. 4:15)

Do we consider the Bible as a holy book? We used to call it the Holy Bible.
Holy means seperated, set apart.

1 Peter 2:9 describes believers as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people...

Are we a separated people, separated from the world, different, living by faith?


Well, there were men at the city of Beth-Shemesh who were curious. They look inside the Ark of God. The Word says 50,070 men did that and were killed. some commentators say it was 70 out of 50,000. However many it was, they died. This holy Ark was only to be touched by those certain men appointed by God, as mentioned previously. It is described as a great slaughter in verse 19, so it tend to think it was the higher number.

Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God?
To whom shall He go up from us?

Although the men of this city knew God was holy, it did not make them want to be closer to God. It made them want to distance themselves from God. Who can they give this problem to so the holiness of God is no longer a burden to us? (Guzik)

One would think these men would have considered it a privilege to have God with them, but it was not so. Maybe they were afraid that they too would be killed.

Do we allow sin to separate us from God? It is through the blood of Jesus that we can come to Him, cleansed when we ask forgiveness. Are we letting others know the requirements of God for them?


Bow before a holy God with the robe of Jesus blood covering me. (spiritually)

Respect God for being a holy God.

Meet with God in His Holy Word.

Listen as He speaks to me through it.

Alert others of eternity coming, and the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Get It Out of Here!

O. T. #582 "Get It Out of Here!"
August 20, 2015
1 Samuel 6
What shall we do with the Ark of the LORD? Tell us how we should send it back to its place.
1 Samuel 6:2


There were Jews who were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley, on just an ordinary day, doing ordinary things. When they looked up, their eyes saw the Ark. Can you imagine the excitement? Now the cart had stopped beside a large rock in the field. Remember, 7 months had passed since the battle with the Philistines, when they captured the Ark. The Levites took down the Ark and gold objects, then placed them on the large rock. The people chopped up the wood of the cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt offering to the Lord there. The Philistines had destroyed Shiloh, where the Tabernacle was located. (When the 5 rulers of the Philistines, who had followed the cart, saw this, they returned to Ekron.)

When we have received a blessing, an answered prayer, a miracle, do we acknowledge God as the giver, thank Him, and worship Him? Or do we fluff it off as a coincidence, the doctors' abilities, or our doings?

How great is our God! He gives and He takes away.


Even though the Philistines won the battle with  killing 34,000 Israelites and capturing the Ark of the Covenant, their victory dance was soon changed into mourning. All 5 cities where they sent the Ark was plagued with tumors. God used rats to send these tumors upon the people, which resulted in death of many Philistines. The Ark was with the Philistines for 7 months. The people had had enough of God's judgment. They wanted it out of there. What could they do to appease the God of Israel so His hand of judgment would be removed? Where should they send the Ark?

They inquired of their fortunetellers for the answer:
  • Send it back to Israel, but not empty handed.
  • Send a trespass (sin) offering with it.
  • Make 5 golden tumors and 5 golden mice to send with it. These were symbolic of the plague and a ransom money.
  • The plan for transporting the Ark included using 2 newly mother cows, and a new cart. Pen up the calves so their mothers would go looking for them, pulling the cart. They did and the cows kept on the road, lowing all the way, not turning to the right or to the left. The Philistines followed behind the Ark.
  • Funny how the pagans still recalled the plagues God brought upon the Egyptians, some 379 years earlier. Finally the Egyptians sent the Israelites out so they could go on their way.(v. 6)

The Philistines thought their problems were the result of their gods being angry. (They worshiped several pagan gods, and acknowledged the God of Israel as a god along with theirs.)
Are we crying on a road of misery, pain, or sorrow?
It was God who directed those nursing cows to the place He where He wanted the Jews to see the Ark.
Do we design our own methods of acknowledging God rather than serving Him in the way He requires, as the Philistines did?
Apparently the faith of some of the Israelites did not waver since they made an offering to God. It had been 7 months and many men's lives lost.


Do things God's way.

Rejoice when God does extraordinary things.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Falling Flat on my Face

O. T. #581  "Falling Flat on my Face"
August 19, 2015
1 Samuel 5
... Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord...
1 Samuel 5:4


Have you ever tripped and fallen flat on your face? I have several times. The last time I was able to catch myself, protecting my long nose, and put my arms in front of me. so I hurt my shoulder that time. It was humiliating, even though I was alone. Today, the Philistines god was going to fall flat on its face. Yeees! You go Lord! show Yourself mighty!

We last read of the tragedies which occurred to Israel-Ark of the Covenant, high priest Eli's death, and his two sons' death. Not to mention that 34,000 Israelis died in the battle with the Philistines. If only Israel had repented of their sins. If only...

Now the Philistines had possession of the Ark, passing it around to their various cities. (The Ark was considered evidence of God's presence.)
First the Philistines took it from the city of Ebenezer to Ashdod (located 30 miles west of Jerusalem near the sea). That is the place where they had the temple of their false god named Dagon, which was actually outside the city.
Four writers of commentaries gave a different description of Dagon:
  • considered the father of god Baal, and was thought to supply both harvest and fertility (Judges 16:23-30) (D. Jeremiah);
  •  a deity as a fish god, whose image had the lower body of a fish and the upper body of a man (MacArthur);
  • a chief god of the Philistines who was believed to send rain and assured a bountiful harvest (Life Application Study Bible);
  • the god of agriculture, whose name is derived from "corn" or "grain." (Falwell)
  • Apparently, it was a statue, an idol.
Actually, it doesn't matter which kind of god it was to the Philistines, does it? They soon found out it was a false god, helpless and powerless in comparison to Almighty God, Elshadiah.

Continuing, what happened at Ashdod?
  • They set the Ark was placed in front of the Philistine god.
  • The next morning, Dagon was found flat on its face in front of the Ark of God, symbolizing its bowing to the only Almighty God.
  • They put Dagon back in its place, only to have God put it in its place. 
  • The following morning the same thing was found-Dagon on its face before the Ark, only its head and palms were broken off and on the threshold, with only its body remaining. Since it smashed into many pieces, only a stump was left.
Without a head and hands on their idol, it couldn't hear their requests and could not help them, as if an idol could have. It represented the enemy was dead.
What a display of God's sovereign control! He has the last word and will not be mocked.
Do we have to fall flat on our face before we admit God is in control and yield to Him?
Why do we wait for Him to put us in our place before we do so?


God showed His sovereignty over all. We read of the hand of the LORD being heavy upon the people of  their cities:
  • First, it happened when the Ark was taken to the city of Ashdod. God destroyed the people and those in the vicinity by afflicting them with tumors called emerods.
  • Emerods are boils, abscesses, swellings. It seems to have been the Bubonic Plague, caused by an outbreak of rats or mice. It was obvious that the hand of the Lord was punishing the Philistines.
  • They had to get the Ark out of town and right away, didn't they? So next they sent the Ark 12 miles away to the city of Gath. The same plague, boils in the secret places, killed the residents. Guess what they did.
  • The Ark was sent to a fourth Philistine city of Ekron. Those people did not want it in their city, due to the previous deaths due to the plague. Can you blame them? God's hand was heave upon them, also, and many died the same way.
Verse 11 explains what happened next:
*The rulers of the Philistines had their meeting and decided to send away the Ark of the God of Israel
   and let it go again to His own place.
*This was so it would not slay any more of them and their people.
*The men who did not die were afflicted with tumors.
*The outcry of the city went up to heaven.

We need to keep the Lord in His proper place-first place in our heart. If He is not there, what will it take for us to surrender so He is? Will it take tumors, cancer, diseases, loosing our family?

In Matthew 22:37, Jesus instructs us to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.


                               ... anything that is first place in my life, which is not God.
                                ... of the control and let God take control.
                                ... and love God more than anything with my everything.
                                ... falling on my face to worship the Lord before He sees that I fall flat on my
                                    face in whatever I am doing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Answering the Wake Up Call

O. T. #580  "Answering the Wake Up Call"
August 18, 2015
1 Samuel 4
The Ark of God was captured, and Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas died. 1 Samuel 4:11


Have you ever stayed in a motel and asked the clerk to call you at an early time the next morning? We have a few times. It was to insure that we woke up. Duh! Well I got one of those wake up calls from the Lord.
So many of us can say that we strayed from God, then we returned to Him when tragedy, problems, troubles, and situations struck. How about you? I certainly can. I recall a time when I was doing my will, my way and not His will, His way. I took the wrong job, went to the wrong school to teach. I knew it deep down in my heart, but my faith was not strong enough to trust God to provide the difference in salary. I was doing things my way. Boy, did I reap the consequences! When pressure was more than I could bear, some 4 years later, I quite, right in the middle of the year. I had to get out of there. I answered the wake up call. Then I spent the rest of the time finally surrendering to God and receiving healing for my sick soul. (God provided through it all.) Well, the next fall, I went to the right school I was supposed to teach at before all that happened. I got into God's will, doing it His way. That year, several first graders came to Christ for their Savior. What blessings await those who do God's will His way!

Eli came to grips with the judgment of God upon his family. He had not disciplined his two sons for their sinful acts at the temple of God. Samuel had the difficult job of delivering it to Eli as a direct message from God. And we read of such happening in this chapter. Because of Samuel's delivering the Word from God that came true, actually happened, Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of God.

They were doing things their way, not stopping Eli's unholy acts. Eli was 98 years old and had served as their high priest and judge for 40 years. Since He did not discipline his two sons, why didn't someone step up and do it? Israel was doing what was right in their own eyes.

The Philistines were probably in the land during the exodus of Israel. By this time, they had a federation with five center: Ashdod, Ekron, Ashkelon, Gaza, and Gath. In this particular battle, Israel pitched camp at Ebenezer near Mizpah. The Philistines camped in Aphek, an unknown site.  (Liberty Bible Commentary)

Israel lost that battle, having 40,000 killed. You may ask what good can come of that. It woke Israel up. When some soldiers returned into camp after the defeat, the elders asked, Why did the LORD bring defeat upon us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the LORD's covenant from Shiloh so that it may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies. (verse 3,NIV)

The Jeremiah Study Bible explains:
The elders of Israel rightly acknowledged that their defeat was due to God's displeasure, not the Philistines military might. but rather than confessing their sin and repenting, they irreverently attempted to manipulate God by using the Ark of the Covenant like a good-=luck charm. Although the Ark symbolized God's presence, it did not guarantee His favor (Num. 10:35)  

That was a good question, guys. Answer your wake up call. So they sent men to Shiloh to bring the Ark into their camp. Now, Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas were there with it. Israel got excited and gave a great shout when the Ark came into camp. Israel considered having the Ark with them insured victory for them because it symbolized God's presence. However, that was not true in this case, unfortunately.

The Philistines heard the shouting from Israel's camp and inquired what was happening there. They admitted they were in trouble when informed God was with Israel, only they called Him "a god." Remembering what happened to the Egyptians and all the plagues God had brought upon them, the Philistines encouraged their army to be strong lest they become slaves to Israel, be men and fight.

That was quite a pep talk, because 30,000 Israeli's were killed, along with Eli's two sons, and the Ark of God was captured. Oh, not, Israel wake up! They were trusting in an outward form of religion rather than in God's real supernatural power.

On the same day, a Benjaminite man from the battle ran into Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head, people knew it was bad news of the battle. Eli was sitting in a chair on the side of the road because he feared for the Ark. He heard the noise when the man revealed the bad news. Then, when the man told Eli about their heavy losses, including the death of his two sons and capture of the Ark of God, this heavy man fell backwards in his chair, broke his neck, and died. Such tragedy! Wake up Israel! (Samuel's prophetic message came true.)

Do we want God out of our society because He messes up our lifestyle and beliefs? What does it take to wake us up from our being lulled to sleep spiritually? Does it take a tragedy to get us to surrender to God? Why not surrender now so we don't have to go through such things?


Now the wife of one of Eli's sons, Phinehas, was pregnant and near her time of delivery. When she heard of the new of the Ark being capture, her husband and father-in-law were both dead, then went into labor and gave birth to a son. As she lay dying, she named him Ichabod because the glory of the Lord had departed from Israel. Ichabod means no glory, in Hebrew.

How do we react when tragedy strikes our family? Do we fall on our knees, calling out to the Lord? Or do we allow it to make us bitter and blame God? He awaits with loving arms open for us to come to Him for strength and comfort.


Allow God to change my heart so it does not take a tragedy to do so.

Surrender to God in all situations.

Trust that He knows best.

Let God turn our bad into something for our good and for His glory.

Monday, August 17, 2015

What is Good and Right

O. T. #579  "What is Good and Right"
August 17, 2015
1 Samuel 3-Part 2
He is the LORD; let Him do what is good in His eyes.  1 Samuel 3:18


The doctor had bad news. Gangrene had set into Mom's intestines. It was beyond surgery. She only lived a few more hours after we got the news. She had been sick all week, but one doctor thought it was only a virus. I knew it was serious when she threw up black substance. The news was devastating to my family. All I could do was trust Jesus to be merciful to her in her end times. We decided to keep her sedated to sleep without pain as she passed away.
So many times families in our congregation received bad news. What can you say? Just show the love of Jesus in their time of need. God does what is good and right.

The Lord called to the youthful Samuel late one night, not once, but three times. Eli realized who it was calling and told the guy to answer, "Speak, Lord, thy servant is listening," if it happened again. And it did happen again, only this time the Lord called his name twice. (Why didn't the Lord just speak to Eli? His ministry was over. He failed to discipline his two sinful sons that were priests, and it was time for Samuel to take over.)
How many times does it take for us to hear God speaking to us?

What was the message the Lord spoke to Samuel as He stood at Samuel's bedside?
  • God was going to do something in Israel that would make the ears of those who heard about it tingle. Tingle means teeth chattering in fear, as ears reddening with shame, vibration, rattle together.
  • God would carry out His judgment on Eli's family forever as He told Eli what He'd do.
  • It was because Eli knew about the sins of his sons (in the temple), who made themselves contemptible, and Eli failed to restrain them.
  • God swore that the guilt of Eli's house would never be atoned by sacrifice or offering.
Oh, why, oh why, did Eli not put a stop to his sons robbing God of the peoples' meat sacrifice and stop their having sex in the temple? (We know they were killed in the battle with the Philistines later.) Because of that happening, Eli's lineage stopped.

What we do in the House of God should be taken seriously. Do we not consider that God is listening and watching? Is it a place of worship or just a place to meet together as a club and talk, talk, talk?
God takes it seriously what we do in His house. Is our attitude one of reverence or do we consider it another building? Do we go there to meet and talk with God or with our friends? Something to think about. How do we handle God's speaking to us in rebuke? Accept or ignore?


That morning Samuel opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli God's message. Eli wanted to know what He said, so he asked Samuel for the truth. God's judgment was upon Eli's family. That would have been hard news to tell. Samuel told Eli everything.

Then Eli said, He is the LORD; let Him do what is good in His eyes. (verse 38)

We must admire Eli for accepting God's judgment upon him and his family. How do we react when doctors, our boss, a policeman, a military informer, phone call gives us bad news for our family? Do we accept it or do we question God? Is our faith and trust in our God only when good things happen?
Job learned to praise God when he lost everything but his wife and life. Mary did not question God when she watched her son dying on the cross. Abraham did not turn back when he traveled not knowing where God was leading him. Moses did not give up and surrender to the Egyptians when they came to the Red Sea. Joshua did not laugh at God's plan for conquering Jericho and say for get it. What's plan b?
What will be written about our faith-she quit or she endured to the end trusting God to do what is good and right?
Will we surrender to God's knowing what is best no matter what?


 Accept God's will in all situations.

Trust Him in good and bad times.

Admit that God knows best, not me.

Praise Him all the time.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Take Time to Listen

O. T. #578  "Take Time to Listen"
August 14, 2015
1 Samuel 3
So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down and if He calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'"  1 Samuel 3:9 NIV


Hey, got a minute? So much to do and so little time to get it done. Women all over seem to think that and even say it often, don't they? But.........when someone wants to talk, or share an event with us, when a child wants to show us something they made, do we stop and take time to listen to them when we are busy? Do we multitask instead of giving our undivided attention? Are we sending a message that they are not important to us? If we stop listening to our children, they will eventually stop coming to us to share their life. Then we will wake up one day and wonder why. We will be rocking in the rocker, alone. Giving of your time is an expression of love. What about others-phone calls, emails, texts, letters? Do we answer, showing the Lord's love. or are we put out? After all, He takes time to listen to us. Who could be any busier that the One who runs the universe? A good lesson to learn, friend.

God had spoken directly and audibly with Moses and Joshua, but His Word became rare during the three centuries of the judges ruling Israel. By Eli's time, there were no prophets speaking God's messages. Because of Israel's hardened hearts, the Lord knew they would not listen to Him. We know the reason was the attitudes of Eli's two sons who were priests. They either refused to listen to God or allowed greed and personal pleasure to get into the way of their communication. At any rate, this carless father, Eli, refused to restrain his sons, which meant he honored his sons above the Lord (verse 29). this resulted in Eli's family being removed. We will discuss this later.

Now we understand the environment in which boy Samuel grew up. Commentators suggest Samuel was around age 12 or a teenager when the events in this chapter occurred.

As far as the place, the tabernacle had the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat was located. Once a year the high priest made an atonement offering for the nation of Israel's sins. In front of it was another room where sacred furniture and animal offerings were prepared. Outside these rooms was a courtyard where the priests lived and slept. Samuel would have slept only a few yards from the Ark.

Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. Perhaps his job was to keep oil replenished so the lamps continued to burn. No, keep in mind, Eli's eye sight was failing, he could barely see, as he was getting on in years. All was quiet in the tabernacle, everyone was asleep. Let's pull back the curtain and see what happened:
  • The lamp of God was growing dim while Samuel lay sleeping.
  • Then the Lord called Samuel and he ran to Eli's side, answering, Here I am; you called me.
  • Of course, Eli denied it and Samuel went back and lay down.
  • This happened three times to Samuel. Now Samuel did not know the LORD: the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. (verse 7)
  • Finally, after the third time the Lord called Samuel's name, Eli realized the Lord had been calling Samuel.
Do we get our selves in a position to hear from the Lord Jesus? Do we recognize it is Him speaking? Are we open to what He has to say to us?


What was Samuel doing when the Lord wanted to speak to him? He was quiet and still, lying in bed. He was not busy planning the event of his day. He was not refusing to find out what was happening. Many a time the Lord had to get me on my back (sick) so I would listen to Him.

What were Eli's instructions to Samuel?
Go and lie down, and if He calls you, say, "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.

What did Samuel do? Did he refuse? Did he go to working in the temple instead of lying down? Di he do it his way? No. Samuel obeyed Eli by going back to the place where he was when the Lord last spoke to him.

How important it is to meet quietly with the Lord before our busy day begins. If we have left His will and doing our own will, then we need to return to where He last spoke and obey what He said to us. Been there, done that. We won't grow in faith until we obey what He said last, as well as not be in the right fellowship with our Lord.

Why do I not ask the Lord what is on His heart today? I tell Him what is on mine. Ouch!


Let go of my pride and humble myself before God.

Let go of the active world surrounding me and go to God, putting Him first.

Repent of my disobedience.

Listen to Jesus.

Obey what He told me to do last time.

Look for a blessing.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Secret Sins Made Public

O. T. #577  "Secret Sins Made Public"
August 13, 2015
1 Samuel 2-Part 3
And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? For I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.  1 Samuel 2:23


Have you noticed that whenever a person goes public in politics, sports, the entertainment world, or  high profile, folks dig into their past for hidden or secret sins? Sometimes it due to a family taking a stand against a certain sin, as is the case in our area. People can be vindictive and down right mean. Even if a sin has been confessed and forgiven, they want to smear the family. How mean is that? As though there is any of us who do not have any secret sins. We are all sinners. When the damage is done, it's ripple effect can continue for years. But, what goes around, comes around. Eventually, those meanies will get theirs.
Well, in this chapter, Daddy finds out what sins his two sons have been committing. check out the result.

We can't overlook a specific segment of this chapter. It is not an encouraging part. It deals with God's judgment of sin.

1 Peter 4:17 warns us, For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.

2 Corinthians 5:10 says, For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

 Romans 14:10b reminds us, for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Why would there be a need for God's judgment to occur in the tabernacle? Shall we see what was taking place there? It involves the two sons of the elderly Eli, the high priest and judge in Israel. Eli was a descendent of Aaron through his son Ithamar. At Shiloh, where Israel's tabernacle was located for their worship, that was where this corruption and sin was taking place. Eli failed to be a restrainer of sin, even in his own family. It was too late when he finally disciplined them. Eli and his house would be excluded from the privilege of serving as priests.

What were these two priests of the LORD, Hophni and Phinehas, doing wrong?
  • First of all, these two sons of Eli did not know the Lord. (verse 12)
  • His son were taking parts of the offering (raw meat) before they were offered to God rather than waiting until after the sacrifice had been made (cooked meat), as God instructed in Leviticus 3. By giving into greed, they showed utter contempt for God's laws. (D. Jeremiah) they stole from God.
  • When women would come to the tabernacle to worship, Hophni and Phinehas would have sex with them. This sin perverted themselves, the women, and the house of God. Eli heard about it and confronted his sons about their sin. They were causing the women to sin. Eli's sons did not heed their father's warning in verse 25.
These two sons were disrespecting all that God stood for and His laws said. The Lord told Eli that his family would be cut off, forfeiting their positions as priests. On the same day, Hophnit and Phinehas died. During the battle with the Philistines, 30,000 Israelites died, including these two men. (4:11)

Do we take seriously the responsibilities which God has called us to carry out for His service?
Be careful, our sins will find us out.


God said in verse 35 that He would raise up a faithful priest.
Jesus Christ Himself is the final and ultimate fulfillment of the faithful priest. He offered Himself as the only sacrifice which can ever completely atone for sin and bring us eternally back to God. Jesus is our High Priest and anointed King. (Falwell)

Jesus gives us hope from our sinful destiny through salvation. Have you trusted in Him as your Savior? Today can be the day. Simply as Jesus to forgive you of your sins and be your Savior and Lord. His grace and mercy await.


Turn from sins that separate me from my heavenly Father by repenting.

Study His Word so I will know what pleases and displeases God.

Bring myself to my High Priest, Jesus, to offer to God's service.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


O. T. #576  "Growing"
August 12, 2015
1 Samuel 2-Part 2


The first ten verses of this chapter gives us the praise song, prayer, which Hannah said in the tabernacle when her family went to worship the Lord God. Through her supplication and surrender to God, Hannah became a godly mother. She vowed to give her son to the Lord's service if God would bless her with one. Samuel was born and around his age three, she left her only son at the tabernacle as she promised. (Hannah was later blessed with 3 sons and 2 daughters.)

What do we learn about the boy Samuel?
  • He ministered before the Lord. (verse 18)
  • He wore a linen ephod. (verse 18)
  • He would receive a new little robe from his mother Hannah each year as they made their annual sacrifice at the tabernacle.
The ephod was a symbolic vest patterned by that which was worn by the high priest, but made of white cloth. His little coat or robe brought by his mother resembled what was worn by the high priest  during his service in the tabernacle.
So I was thinking, that as the child grew throughout the years, he would need a larger robe to wear. Don't you think she was happy to make such a garment for her son, maybe singing praises to the Lord, as she expressed a mother's love by such a gift?
I don't sense any remorse or regret of Hannah throughout the years that she gave up her son for the Lord's service and purpose.

When we give gifts to the Lord, what is our attitude? Are we cheerful givers?

 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.


We learn in verse 21, we read that the child Samuel grew before the LORD.
Then in verse 26, the child Samuel grew on and was in favor both with the LORD, and also with men.

Liberty Bible Commentary explains:
Luke plays upon many of the parallels in the birth narratives of Samuel and Jesus. (chapter 1) The very word Christ is the Greek or New Testament equivalent to this Hebrew word which is transliterated into English as Messiah. This line is considered typical of Christ, the ultimate Priest, according to the quotation in Luke 2:52.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52

Friend, are we growing in wisdom, in favor with God, and in favor with others? Are we striving to please God in all we say and do? Are we studying His Word so we can grow in wisdom? I think this is today's challenge for us.


Grow in faith in God.

Stay in His Word.

Grow in favor with God by pleasing Him.

Grow in favor with others.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Could You Use Some Praise Today?

O. T. #575  "Could You Use Some Praise Today?"
August 11, 2015
1 Samuel 2-Part 1
Then Hannah prayed and said: My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high, My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in Your deliverance. 
1Samuel 2:1


Who couldn't use some praise every now and them? It sure doesn't hurt, does it? Especially mothers who work hard to raise her children, care for their husband, and household. Not to mention usually she holds down an outside job to boot. But do we praise the Lord while we do those monotonous duties? (Laundry and dishes for me.) What about being thankful for having a washer and dryer now, since we don't have to wash clothes by hand and hang them outside on the clothesline to dry like I did diapers for both of my babies? You too? Hannah was so grateful for God giving her a son that she just had to  praise Him in song at the temple. It is written in ten verses. Continue reading to discuss it.

Let me insert a thanks to those who faithfully follow along with me on the journey of faith through the Old Testament. Let me encourage you to make comments along the way. Better get a cup of coffee, tea, or water, because it is a long one today.

In verses 1-10 we read of Hannah's poetic song of praise for her deliverance and exaltation. Luke alluded to it at least four times. She praises God for answering her prayer for a son. The theme of her poetic prayer is her confidence in God's sovereignty and her thankfulness for everything He had done. Keep in mind, this is the day of three year old Samuel's dedication to the Lord. His mother will soon be leaving him at the temple with the priest Eli to learn to serve the Lord there. Instead of being sad, she rejoices. Shall we take a closer look at how Hannah praises and describes the LORD?
  • Hannah's heart rejoices in the Lord. (verse 1)
  • Her horn (means strength) is in the Him. (verse 1)
  • He delivers her. (verse 1)
  • Only the Lord is holy. (verse 2)
  • He is the only God. (verse 2)
  • He is her Rock (cliff, refuge, strength). (verse 2)
  • He weighs our deeds. (verse 3)
  • He arms warriors with strength. (verse 4)
  • He feeds the hungry and they are filled. (verse 5)
  • He gave her 7 children when she was barren. (verse 5)
  • He brings death and makes alive. (verse 6)
  • He sends poverty and wealth. (verse 7)
  • He humbles and exalts. (verse 7)
  • He raises the poor and needy, seats them with princes, while inheriting a throne of honor. (verse 8)
  • The foundations of the earth, upon which He set the world, belong to the Lord. (verse 8)
  • He guards the feet of His saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. (verse 9)
  • He shatters those who oppose Him as His voice thunders from heaven. (verse 10)
  • He will judge the ends of the earth. (verse 10)
  • He will give strength to His king. (verse 10)
  • He will exalt His anointed. (verse 10)
In verse 10, the word anointed is designating the Lord's chosen king. It was used of Saul, then more distinctively of David as the divine choice. This is the first use of the word in the Bible with reference to kings (it had been used of anointed priests). Ultimately it pointed to Jesus Christ. (Falwell)

Described as a Rock, God is firm, strong, and unchanging. In our fast paced world, friends come and go, as well as circumstances change. Is our hope in the One who does neither?

What a song of praise! Do we praise the Lord enough during the day? I have started inserting my own words when I hear Christian songs on the radio as my praise to Jesus.


In verse 3, God knows when we speak exceedingly prideful and arrogantly. The Lord is the God of Knowledge.
Is Hannah referring to her former rival, the other wife of Elkanah? Is she referring to all the enemies of God and to His people, also? Guess that covers everyone.

Like Hannah, shouldn't we be confident of God's ultimate control over the events in our lives?
Are we thankful for the ways He has blessed us?

Hey, thanks moms for all you do for your children!
Husbands appreciate you wives, too, although they may not say so often!
We appreciate you teachers, nurses, secretaries, janitors, Sunday School teachers and nursery workers, deacon's wives, pastor's wives, missionary wives! And all you out there holding down other kinds of jobs-thanks!
Keep up the good work! We need you! May the Lord bless you today at your work, no matter where it is!


                              ...of my problems, issues, and trials. Dump them into Jesus' lap. He can handle them better than I can.

                               ...of my pride and become a humble person.
                               ... and let God.

Praise Him! Praise Him! All ye little children. God is love, God is love.

Monday, August 10, 2015

She Gave Her All

O. T. #574  "She Gave Her All"
August 10, 2015
1 Samuel 1-Part 2
Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there. 1 Samuel 1:28


We left the family of Elkanah at Shiloh where they went to worship God. Every year the men of the tribe of Levi (priestly tribe) took turns serving in the tabernacle. As mentioned before, Elkanah was a Levite. I found out a little more info about his godly heritage. He was a descendent from Levi by way of Kohath, which was one of the 3 major lines of the Levites. This important clan included Moses and Aaron.
MacArthur tells us that the sons of Kohath were assigned responsibilities for the Ark of the Covenant (Num. 3:30-31). Whenever Israel moved while in the wilderness, the Kohathites' duty was to disassemble the Holy of Holies and transport the Ark and all sacred utensils. At Shiloah, they were devoted to other priestly functions-especially music, prayer, and praise in the tabernacle (1 Chron. 6:30-33).

After arriving at Shiloh, Elkannah would have gone on from his family to perform his duties at the tabernacle, after distributing offerings for his two wives. God designed marriage as a monogamous relationship in the first place was to avoid this kind of strife within families.  Peninnah's taunts resulted in Hannah to weep bitterly and refrain from eating at times. She wanted to very badly to become a mother. This was not a selfish ambition, for she was determined to dedicate her first son to the Lord's service.

John MacArthur's book, Twelve Ordinary Men and Twelve Extraordinary Women teaches:

Motherhood is the highest calling any woman could ever be summoned to. It has been God's plan from the beginning that women should train and nurture godly children and thus leave a powerful imprint on society through the home. (1 Tim. 5:10; Titus 2:3-5) Hannah's influence as a godly wife and mother is traceable to the three great loves of her life-her husband, heaven (God), and home (family).

Sometimes it is God's will for women to remain single (1 Cor. 7:8-9), such as Miriam (Moses' sister).
Hannah was a faithful follower of God. She didn't demand children, but humbly prayed for one son, who would serve in the tabernacle. If God gave her a son, she would give him back to God. She kept her vow, as we will see further on in the story.

With all that said, verse 19 tells us this family rose up early in the morning, worshiped the Lord, and returned to their house. Hannah laid her trouble in the lap of the Lord. She put her trust in the God of Israel, so shouldn't we?

Psalm 55:22 tells us to Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you.

1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV says, Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Dear one, will you today?


This woman gave her all to her God. She kept her vows made to Him. There was no running away with the child, no changing her mind, finding excuses. She faithfully raised her much loved child to worship her God. When it was time, she gave up her child so God could use his life for His purposes and honor. What a difficult thing that is, yet a joyous time when you see your child worshiping the One True God. Also, to see your grandchildren praise Him, pray to Him, and trust in Jesus as their personal Savior. It can't get any better. My cup runs over. We know God honored that precious woman's sacrifice and used the boy in a mighty way for His nation.

Well, before the next year's time to go worship at Shiloh, Hannah conceived and bore a son. What did she name him but Samuel, which means heard of God. (verse 20) This particular year Hannah did not accompany the rest of Elkannah's family on the trip.

What did Hannah tell her husband concerning her reason for not going?
  • She would not go until the child was weaned. This would take up to 3 years, as common in Palestine.
  • Then she would bring Samuel before the Lord so he would stay and serve the Lord in the tabernacle all his life.
Elkannah understood and agreed that his wife should remain faithful to fulfill her vow and promise she had made earlier to God.

So when the time had come for this faithful mamma to give her child to the Lord, she did so. Along with her, Hannah took Samuel,a three year old bull, one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. The family participated in the baby dedication of Samuel, with the father sacrificing the bull. They brought the child to Eli the priest.

What did Hannah tell the priest Eli?
  • She was the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.
  • She had prayed for this child Samuel.
  • The Lord answered her prayer.
  • So she was giving Samuel to the Lord (lent means asked for).
  • As long as the child lives, he shall be serving the Lord.
Verse 28b states And he worshipped the LORD there.

Did this mother train her child in the three short years that she had him, to worship God! Such a wonderful baby dedication.

As a mother, I felt for Hannah. She was blessed with this son. What a joyful time she spent with him. Yet, in the back of her mind, each day brought her closer to the day she must give him back to the Lord for His service, as she had promised. She came to grips with it; she knew it was what she had to do.

I can't imagine the gamut of feelings mothers go through when they give up their baby/child for adoption. Such a selfless sacrifice for the betterment of the child. That is what makes adoption so precious and bitter-sweet.

Hannah is not finished at the tabernacle, for in chapter 2 we read of her praying again unto the Lord.

Do we pray earnestly, sincerely, and with all our heart? Jesus gave His all, His very life, so we could have eternal life. Does He deserve any less from us-our all?


Cherish time spent with our children and grandchildren.

Train them to love and serve the Lord Jesus with their life.

Let go and let God have them.

Give my all to God for His glory.

Friday, August 7, 2015

A Changed Countenance

O. T. #573  "A Changed Countenance"
August 7, 2015
1 Samuel 1


My heart goes out to Hannah, for our family experienced a barrenness of ten years. There were many painful times during the wait for the baby who came. but our countenance changed when she arrived and we held her joyfully. This blessed baby had some excited grandparents on both sides of the family, plus parents! Hannah's countenance changed during this first chapter. Find out what happened to cause it.

Elkanah was a Levite who had two wives, barren Hannah, and Peninnah, who gave him sons and daughters. This devout Hebrew went up yearly to worship at Shiloh at the tabernacle. Israelite men sojourned three times a year there for the Passover, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles (Ex. 34:23). Elkanah was keeping the requirements of the sacrificial laws of God.
Elkanah persistently and faithfully lived righteously and worshiped God from the heart. (Falwell)
He gave portions to Peninnah and her children, but to Hannah he gave a double portion for offerings. He loved Hannah and the Lord chose to keep her barren. Obviously it was not the right time for Samuel to be born. Can you imagine the strife, resentment, pride, and jealously between the two women?

Children were very important in that society. It would have been a social embarrassment for her husband while Hannah remained childless. She was often obligated by ancient Middle Eastern custom to give one of her servant girls to her husband to bear children for her. Although he was permitted to divorce her, Elkanah remained lovingly devoted to her despite social criticism and his rights under civil law. (Life Application Study Bible)

We have the advantage to be able to can see that God was moving along with His plan. However, Hannah could not.

Are you struggling with God's timing in answering your prayers? Are you helping others struggling? Will you encourage them to remain steadfast in their faith and confident in His timing to bring fulfillment to their lives?


Verse 6-7 says, Her rival would taunt her severely just to provoke her, because the LORD had kept Hannah from conceiving. Hannah wept and would not eat. (Life Application Study Bible)

Have you ever been so burdened about a particular situation that you cried and dis not eat? That is a heart that is deeply cracked open and hurting. Her husband noticed and asked her why, but he could not understand.
Have you been so discouraged to the point that you were physically sick and could not eat?

What does Hannah do?
  • She brought her problem honestly before the Lord by praying. (verse 10)
  • She was broken-hearted, weeping with many tears. (verse 10)
  • She made a vow, pleading to the Lord, praying sacrificially. (verse 11)
  • She acknowledged God as being the LORD of Hosts, the Sovereign and Superior God.
  • With humility, she acknowledges that God can choose to hear her prayer.
  • Hannah pleaded that the Lord would take notice of her, being His servant, and her affliction.
  • She asked Him to remember and not forget her.
  • She asked that God would give her a son. 
  • If He did, then Hannah would give him to the Lord all the days of his life and his hair would never be cut. (Nazarite vow)(verse 11) 
Now, Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD's tabernacle. (verse 9)
He watched her lips as Hannah prayed silently. He thought she was drunk and scolded her.
What was Hannah's response?
  • She denied having any wine.
  • She admitted that she was a woman with a broken heart.
  • She asked the priest to not think of her as a wicked woman.
  • She shared that she was praying from the depth of her anguish and resentment.
Realizing his mistake Eli blessed Hannah with peace and God granting her request. She left and ate, no longer looking despondent. The priest's words were encouraging. Her hopelessness turned into hopefulness. Hannah's countenance changed, for she was no more sad. Her faith would soon come to sight, holding a baby boy in her arms.


Lay my burdens at the feet of Jesus, trusting Him to take care of them in His time.

Encourage others while they wait for answered prayers.

Pray sincerely, broken-hearted.

Be assured, the Lord Jesus hears and understands and intercedes to the Father for us.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


O. T. #572  "Family"
August 6, 2015
Introduction to 1 Samuel
And he had two wives: the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.  1 Samuel 1:2

Come to think of it, I don't think my grandchildren know about the faith of my grandmother, my father's mother. Although she passed away only 7 months before I was born, I have heard what a lovely lady Grandma Martha was. She shared her faith and talents for the glory of the Lord by giving to her children so much. Also, she shared her talent of guitar playing and gospel singing with her children. They sang on the local radio when my uncle preached. I can't wait to meet her in heaven, because I know her three wonderful daughters, as well as her three sons. Although I didn't know my grandmother, I must have inherited her love of music, because I love to sing Christian songs and hymns. Several of my cousins do also. In fact my twin male cousins play the guitar and sing very well. My girl cousin even took singing lessons and sings like a bird. Now that is a family legacy of faith in Jesus and love of music like I want to leave.
When I get to heaven I'm going to sing a duet with Grandma Martha. I better remember those old hymns, though. Better practice up. It could be sooner than I think.
Well, at the beginning of this book, we find Hannah was lacking in children so she could not leave a legacy of faith, so she thought.


These next two books in the Bible, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel were actually one book in the Hebrew language. The first one begins in the days when the judges still ruled in Israel. It may have been during the end of Samson's life.
The three main characters is Samuel, Saul, and David. Samuel was Israel's last judge, first priest, and first prophet to serve during the time of a king, according to Life Application Study Bible.

The author is unknown. The title of these two books has Samuel name, but that was because they were mainly about him. He was not alive during David's reign as king of Israel. MacArthur says that the author wrote after the division of the kingdom of Israel and Judah in 931 B.C. The books span 135 years of history.

The great empires of the ancient world were in a state of weakness during such years. Neither Babylon and Assyria were threats to Israel at that time. the Philistines and Ammonites were the two nations most hostile toward the Israelites.

The name Samuel, in Hebrew, means heard of God. (Young's Concordance)
Even before his birth, Samuel was given to the service of God, which he continued throughout his life. He was the son of a Levite, Elkhanah, and Hannah.

Samuel was more than a judge; he was preeminently a prophet. There was little unity left during the period of the judges, and the cycles of sin were evident. It was Samuel who stopped the sin and brought them back to unity as a nation during this time of transition. He prepared the people of God for receiving David as God's choice for their king, and ultimately the Jesus Christ, the son of David.

Young's analytical Concordance to the Bible describes the life of Samuel:
He was asked of God, for Him, devoted to God, spoken to by Him, persuaded Israel to abandon idolatry, had two wicked sons, explained the usages of kings, anointed Saul as king and reproved Saul, anoints David as king, and then dies.

How would someone describe our life when we are dead and gone? Are we dedicated to serving the Lord Jesus? Sharing His love and Word?


We just finished reading about a barren widow, Ruth, who was living by faith and love for God, and was blessed by the birth of a son. Now we begin this book with another wife who had no children, Hannah.

Since this is a book about what God is doing, rather than a biography, little is said about Samuel's family. His father, Elkanah, lived in Ramah, 5 miles from Jerusalem. Keep in mind that he was a Levite and performed duties in the worship of God. (Israel's temple was not built yet.)
Elkanah had two wives, we are told. Although polygamy was not God's intention for mankind, it was tolerated, but never endorsed in Israel. (Gen. 2:24; Deut.21:15-17) Probably, he married Peninnah because Hannah was barren.
Let me throw in the fact that Elkanah was an Ephrimite, living in the mountains of Ephraim with his family. We will better understand this significance later.

Hannah means grace and Peninnah means ruby. Peninnah was Elkanah's second wife, but she was first to bear him children, in that line of thinking.

We are going to leave the story at this point. We will see what happens during this particular yearly worship and sacrifice time for this family.

How important is our family to God? This man's family was important to God. Are we teaching our children and grandchildren the importance of God in our daily life? do we share His blessings and mercy with them? Are we telling them how to have salvation in Jesus Christ?


Let go of family skeletons in the closet and honor God in my family.

Share my family history with my grandchildren.

Tell them how I came to know Jesus and all the blessings He has given me.

Encourage them to believe in Jesus as their Savior.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Friends, my eyes have been dilated all day. Please come back tomorrow for the introduction to I Samuel. May the light of Jesus shine upon you.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Blessings of a Baby

O. T. #570  "Blessings of a Baby"
August 1, 2015
Ruth 4-Part 3
So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. then he went to her, and the LORD enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.  Ruth 4:13
And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.  Ruth 4:22


Our family was blessed with a new baby boy last week. He is our daughter's sixth child. Since she has four older sons, who looked alike at birth, I may need to identify this child in his baby picture. I am grateful for internet since were are able to see the baby within an hour of his arrival. Baby and mother are doing fine, but dad seemed a bit worn out. (They had to be at the hospital at 6 am.) I am sure the Lord has a purpose for this child's life in His kingdom work. Yes, we are blessed with #7 grandchild. Hopefully, we will be able to hold him in a couple of months as we are planning a trip up north east to visit the family. The Lord blessed Naomi as Ruth shared the blessings of a baby boy.

As a review our story, Ruth the Moabite remarried after loosing her first husband and leaving her homeland with Naomi. She provided for her mother in law by humbling herself and gathering grain in Boaz's field, as it turned out. Her faithfulness, love, and kindness became evident to others. Through the span of a couple of weeks, harvest time, she becomes acquainted with Naomi's deceased  husband's relative, Boaz. He is interested in marrying Ruth, since Boaz consults a kin nearer than he. The man refuses to marry Ruth and buy the land of Naomi's. That provided the open door for Boaz to marry Ruth. And they did. Ruth soon delivers a son, which keeps her dead husband's line continuing.

With all that said, for you who have just joined us today, it must have been an exciting time in the home of Boaz. He not only gained a wife, but her mother in law, and now a baby boy. Let the celebrations begin. We know that this blessed baby was named Obed (meaning worshiper). Now who doesn't enjoy holding a newborn and cuddling it? I am sure Naomi did. Her bitterness was turned to blessing. Besides that, she lived with a wealthy Jew and did not have to worry about where and when her next meal was coming.

Do we trust the Lord to provide for our needs today?


The last 4 verses of this book informs us of the 10 generations of Pharez, which expands 9 centuries. According to Deut. 23:2, Ruth was allowed to be in the congregation of the Jews since she was of the 11th generation from Moab, who was conceived by the act of incest.

As the genealogy of Israel is recorded in Scripture, Obed grows up and becomes the father of Jesse, who has 8 sons, one of whom is David that becomes king of Israel later. He is listed as the 10th generation descendant of Pharez. (The Ammorites and Moabites were also excluded from the temple because of their treatment of Israel whenever Israel came out of Egypt, for they hired Baalam to curse God's people.) Now David was allowed into the congregation worshiping God.
It is through David's line that the Messiah, Jesus Christ, is born.

Now, would you say that this family is blessed beyond measure? This family tree stems back to Ruth ,who becomes a believer in the God of her mother in law, and Boaz, who become listed in the Bible and in the lineage of a king and a Messiah.

As I have said before, in this love story, Boaz becomes Ruth's kinsman-redeemer and is a representation of Jesus Christ, who is Ruth's and our  Kinsman-Redeemer. This Gentile Ruth represents the church.

Christ was free from the sin which had bound us. His shed blood was the price of our redemption; and He alone, by His sinless life, was able to pay the price. The result of His redemption was His marriage to the church. (Liberty Bible Commentary)

Are you a part of the church? Will you be included in the wedding feast  of the Lamb, which is described in Revelation 19 and 22? If so, then we can sit together and share the stories of our life.
Believing in Jesus as our personal Savior will be our ticket to the banquet. Friend, I pray that you will be there with me.

Praise the Lord for His redeeming us!


Wait on the Lord to work His will in His time in my life.

Especially during the hard times, stay in God's Word.

Share the blessings God has given me with others.

Keep the faith.

A Love Story

O. T. #571  "A Love Story"
August 4, 2015
Summary of Ruth
And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me.  Ruth 1:16-17


I have enjoyed reading through this love story recorded in the Bible entitled Ruth, after the main character. Although, we do not read the word love. And what woman doesn't love a love story that has a happy ending? Just like life, we see the challenges, even hardships, which Ruth overcomes, her faithfulness, her kindness, and integrity, as well as God's protection, provisions, and blessings. This story takes place sometime during the period whenever the judges ruled, so everyone did what he wanted to do, considering it right in his own eyes, not considering if God approved.

What can we learn from Ruth's experiences?
  • To be loyal and loving in relationships, we must imitate God's faithfulness in our relationships and other. Ruth demonstrated extraordinary faithfulness to her mother in law, Naomi.
  • Even when living amidst evil times, we can stay committed to God and each other.
  • Poverty, grief, and homelessness can be overcome.
  • Without protection and resources, Ruth walks by faith.
  • Sometimes it takes an outcast (Moabite) to show us genuine spiritual character.
  • Selflessness will be rewarded.
  • God accepts those who worship Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength in spite of race, sex, and nationality.
  • Hard work is not unnoticed. She was better than 7 sons toward Naomi.
  • Her faithful obedience resulted in a legacy of faith.
  • She remained virtuous and showed godly modesty.
Ruth pictures the church. Do we strive to have such qualities? Rewards outweigh sacrifices, as in Ruth's case and can be in our life, too. Ruth's trusting obedience brought redemption for her family, as well as us, since the Savior was born through her family line.

Boaz was a successful, wealthy, and business man who prospered during a famine. What can we learn from his life?
  • This hero in our story was a man of his word. He did what he said he would do.
  • He did not only what was right, but he did it at the right time.
  • Being sensitive to the needs of others, he cared for his workers and Ruth.
  • He showed a keen sense of responsibility and integrity.
  • Boaz illustrated  redemption as Ruth's kinsman-redeemer.
  • He stepped up and rescued two widows from poverty.
  • He used his influence.
  • He waited to discern God's will.
  • Boaz shared his riches.
Boaz pictures Jesus Christ, who offers from slavery to sin, poverty of spirit, and the consequences of death.

What about the mother in law, Naomi?
  • She saw the hand of God in her sufferings. Providence had handed her a bitter cup to drink.
  • In the midst of her trials, Naomi remained steadfast in the faith throughout her trials.
  • Her love for God was wavering, as well as her commitment. 
  • Naomi's plans involved righteousness and decency.
  • God can bring us our of our rebellion, as He did Naomi.

What lessons can we learn from this wonderful book?
Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament  explains:
  1. No matter how difficult the situation may be, if we surrender to the Lord and obey Him, He will see us through.
  2. No person is so far outside the reach of God's grace that he or she cannot be saved.
  3. God providentially guides those who want to obey Him and serve others.
  4. It does no good to get angry at God and blame Him for our mistakes. God used Ruth to lead Naomi out of despair and into His blessing.
  5. There are no "small decisions" with God. Ruth's decision to glean in the fields led to her becoming an ancestress of King David and of the Messiah.
  6. It is wise to wait on the Lord and let Him work out His loving purposes.
From a funeral to a wedding, famine to fullness, this marvelous story has so many lessons for us. Christ is our Kinsman-Redeemer, who took on flesh (without sinning), paid the price to redeem us, and loves us. Like Boaz, He is the Lord of the harvest; He supplies our needs; He redeems the inheritance for us; He gives rest. What love!

Do you know this Redeemer personally, dear friend, or is this just another story to you? You can know Him today, right now. Simply ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and be your Savior. By faith, we come to Him, without works.


Repent of my rebellion, doing things my way.

Turn to Christ and surrender, doing things His way.

Follow His Word and Spirit's leading.