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?
LET IT GROW
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 IT GO
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.