December 24, 2015
1 Samuel 1-31
LET IT GLOW
It is easy for us to read about all these things which occurred in this book, but it another thing to experience similar challenges-temptations of material things, giants. If you wrote a book about your life, what struggles would you include? Both Saul and David theirs. Let's take an overview of 1 Samuel, getting some nuggets of spiritual value.
The main people we read about in this book are Hannah, Eli, Samuel, Saul, and David.
The Philistine 40 year oppression of Israel is broken in the battle of Mizpah, found in chapter 7.
This book opens with the family of Elkanah and Hannah, who were childless. We read of her prayer and promise to give her son back to the Lord for His service, if God would give her a son. This child Samuel grew up in the Taberncle in Shiloh, which should have been a good influence upon the boy. However, due to the sinful sons of Eli, it was not until the Lord removed them.
Here are some verses which stand out to me, from the NLT:
- There is no Rock like our God. (2:2)
- For the LORD is a God who knows what you have done. (2:3)
- He will protect His faithful ones. (2:9)
- but I will honor those who honor Me, and I will despise those who think lightly of Me. (The God of Israel said) (2:30)
- And Samuel replied, "Speak, your servant is listening." (3:10)
- "It is the LORD is will," Eli replied. "Let Him do what He thinks best." (3:18)
The people of Israel demanded a king to rule over them, so they could be like other nations (pagan) surrounding them. So God allowed this, and gave them Saul, a farmer of donkeys, was Israel's first king. Samuel anoints Saul as king in chapter 10. We see God's permissive will here, for He wanted to be His children's king.
We must recognize the close friendship between Saul's son Jonathan and David, the next king of Israel. Jonathan actually helps save David's life when Saul sought to kill him later.
Is Jesus King of our heart? One day He will return to earth to reign as King.
LET IT GROW
Saul reigned for 42 years, was a profound military leader of the Israeli army. He destroyed the Amalekites, but disobeyed God and selfishly took the spoils. Samuel confronted Saul in chapter 15, who blames the men. However, the evidence is clear in verse 14 where Samuel asks,
"Then what is all the bleating of sheep and goats and the lowing of cattle I hear?"
Samuel explains to Saul in verses 22-23: Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft, and the stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, He has rejected you as king.
Are we obeying God's Word and the leading of His Spirit in our life?
When Samuel is looking for one that God has chosen as Israel's next king, God tells him, People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (16:7)
Later, the Philistine giant, Goliath, taunts Israel's army, intimidating them. It was young David who kills this giant with only a slingshot and a rock, and with the power of God. David gets the king's reward for such a feat, that he was not willing to do.
Are we facing our giants today? Is fear, doubt, uncertainty trying to rule over you, Christian? If God can use a rock to defeat a giant, He can certainly defeat yours with such a small thing. Just allow Him to do confront your giant and kill it. Release it to Him to take care of.
I'm going to stop here with this summary due to its length. We will pick up in chapter 18 next time.
LET IT GO
Trust the King of kings to conquer my giants.
Stay faithful today.
Praise Him, adore Him, the newborn King, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas.
Make sure my heart pleases the Lord.