Faith Blog

"BECAUSE I ASKED THE LORD FOR HIM"

The book of 1 Samuel begins with the story of Samuel’s birth. The father of Samuel had two wives, but Samuel’s mother, Hannah, was childless—mistreated and abused by the other wife even though she was treated kindly by her husband. When she prayed for a son whom she promised give to the Lord for all the days of his life (1 Samuel 1:11), she was given a son whom she named Samuel, meaning “because I asked the Lord for him.” When Samuel was still very young, he became a foster child of Eli the priest. Later Samuel would have three more brothers and two sisters besides his half-brothers and sisters. He would grow up to become a prominent spiritual leader in Israel, but before he was born it was his mother who asked the Lord for him. The Lord was gracious and compassionate to this godly woman who went through difficult times. Hannah praised God and said, “My heart exults in the Lord; my horn is exalted in the Lord, my mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation,” 1 Samuel 2:1.

 

Proverbs 14:29 (OYB for today) contrasts those who are slow to anger and those who are quick-tempered: “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who is quick-tempered exalts folly.” It’s likely that Hannah practiced this proverb and principle of divine wisdom.

Posted by Bob Busenitz with

HARD STORIES

 

The book of Judges ends with two stories that are hard to read. If you’re looking for role models, you won’t find them here. These are real-life examples of what happens when “every man does what is right in their own eyes” rather than following God’s word: greed, idolatry, adultery, rape, murder, defending evil, civil war… the list reads like the 8:00 news, and not in a good way.

 

But I noticed an interesting tidbit reading through this time: both stories involve someone from Bethlehem (the Levite in the story of the idol, and the concubine in today’s story). Doubtless these stories were still known in Bethlehem; relatives of these people were still living there along with Boaz, Obed, Jesse, and David. It’s quite possible that cautionary tales like these helped young David see the folly of doing things his own way and to cling to God instead.

 

God’s word can both warn and bless us (Ps. 19:11). Let us learn from it and follow it!

 

 

Posted by Erik Brommers with

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