Tuesday, August 20
We are currently reading through the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel together, and you can jump in at any point. Orienting yourself to this book of the Bible will help pick up the flow of the story. You can find a helpful, short orientation to this book on the August 19 Daily5 entry.
1 Samuel 1
There was a man from Ramathaim-zophim in the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.
2 He had two wives, the first named Hannah and the second Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. 3 This man would go up from his town every year to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of Armies at Shiloh, where Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were the Lord’s priests.
4 Whenever Elkanah offered a sacrifice, he always gave portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to each of her sons and daughters. 5 But he gave a double portion to Hannah, for he loved her even though the Lord had kept her from conceiving. 6 Her rival would taunt her severely just to provoke her, because the Lord had kept Hannah from conceiving. 7 Year after year, when she went up to the Lord’s house, her rival taunted her in this way. Hannah would weep and would not eat. 8 “Hannah, why are you crying? ” her husband Elkanah would ask. “Why won’t you eat? Why are you troubled? Am I not better to you than ten sons? ”
9 On one occasion, Hannah got up after they ate and drank at Shiloh. The priest Eli was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s temple. 10 Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears. 11 Making a vow, she pleaded, “Lord of Armies, if you will take notice of your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut.”
12 While she continued praying in the Lord’s presence, Eli watched her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying silently, and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to be drunk? Get rid of your wine! ”
15 “No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. 16 Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”
17 Eli responded, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request you’ve made of him.”
18 “May your servant find favor with you,” she replied. Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.
19 The next morning Elkanah and Hannah got up early to worship before the Lord. Afterward, they returned home to Ramah. Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, “I requested him from the Lord.”
21 When Elkanah and all his household went up to make the annual sacrifice and his vow offering to the Lord, 22 Hannah did not go and explained to her husband, “After the child is weaned, I’ll take him to appear in the Lord’s presence and to stay there permanently.”
23 Her husband Elkanah replied, “Do what you think is best, and stay here until you’ve weaned him. May the Lord confirm your word.” So Hannah stayed there and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 When she had weaned him, she took him with her to Shiloh, as well as a three-year-old bull, half a bushel of flour, and a clay jar of wine. Though the boy was still young, she took him to the Lord’s house at Shiloh. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull and brought the boy to Eli.
26 “Please, my lord,” she said, “as surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked him for, 28 I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” Then he worshiped the Lord there.
Samuel is to be the priest of God, and he is consecrated to God by his godly mother, Hannah. The story of his birth reveals that God has a special plan for Him. This back story of his birth is a reminder to us all that He is constantly working to bring about His purposes in the world. His mother so believed that God works sovereignly in the world that she is willing to lay down the son she has desired so long for the plans of God.
Do I really believe God accomplishes His purposes in the world by bringing about the life and circumstances all around me? Am I constantly aware that He is moving around pieces in my life to draw me to Him?
Father, I believe You’ve caused me to be born and to live where I live today in the here and now. As You build Your people, help me live with awareness that You call me to sacrifice all I have to follow You.
Pick Four More Activities
Listen and Worship.
Pray a Psalm.
Read a Book.
Retell the Gospel to Yourself.
Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.
Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.
Memorize a Verse.
List Five Things You're Thankful For.