I am sorry that this took so long to do. Truthfully, I have been lagging behind a lot when it comes to this. I think my spiritual journey has had a bit of a hiccup lately but it’s more to do with me than anything. God is still so awesome. I am trying to get back on track though so please, bear with me.
Today, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on the book of 1 Samuel. This book its filled with so much. There are tales of love, betrayal, war and so much more and there is a lot to learn. There is so much to say that I decided to divide this post into two parts. So, the first part will be posted today and the second part will be posted tomorrow. So, let’s begin shall we.
The story of Hannah is one of those stories that stuck with me ever since I heard it as a kid. It tells the tale of a man named Elkanah who had two wives – Penninah and Hannah. Elkanah loved Hannah very much but she did not have any children. Penninah, on the other hand did. Every year, they would go as a family to Shiloh to give thanks to God. The Bible lets us know that Penninah used to taunt Hannah because she had no children and it would upset her so much. that she would cry. So, one day she cried to God and asked that he remember her. 1 Samuel 1:11(GNT):
Hannah made a solemn promise: “Lord Almighty, look at me, your servant! See my trouble and remember me! Don’t forget me! If you give me a son, I promise that I will dedicate him to you for his whole life and that he will never have his hair cut.”
She was praying so deeply that her mouth was moving but there were no words coming out. The priest, Eli even thought that Hannah was drunk but she told him that she was just pleading to God and he told her: “May the God of Israel give you what you are asking for.”
Soon after, God heard Hannah’s prayer and she became pregnant and she gave birth to a son who she named Samuel which means “I asked the Lord for him”. After she had weaned Samuel, she decided to keep her promise to God. So, she went to Shiloh with some offerings to dedicate Samuel back to God. 1 Samuel 1:24-28 (GNT):
24After she had weaned him, she took him to Shiloh, taking along a three-year-old bull,. a bushel of flour, and a leather bag full of wine. She took Samuel, young as he was, to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. 25After they had killed the bull, they took the child to Eli. 26Hannah said to him, “Excuse me, sir. Do you remember me? I am the woman you saw standing here, praying to the Lord. 27I asked him for this child, and he gave me what I asked for. 28So I am dedicating him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he will belong to the Lord.”
I think it is important to always keep your promises back to God. We don’t have to make any promises to Him but if we do, we should keep them. When I was younger, I made promises that I shouldn’t have made because I couldn’t keep them. However, then I didn’t know any better. Now, I am more aware and when you know better, you do better.
The truth is that there is never a loss when you give to the Lord and with Hannah, God blessed her even more. 1 Samuel 2:21 (GNT) states:
The Lord did bless Hannah, and she had three more sons and two daughters. The boy Samuel grew up in the service of the Lord.
Samuel spent his time in service to the Lord under Eli’s direction and the Bible records a moment in 1 Samuel 3 when God spoke to Samuel as a child. He kept on growing and doing the right thing in the Lord’s sight and everyone around knew him as a prophet of the Lord. When he spoke, the people listened.
Samuel was a judge in Israel but as he grew older, he made his sons Joel and Abijah, judges as well but they abused their position. So, the people decided that they wanted a King. 1 Samuel 8: 4-9 (GNT):
Then all the leaders of Israel met together, went to Samuel in Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are getting old and your sons don’t follow your example. So then, appoint a king to rule over us, so that we will have a king, as other countries have.” 6Samuel was displeased with their request for a king; so he prayed to the Lord, 7and the Lord said, “Listen to everything the people say to you. You are not the one they have rejected; I am the one they have rejected as their king. 8Ever since I brought them out of Egypt, they have turned away from me and worshiped other gods; and now they are doing to you what they have always done to me. 9So then, listen to them, but give them strict warnings and explain how their kings will treat them.”
So, God chose Saul to be the King and in chapter 10, Samuel anointed Saul as the new King of Israel and the the Spirit of the Lord was with him.
When Saul became King, he started disobeying God. For example, in 1 Samuel 15, the people of Israel were going to war against the Amalekites. God told Saul to completely destroy everything and everyone. God was very clear in his instruction. However, Saul did not listen. Instead of doing what God asked, he spared the life of King Agag (King of Amalek) and they also kept the good animals and anything else that they liked. This made God angry and He told Samuel in 1 Samuel 15:11 (GNT) that “I am sorry that I made Saul King; he has turned away from me and disobeyed my commands.”
When Samuel went to confront Saul, the following conversation ensued in 1 Samuel 15:17-23 (GNT):
17Samuel answered, “Even though you consider yourself of no importance, you are the leader of the tribes of Israel. The Lordanointed you king of Israel, 18and he sent you out with orders to destroy those wicked people of Amalek. He told you to fight until you had killed them all. 19Why, then, did you not obey him? Why did you rush to grab the loot, and so do what displeases the Lord?”
20“I did obey the Lord,” Saul replied. “I went out as he told me to, brought back King Agag, and killed all the Amalekites. 21But my men did not kill the best sheep and cattle that they captured; instead, they brought them here to Gilgal to offer as a sacrifice to the Lord your God.”
22Samuel said, “Which does the Lord prefer: obedience or offerings and sacrifices? It is better to obey him than to sacrifice the best sheep to him. 23Rebellion against him is as bad as witchcraft, and arrogance is as sinful as idolatry. Because you rejected the Lord‘s command, he has rejected you as king.”
Samuel also told Saul that the Lord had torn the kingdom of Israel away from him and given it to someone better. The Bible also states that as long as Samuel lived, he never saw the King again but he grieved over him.
God made Saul the king. Instead of listening to what God told him to do, he acted as though God did not know whatHe was talking about. He thought that God will prefer his sacrifices over his obedience. This was not the case and how unfortunate it was for Saul.
So, now that the Lord had rejected Saul. It was time to anoint another King. So, God told Samuel to go to the house of Jesse because he had chosen one of his sons to be King. So, Samuel went to Jesse’s house and when he saw Jesse’s son, Eliab, he believed that this was “surely the one he [the Lord] had chosen.
However the Lord told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7 (GNT): “Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.”
We should always bear this in mind. God doesn’t judge by what is on the outside. He judges by what is on the inside. We should strive to be better on the inside and everything else will fall into place. Jesus said in Matthew 23:26 (GNT), “…Clean what is inside of the cup first, and then the outside will be clean too”. (Food for thought)
Samuel went through all the sons of Jesse that were present but God rejected them all. When Samuel asked Jesse if he had another son, Jesse mentioned that his youngest, David was out tending the sheep and Samuel asked that he be sent for. When he arrived, God told Samuel that David was the one and so, Samuel anointed him.
Even though Saul was technically still the King, God had rejected him and chosen David but David wasn’t going to assemble the throne yet until the right time, which came in the book of 2 Samuel.
I hope you enjoyed the first part of this post. I was thinking of putting everything in one post but it is just really long so, tomorrow, I’ll post the other bit. Thank you so much for your patience and I hope you will be here tomorrow.
Till then my darlings, ❤