Often God asks us to do hard things but we must obey regardless of the pain.

Monday, March 27
RECOVERY
Reading: 1 Samuel 1-3

Often God asks us to do hard things but we must obey regardless of the pain.

SCOPE
Today’s Bible reading speaks of recovery. The first chapters of 1 Samuel
are set in the days of the Judges. While conditions reflect the spiritual
and moral decline of the times, the central figure is first Hannah, one of
those godly individuals whose faith remains strong however dark the
society. Eli’s sons are immoral and corrupt, and while Eli rebukes them,
he fails to discipline them. The focus now shifts to Samuel. Our Scripture
reading today is 1 Samuel 1-3.

ABOUT THE BIBLE
The books of 1 and 2 Samuel trace the most exciting period in Israel’s
history. God had fulfilled His covenant commitments to Abraham. After
breaking the slave bonds of Abraham’s descendants, the Lord brought them
safely into Canaan, the Promised Land. But Israel proved faithless, again
and again abandoning God for the idols and debased practices of the pagans
who shared the land with them. For 400 years, during the time of the
Judges, Israelite strength continued to wane. Then, suddenly, under a
leader appointed by God, a stunning transformation took place. Over the
space of some 50 years Israel was converted from an oppressed minority in
Canaan into a powerful nation. First and 2 Samuel records the key events
of these critical years, and focus our attention on one of the most
beloved of biblical heroes: David, the shepherd boy who became Israel’s
greatest king. The story of the birth of the Hebrew monarchy is told
through the lives of three men: Samuel, the last judge; Saul, Israel’s
first and failed king; and David, whose personal gifts and courageous
faith in God catapulted him to greatness. Through the stories of these men
we have deep insights into the religious, social, and political condition
of the times. Without preaching, these books underline foundational truths
that shape not only the course of history, but also the direction of our
lives.

THE BIBLE SAYS
The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the
word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli,
whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down
in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was
lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the
LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and
said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back
and lie down.” So he went and lay down. Again the LORD called, “Samuel!”
And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” Now Samuel did
not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to
him. The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to
Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the LORD
was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls
you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went
and lay down in his place. The LORD came and stood there, calling as at
the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your
servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:1-10

GOD’S WORD FOR TODAY
In our reading today, the beautiful story of Samuel begins. Our Scripture
reading today is 1 Samuel 1-3.

LIFE LESSON
CHAPTER 1-GOD SEES OUR DESPERATION AND IN LOVE ANSWERS THE CRIES OF OUR
SOUL. Hannah’s childlessness drives her to despairing prayer. She vows
that if God gives her a son, she will dedicate the boy to serve God.
However, her fervent prayer is first misunderstood by Eli. Hannah is
promised a son and then gives birth to Samuel.

LIFE LESSON
CHAPTER 2-GOD’S PATIENCE IS LONG BUT THERE IS AN END TO HIS MERCY IF WE DO
NOT REPENT. Hannah great joy expressed in song is one of the most
delightful poems of praise in the Bible. Then, at last a prophet
approaches Eli with the grim message that God will act where Eli has not:
his evil sons will die, and his line will be set aside.

LIFE LESSON
CHAPTER 3-OFTEN GOD ASKS US TO DO HARD THINGS BUT WE MUST OBEY REGARDLESS
OF THE PAIN. Little Samuel has to deliver God’s harsh message. It must
have been hard for the little boy to bring grim news to one he’d come to
love but Samuel does it. Eli humbly submits to God’s judgment.

WORD OF HOPE
Restoration of a nation begins when we start obeying God and move to make
things right morally and ethically.

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