1Samuel 1-2

Thursday Evening Bible Study

January 26, 2012

Introduction

Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

The books of 1 & 2 Samuel take their names from the prophet Samuel, who is the first major character in the books. Originally, 1 & 2 Samuel were considered as one book. When the Hebrew was translated into Greek with the Septuagint, the book was divided into two parts.

Author – we don’t know who the author was. Samuel himself may have contributed to some of the material, but not all of it since it continues long after his death.

Date – We aren’t sure when the book was written, but it would seem to have been written before 722 BC, since the author doesn’t seem to know about the fall of the northern kingdom to Assyria. It would seem to have been written after the rule of Solomon since there is a reference to the “kings of Judah” (1Sam. 27:6), hinting that the author knew the kingdom would be divided.

Historical Background – 1 & 2 Samuel covers the transition between the times of the judges and the time of the kings.

The history revolves around three main characters, the prophet Samuel, the first king Saul, and the second king, David.

The time of the judges was a time of moral and spiritual decline for the nation. There was a brief time of revival when God answers Hannah’s prayer and the baby Samuel is born. When Samuel’s own sons are unqualified to succeed him, the people cry out to have a king. God was not opposed to the people having a king, God had already given Israel laws concerning a king (Deut. 17), but the people’s reasons for having a king were wrong. They were rejecting God as their leader. When the first king Saul doesn’t follow God correctly, a second king comes, David, who will ultimately begin the line of kings that would lead to the Messiah, Jesus.

1:1-7 Elkanah’s Family

:1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the mountains of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

:1 Ramathaim Zophim – “double height of the watchers”

Play “Ramah” map video.

Also known as “Ramah”.  In the New Testament we call it “Arimathea”, the home of Joseph who buried Jesus.

It is five miles north of Jerusalem, and fourteen miles south of Shiloh (where the Tabernacle is located).

It is hill country. This is where Samuel will be born, one of the places he will live, and where he will be buried.

:1 ElkanahElqanah – “God has possessed” or “God has created”

:1 an Ephraimite

Even though it looks as if Elkanah is from the tribe of Ephraim, he’s not. He’s actually from the tribe of Levi, but living in the land of Ephraim.

We find this out in 1Chronicles 6:28-38. Elkanah and his son Samuel were from the family of the Kohathites, of the tribe of Levi.
This is important because Samuel will be performing sacrifices, something he shouldn’t be doing if he was from the tribe of Ephraim.  But it’s fine if he’s a Levite.

:2 And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

:2 Hannah – “grace”

:2 Peninnah – “jewel”

:2 Hannah had no children

Back in these days, a woman got her sense of value or self-esteem from her children.

If a woman had lots of children, then she was proud of herself.

If she had no children, she often felt worthless.  This was sometimes the very reason a man would take a second wife – in order to have children (like Abraham with Hagar).

:3 This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.

:3 yearly to worship

Elkanah had a habit of worship.  He took his family to church.  He was faithful.

:3 Shiloh – “place of rest”

This was one of the first semi-permanent locations that the Tabernacle settled.

The Tabernacle was here during the book of Judges, and will be here for a couple of chapters in 1Samuel.

This was where all Israelites were to come and worship three times a year.

:3 Hophni and Phinehas

Hophni – “pugilist”

Phinehas – “mouth of brass”

These are bad guys.  They will play an important role as the story is laid out.

:4 And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters.

:5 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the Lord had closed her womb.

:6 And her rival also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb.

:7 So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.

:7 did not eat

Worship on these days involved bringing a sacrifice to the Lord.

Some of these sacrifices would be “peace” offerings (Lev. 3) where a portion of the sacrificial animal would be burnt on the altar as a gift to God, a portion would be given to the priest who was helping you, and you and your family would eat a portion.
The concept was like having a Thanksgiving Dinner, and God is sitting at your table as a welcome guest.

Yet Hannah was so hurt over her situation that she could not eat dinner with God.

:6 her rival also provoked her severely

This is a man married to two women, and one of them was a bully.

Peninnah was also probably jealous that Elkanah favored Hannah.

Peninnah has one thing Hannah doesn’t.  She has kids.  At least four (“sons” and “daughters”)

Jealousy, cruelty.  These are the kinds of things that happen when people step outside of God’s best in marriage.
And of course, just like today, things were always worse during the “holidays”.

Lesson

Messy marriages

HBO has a series about polygamy.
Play opening sequence to “Big Love”.
Joseph Smith took these stories in the Old Testament about the patriarchs who had multiple wives and turned it into a doctrine.  Some accounts have Joseph Smith “married” to up to thirty women, some of them were also wives of his other leaders.
The Bible is a messy book.
It is filled with imperfect people doing imperfect things, but that doesn’t mean we should copy the mess.  The Bible doesn’t have a specific command against polygamy, so that makes it even more messy.
The Bible does have a perfect picture of marriage though.

God said that it was not good for Adam to be alone (Gen. 2:18)

(Ge 2:18 NKJV) —18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

(Ge 2:21–25 NKJV) —21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

When Jesus talked about marriage, He didn’t look back at Jacob and his four wives, or at Elkanah and his two wives.  Jesus pointed back to Adam and Eve.  One man, one woman.

The enemy is having a great time breaking up marriages these days.
It’s important to realize that God’s original plan is best.  The goal in life is not moving to where you think the grass is greener.  The goal is to take care of your own lawn so your own grass grows green.
I know that many of you have been divorced and remarried.  My point is not to bring condemnation on what has happened in the past, but to keep reminding you of taking wise steps in the future.

1:8-18 Hannah’s Vow

:8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”

Husbands often don’t know what to say. So we say dumb things like this. Sometimes it would be better if I just shut up and held my wife.

:9 So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the Lord.

:10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.

:10 in bitterness of soul, and prayed

That’s a great way to handle bitterness – pray

Lesson

Dealing with bitterness

Hannah poured out her heart to the Lord.
We aren’t told that she never told her husband about her bitterness, but we are told the more important thing – that she poured out her heart to the Lord.
She didn’t let her heart stew in her bitterness.
(Heb 12:15 NKJV) looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;

:11 Then she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.”

:11 no razor shall come upon his head

She is promising that the baby will be a Nazirite (Num. 6).

Long hair.  No touching dead bodies.  No grapes or grape byproducts.
This will be a child that is “dedicated” to God.

Note: This may have been taking place at the time when Samson, the most famous Nazirite, was judging Israel, or shortly after.

Samson judged Israel during the time when the Philistines ruled over the Israelites for forty years (Judg. 13:1). Yet Samson judged Israel only twenty of those years (Judg. 14:31). It is thought that the time of the Philistine rule ended with a battle that Samuel would lead, the battle of Mizpeh (1Sam. 7), which would end with
(1 Sa 7:14 NKJV) Then the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron to Gath; and Israel recovered its territory from the hands of the Philistines. Also there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

Lesson

Dedicated kids

It seems that God tends to honor a decision by parents to purposely dedicate their children to the Lord.
We have a modern example of this in the life of Chuck Smith.
PlayChuck Smith Interview” clip
The difference between Samuel and Chuck Smith is not with their mom’s dedicating them, but in their hair.  J

:12 And it happened, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli watched her mouth.

:13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.

:13 Eli thought she was drunk

Lesson

Spirit filled

It reminds of what happened on the Day of Pentecost.
(Ac 2:1–4 NKJV) —1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

When this happened, a crowd began to gather.  People were in Jerusalem from all over the world to celebrate the Pentecost holiday, and people from every language were hearing God’s praises in their own languages coming from these simple Galileans.

(Ac 2:12–13 NKJV) —12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” 13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”
There seems to be some sort of parallel between the filling of the Spirit and being drunk.
Some suggest that it’s about being “under the influence”.

A drunk person is “under the influence” of alcohol.

A Spirit filled person is under the influence of the Holy Spirit.

I wonder if there isn’t some sort of connection with a change in life.

Especially those who have stepped away from alcoholism, they can spot a drunk a mile away.  You can tell by their behavior.

When a person is filled with the Spirit, there is a change in their behavior as well.

One thing is clear.  Paul wrote,
(Eph 5:18 NKJV) And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,

Don’t waste your time getting drunk.  Spend your time learning to be filled over and over again by the Spirit of God.

:14 So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine away from you!”

:15 But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord.

:16 Do not consider your maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief I have spoken until now.”

:17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.”

:17 the God of Israel grant

Eli realized that this was a broken but sincere woman.

This could be translated in one of two ways.  It could be a wish or prayer of Eli that God would grant Hannah her request.  It also may be prophetic, that God WOULD grant her request.

:18 And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

:18 … ate, and her face was no longer sad

She was able to participate in the “peace offering” meal.  She had a renewed sense of “fellowship” with God.

Lesson

Prevailing prayer

I think there’s an initial result when we “break through” in prayer.
It’s a sense of well-being, a sense of peace, of no longer being “sad”.
It comes whether or not the actual thing we’re praying for happens yet.
And it can go just about as quickly as it comes.
(Php 4:6–7 NKJV) —6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
To me, one of the keys to prayer here is “thanksgiving”.  I think if I’ve come to that point where I truly trust that God is going to take care of the situation (however He wants to take care of it), and I can actually say “thank you for hearing me”, then I receive His peace.
Not all prayer ends with peace.  Sometimes I’m more worried after praying than when I started.

I think I’ve learned the older I get that I need to learn to persevere and keep praying when this happens.

Jacob “wrestled” with the “angel” all night before facing his brother Esau, and though he ended the match as a cripple, he had “prevailed”.

1:19-28 Samuel’s birth

:19 Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord, and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her.

:20 So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.”

:20 Samuel[email protected]’el – “heard of God”

God heard her prayer.  Samuel will also hear God.

:21 Now the man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice and his vow.

:21 his vow

When a woman made a vow, a husband could nullify it if he wanted to (Num. 30:6-8). If the husband didn’t say anything, then the vow would stand. It is possible that this “vow” the Elkanah is going to fulfill has to do with Hannah’s promise to dedicate this child to the Lord.

:22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “Not until the child is weaned; then I will take him, that he may appear before the Lord and remain there forever.”

:23 So Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him. Only let the Lord establish His word.” Then the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

:23 until she had weaned him

Weaning is when the child no longer is being fed by breast milk.

In Hannah’s culture, a child might be breast fed for 3-5 years.

Samuel won’t be an infant when he’s taken to the Tabernacle, he’s probably more “Pre-K”.

:23 Only let the Lord establish His word

(NLT) “may the LORD help you keep your promise.”

I would imagine that Hannah’s promise to give the child to the Lord would be a hard one to keep.

:24 Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh. And the child was young.

:24 three bulls, one ephah of flour …

The Septuagint says “a three-year-old bullock”.  Perhaps one the age of Samuel?

Hannah is taking the one thing that is most precious to her, her son, and is going to literally give him to the Lord.

Perhaps some of this offering is to help pay for the raising of this boy.

:25 Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli.

:26 And she said, “O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to the Lord.

:27 For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.

:28 Therefore I also have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord.” So they worshiped the Lord there.

:28 they worshipedshachah – to bow down; before God in worship

Who worshipped? Perhaps they all did. Perhaps Samuel did as well.

We’ll get a taste now of what some of the content of Hannah’s “worship”.

2:1-11 Hannah’s Prayer

:1 And Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.

:2 “No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.

:3 “Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the Lord is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.

:3 Talk no more so very proudly

This seems to be aimed at Peninnah.

Lesson

Watch out for pride

For Peninnah, her pride was demonstrated in how she made life difficult for Hannah.
Don’t put others down. Don’t be a Peninnah.
(1 Pe 5:5–6 NKJV) —5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” 6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,

Hannah is a beautiful example how God gives grace to the humble.

It is more important that we watch over our hearts than that our circumstances be pleasant.
God can change our circumstances at any time.

We need to be careful that our hearts stay in the right place before the Lord.

People who seem to have it made can be brought down. People who are struggling can be delivered.

:4 “The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength.

:5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, And the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, And she who has many children has become feeble.

:5 the barren has borne seven

Hannah may be simply making a general statement, but she would go on to have more children. She would have three more sons and two daughters (1Sam. 2:21).

:6 “The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.

:7 The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up.

:8 He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory. “For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He has set the world upon them.

:9 He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. “For by strength no man shall prevail.

:9 He will guard the feet of His saints

He will keep them from stumbling.

:9 For by strength no man shall prevail

(Zec 4:6 NKJV) …“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.

:10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed.”

:10 His anointedmashiyach – anointed one; Messiah

This is the first time that the word mashiyach occurs in a place where it can refer to the Messiah. (it is used to refer to the anointed priest four times in Leviticus)

The first reference to “Messiah” comes from Hannah (“grace”).

:10 king … anointed

There was not yet a king in Israel. Hannah is speaking prophetically. Not just about the kings like Saul and David, but even in looking to Jesus.

Hannah’s song is interestingly very parallel to part of the song of Mary…

(Lk 1:46–53 NKJV) —46 And Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed. 49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name. 50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him From generation to generation. 51 He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52 He has put down the mighty from their thrones, And exalted the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things, And the rich He has sent away empty. 54 He has helped His servant Israel, In remembrance of His mercy, 55 As He spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and to his seed forever.”
I wonder if Mary wasn’t aware of Hannah’s song and sang something very similar because her circumstance was similar. Both had unusual pregnancies in unusual circumstances. Both would give birth to children that the Lord would use mightily.

:11 Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child ministered to the Lord before Eli the priest.

:11 But the child ministered to the Lord

While his parents go home, Samuel stays at Shiloh and is given jobs to do around the tabernacle.

The Septuagint uses the word leitourgeo here, which carries the idea of the service or work that the priests and Levites would do in the sacred rites in the temple or tabernacle.

It’s possible that Samuel was given little things to do like light lamps, sweep the floors, clean the bowls, etc.

NOTE to parents:  If you drop your child off at church and expect us to raise him, we will return him to you.  We are not a full service outfit like Eli.

2:12-17 Eli’s Wicked Sons

:12 Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the Lord.

:12 corrupt

The Hebrew here is literally, “sons of Belial”, or “sons of Satan”.

Eli is the High Priest of Israel. His sons are also priests. The priesthood ran in the family, it was passed on from father to son.

Eli has passed on the profession, but he has not passed on the knowledge of the Lord.
His sons are godless, wicked men.

:13 And the priests’ custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling.

:14 Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.

:15 Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw.”

:16 And if the man said to him, “They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires,” he would then answer him, “No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.”

:13 the priests’ custom

God gave the Israelites some very specific instructions as to how He was to be worshipped. Included in God’s instructions were instructions to make sure that the priests who helped with the sacrifice would be paid for their work. The part of the sacrifice that the priests were to receive as payment for their work was the shoulder and the breast of the animal (Ex 29:27 Le 7:31,32).

But Eli’s sons weren’t satisfied with what God said was to be theirs. They were selfish pigs. They sent their servants to the people who were making their sacrifices and basically took whatever they wanted.

Lesson

Do it right

God isn’t just concerned with “what” we do, but “how” we do things.
These priests did help the people with their sacrifices, but they did it in the wrong way.
Illustration
Mike had gotten a part time job at the Post Office and the supervisor there had been warned that he was somewhat of a dullard, but the supervisor took a liking to him and agreed to let Mike help him. If nothing else, he would be an extra set of hands. The supervisor gives Mike the job of sorting, and much to everyone’s surprise, Mike separated the letters so fast that his motions were literally a blur. Extremely pleased by this, the supervisor approached Mike at the end of the day. “I just want you to know,” he said, “that we’re all very proud of you. You’re one of the fastest workers we have ever had.” “Thank you,” said Mike, “and tomorrow I’ll try to do even better.” “Better?” the supervisor asked with astonishment. “How can you possibly do better?” Mike replied, “Tomorrow I am going to read the addresses.”
God is not just concerned that we work, but how we work:
(Col 3:22–23 The Message) —22 Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. 23 Work from the heart for your real Master, for God…

God doesn’t just want us doing what the boss says, but to do it “from the heart”, do it right, as if we’re doing it for Jesus.

:15 before they burned the fat

One of the things these fellows did wrong had to do with the “fat”.

In all of the sacrifices, the “fat” of the animal was considered to be God’s portion.

“Fat” was always thought to be good, and God deserves only the best.
We may not think “fat” is good, but to be honest, we do love good, rich, ice cream.  And that’s all about the “fat” content.

Ezekiel has some insight into this:

(Eze 34:2–4 NKJV) —2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 4 The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them.
Leaders ought to be concerned about doing things God’s way.

:17 Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.

:17 for men abhorred the offering of the Lord

Because of the actions of Eli’s sons, the people didn’t like going to church.

Lesson

Ministry abuse drives people away

We need to be careful to keep our hearts in the right place, doing things God’s way.
Illustration
Test of Faith
There was a story on the radio years ago which will bring a lot of comfort to those who are taunted with the “if you had more faith you would be healed...” issue. There was a lady who called a radio pastor. The pastor was a wise, grandfatherly gentleman who has that calm reassuring voice that can melt all fear. The lady, who was obviously crying, said, “Pastor, I was born blind, and I’ve been blind all my life. I don’t mind being blind but I have some well meaning friends who tell me that if I had more faith I could be healed.” The pastor asked her, “Tell me, do you carry one of those white canes?” “Yes I do,” she replied. “Then the next time someone says that hit them over the head with the cane,” He said. “Then tell them ‘If you had more faith that wouldn’t hurt!’”

2:18-21 Samuel Grows

:18 But Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod.

:19 Moreover his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

:18 linen ephod – An ephod was a tunic or apron worn by priests or Levites. The idea is that little Samuel had his own little priest’s outfit.

Hannah visited her son every year. She made him new clothes each year.

:20 And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “The Lord give you descendants from this woman for the loan that was given to the Lord.” Then they would go to their own home.

I get the feeling that Eli had become partial to little Samuel. He didn’t curse them for leaving the kid with him, he blessed them. he asks God to give them more children to take the place of the one they have given to the Lord.

:21 And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the Lord.

It’s been said that “You can’t out give the Lord”.  I think this is true.

You might think that Hannah gave too much, but God gives back to her many times what she gave to Him.

2:22-36 Prophecy against Eli

:22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

Hophni and Phinehas were a bunch of sleazy scuzballs who misused their position in ministry to seduce women at the Tabernacle.

:23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.

:24 No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the Lord’s people transgress.

:25 If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the Lord desired to kill them.

What a sad thing that a godly man has sons who aren’t following God.

:26 And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.

:26 in favor both with the Lord and men

Even though the people couldn’t stand Hophni and Phinehas, everybody seems to love Samuel.

:27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house?

:27 a man of God

We don’t know his name. Just a prophet.

:27 your father

Aaron, the first high priest. All priests (including Eli) were to be descendants of Aaron.

:28 Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire?

:28 give …all the offerings

God is reminding Eli that their family’s income comes from Him.  God gave Aaron’s family the right to take a portion of the offerings as their payment for work.

:29 Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’

:29 honor your sons more than Me

Lesson

God or kids?

Eli was more concerned about what his sons thought than what God thought.
That’s a tough thing for a parent.
Is it more important that your child is “happy”, or that you raise them in the ways of God?
That’s the choice we face when we discipline our kids.

Are we more concerned for their “happiness”, or that we raise them the way that God wants?

Apparently Eli had some concern for his sons, but he didn’t mind too much that his sons brought home some of those great looking steaks every day.

:30 Therefore the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

:30 those who honor Me I will honor

Lesson

First place

Jesus said,
(Mt 10:32–33 NKJV) —32 “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.
Last Sunday we talked about “idols”, about the kinds of things that we allow to take first place in our lives.
God knows that our lives will run a lot better if we put Him first.

:31 Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.

:32 And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever.

:33 But any of your men whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age.

:34 Now this shall be a sign to you that will come upon your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall die, both of them.

:34 Now this shall be a sign to you

All of these things will take place when we get to 1Samuel 4.

Eli’s house will be cut off – he and his sons will die.
An enemy in God’s dwelling – the Philistines will capture the Ark
In one day – Hophni and Phinehas will both die on the same day.

:35 Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever.

:36 And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and say, “Please, put me in one of the priestly positions, that I may eat a piece of bread.” ’ ”

:35 a faithful priest … before My anointed

There would be a faithful priest who would minister before the “anointed”, or the king.

This might be a reference to Samuel, but though Samuel did priestly things, he was never considered the “high priest”.

There will be two ways in which this will be fulfilled.

First, in the immediate future
There were two lines of priests coming from Aaron, one line from his son Eleazar, the other from his son Ithamar.  In Eli’s day, the different “lines” took turns being high priest.

Eli was from Ithamar. This is the line that would be cut off, not with the death of Eli’s sons, but when Solomon was king and he removed the priest Abiathar from being priest. Abiathar had been a part of the conspiracy to have Adonijah become king instead of Solomon. (1Ki. 2:27)

(1 Ki 2:27 KJV) So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.

At this point, the High Priesthood stopped bouncing back and forth from Eleazar’s and Ithamar’s lines and stayed with Eleazar, with Zadok being named the High Priest.

Second, there was an ultimate fulfillment in Jesus.
We know Jesus is the “anointed”, the Messiah, the King.  It’s even written on His robe:

(Re 19:16 NKJV) —16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Jesus is also a faithful priest:

(Heb 2:17 NKJV) Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.