Saturday, June 27, 2015

1 Samuel 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is 1 Samuel 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Hannah praised God for his answer to her prayer for a son.  She states that God is solid as a rock (vs. 2), one who knows what we do (vs. 3), has ultimate control over the affairs of people (vs. 4-8), and is the supreme judge (vs. 10).  
  • Eli, the priest, had wicked sons: Hophni and Phinehas.  They took advantage of their position as priests to satisfy their desire for power and control.  One example is they were taking parts of the sacrifices before they were offered to God on the altar.  This was against God's laws.  They were also sleeping with the women who served there.  Their actions undermined the integrity of the entire priesthood.  
  • Eli knew that his sons were evil, but he did little to correct or stop them, even when the integrity of God's tabernacle was threatened.  
  • Samuel, who served as a helper to Eli, grew in stature and in favor with God and men.  Hannah, Samuel's Mom, gave birth to five more children.  
  • God takes the disciplinary action that Eli would not.  He announces that Hophni and Phinehas will die on the same day.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • God will judge sin and pride.  No doubt as Hannah prayed the words in verse 3 she was thinking of Peninnah's arrogance and ridicule (1:6).  But Hannah didn't have to get even with Peninnah.  God is all-knowing and can take care of judgment without our help.
  • Any sin is wrong, but sin carried out deliberately and deceitfully is the worst kind.  When we sin intentionally, as Eli's sons did, the consequences are oftentimes more severe.  God, in his love for Israel, could not permit this situation to continue.  He would allow Eli's sons to die as a result of their deliberate sin.  
  • Eli was guilty of honoring his sons above God by letting them continue in their sinful ways.  As a result, God took the necessary disciplinary action that Eli would not.  

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Don't ignore God's warnings about sin.  Are there any areas of sin in your life that you know are wrong but continue to deliberately give into?  Turn to God and seek help from Him and others to stop those sinful habits in your life.
  • Is there a situation in your life, family, or work that you allow to continue even though you know it is wrong?  If so, you may become as guilty as those engaged in the wrong act.  What action can you take today to confront those involved in the wrongdoing?