Wednesday, January 16, 2008

JOURNEY THROUGH 1 SAMUEL

Here are some takeaways from my recent quiet times through 1 Samuel. It's long so I'll divide it into two blogs. The numbering system represents the chapter.

  • The time frame of 1-2 Samuel represents the midpoint between Abraham and Jesus (1800 BC-1000 BC-4 BC)
  • The four main characters of 1 Samuel (Hannah, Samuel, Saul, David) remind us what it is like to be human and how God works out His plan of salvation through us.
  • The 1-2 Samuel story is framed by prayer: Hannah's at the beginning and David's at the end.
  • Originally these two books were one. But scrolls could only be so long; so, it was divided into two.
  1. Hannah took her deep burden to God, prayed, got up with a peace in her heart. When God answered, she lived up to her vow.
  2. Eli is a sad picture of a distraught father who had lost control of his sons.
  3. The story of Samuel's call from God never grows old. Although Eli had many faults, he seemed to be an excellent mentor for Samuel.
  4. Reminder of how the ark of the covenant ended up with the Philistines
  5. The story of the ark reminds us that God must not be treated as a trophy or rabbit's foot. He is One who cannot be manipulated.
  6. God expects respect. He is to be feared. Never approach Him with a flippant attitude.
  7. If you want to come back to God, you must do some serious house cleaning.
  8. Samuel's sons turned out to be wicked leaders. Makes you wonder what kind of father he was. But, remember, he didn't have a good model (Eli) growing up.
  9. The story of Saul's call from God reminds us that great things for God are not necessarily planned ahead of time. They just happen in the normal flow of daily life.
  10. As soon as Saul was publicly announced as king, critics emerged. He ignored them.
  11. When the Holy Spirit empowers a person, he/she can do far beyond human capabilities.
  12. One sign of Samuel's greatness is that he prayed for his people even though they had hurt him deeply by asking for a king.
  13. Beware of taking God's affairs into your own hands.
  14. What courage Jonathan had to go up against the Philistines alone with his armor bearer. What foolishness Saul had to make crazy military decisions. The people lost respect for him.
  15. Saul could have been one of Israel's finest. But with great arrogance, he insisted in doing things his own way.

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