The book of Samuel.....want to know why I love this book so much.....and why the name "Samuel" means so much to me?
Our first GRAND-son is named Samuel.
Our daughter had a difficult time getting pregnant.....and Sam's name is based on the following verse of scripture:
I Samuel 1:27
For this child I prayed and the Lord has granted me my petition which I asked of Him.
So, the book of Samuel holds a very special place in this Nannie's heart....and so does our very own precious little Samuel!!!
~~~Samuel was the last judge of Israel and his name means "name of God".
~~~Eli was the temple priest and so were his sons, Hophni and Phinehas.
~~~Elkahan was a Levite and he had 2 wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Hannah was unable to bear children. Peninnah made fun of Hannah because she had no children and Hannah would weep and not eat because of how she was treated. Hannah went to the temple and prayed and Eli the priest heard her. She was crying and muttering as she prayed to the Lord. She made a vow that if God would answer her prayer and give her a son, she would dedicate him back to the Lord and his hair would never be cut. Eli told her to go in peace and may God grant her request of Him. After returning home, she became pregnant and gave birth to a son....naming him Samuel. Once Samuel was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle and brought him to Eli. The Lord blessed Hannah with 3 other sons and 2 daughters.
~~~Eli's sons were described as scoundrels who had no respect for the Lord, or their priestly duties. They were stealing from the Lord's sacrifices and seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance to the Tabernacle. Eli warned them, but they wouldn't listen....and Eli was considered guilty, too, because he failed to stop them. But....in the meantime....Samuel grew and served the Lord by assisting Eli.
~~~Three times one night, Samuel heard a voice who he thought was Eli speaking to him....and each time he went to Eli who told him it wasn't him who called his name. Finally, Eli realized it was God speaking and he told Samuel to lay back down and if he heard the voice again, to say "Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.". (how much better each of us would be today if we would do the same thing when we feel the Holy Spirit nudging us!!!)
The Lord spoke to Samuel and told him that judgment was coming upon Eli's family. With reluctance....he finally told Eli what the Lord had said.
~~~Israel was at war with the Philistines and the Israelites decided to take the sacred Ark of the Covenant into battle with them....sort of as a "good luck charm"....without consulting God first. The Philistines fought even harder and defeated the Israelites and they captured the Ark of God and Hophni and Phineas were killed. A man from the tribe of Benjamin brought word to Eli about the battle. Eli was 98 years old and blind. The man told Eli about the battle and that his sons had been killed and the Ark of the Covenant had been captured. When Eli heard what happened to the Ark, he fell backward from his seat beside the gate and broke his neck and died....for he was "old and overweight".
~~~Now, this next account had so much humor in it to me....that the Philistines actually thought their god, Dagon, had so much power. They placed the Ark in the temple of Dagon beside an idol of him. The next morning, Dagon had fallen with his face to the ground in front of the Ark. So...they put Dagon in his place again and the next morning the same thing had happened....but this time his head and hands had broken off and were lying in the doorway. The Lord struck the town with tumors (hemorrhoids)...and the people realized it was God, so they moved the Ark to the town of Gath. When the Ark was moved to Gath, the Lord struck all the men, young and old, with a plague of tumors (again, one of the commentaries said they were actually hemorrhoids....now, if you've ever been bothered with those things....then, you know that they actually are a PLAGUE!!!) So...they sent the Ark of the Covenant to the tower of Ekron, but when it arrived, the people cried out that they were bringing the Ark to kill them and begged for it to be sent back to its own country. The Ark of the Covenant stayed in Philistine territory for 7 months before being returned to the Israelites.
As I read about this Ark and all the consequences that the Philistines faced for stealing something so precious....these thoughts came to my mind and I jotted them down in my notes:
*We can't hide from God
*We can't compete with God
*We can't replace God
*We should fear God...not just in reverence and respect...but I think we should actually be afraid of what God can and will do if we continually sin!!!
~~~Samuel was the last of Israel's judges and as he grew old, he appointed his sons....Abijah and Joel....to be judges over Israel. (I'm not sure if Samuel consulted the Lord before doing this) They weren't like Samuel, but were greedy for money and accepted bribes. The elders of Israel met with Samuel and let him know they didn't approved of his sons' actions and they asked for a king. Samuel was displeased with their request and went to the Lord for guidance. The Lord told Samuel that the people weren't rejecting Samuel...but were rejecting HIM. They didn't want God to be their King any longer. The Lord told Samuel to do as they asked, but to warn them about the way a king would reign over them and what a terrible hardship it would be to serve a king....but, they refused....so the Lord allowed them to have their way
(we need to be very careful what we ask the Lord for)
~~~Saul was the most handsome man in Israel. He stood head and shoulders taller than anyone else in the land. While searching for his father's donkeys, he went to Samuel and the Lord had already told Samuel that he would be visited by Saul. Samuel anointed Saul and told him that God had appointed him to be ruler over all of Israel. Saul was 30 years old when he became king and he reigned for 42 years.
~~~Samuel gave his farewell address to all of Israel, reminding them of all the great things the Lord had done for them (this reminded me of Moses' final talk with the Israelites).
~~~Because Saul disobeyed the Lord by offering the sacrifice to God instead of waiting on Samuel, Saul's reign had to end because God was seeking a man after His own heart. Samuel went to Saul and told him that God wasn't pleased with him and he would no longer be king.
~~~I love this verse of scripture where the Lord spoke to Samuel about who to choose for king:
I Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Oh, how this delights my soul to read those words of the Lord.....to know that the Lord doesn't look at this aging, gray-haired, overweight woman....He looks at my heart!!!!
~~~David was the son to be anointed king, even though he was the youngest of Jesse's sons. The Spirit of the Lord came upon David....and the very next verse of scripture told us that.....the Spirit had left Saul and the Lord sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear.
Pappy and I discussed this because several times in the scripture it stated that God had sent an evil spirit upon Saul. What we think this actually means....is that Saul's sinful, prideful self took over. He became full of himself....instead of full of the Lord....which caused him to do and say and act totally different than what the Lord had planned for Him. God might have great plans for us....but we can mess those up trying to do things our way!!!
~~~David was sent for to play soothing music on his harp to try to calm Saul and lift his spirits. For some time David went back and forth between Saul and his father, Jesse, to help with his sheep.
~~~Now, Goliath enters the picture.
For 40 days....every morning and evening....Goliath would stand in front of the Israelite army taunting them. Goliath stood over 9 feet tall. David told Saul that he would kill Goliath and Saul at first told him no, but then gave David his own armor to wear. Since the armor didn't fit, David picked up 5 smooth stones from a stream and put them in his shepherd's bag. Here's what David told Goliath as he faced him:
1 Samuel 17:45 (NLT)
David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
David slung the stone and it sank into Goliath's forehead and he fell. David took Goliath's sword and killed him and cut off his head.
~~~After David spoke with Saul, he met Jonathan, the king's son and they became friends.
~~~When the Israelites returned from war, the women sang a song....
Saul has killed his thousands
David has killed his ten thousands....
....and this made Saul very angry and he became jealous of David.
~~~Because he had promised, Saul gave Michal, his youngest daughter, to David to marry....but he grew to hate David and because he was so popular and Saul plotted to kill David. Jonathan intervened and Saul changed his mind.....but only for a while.....only until his jealousy consumed him again. As David played his harp for Saul....Saul threw his spear at David, but he escaped. With a warning and help from his wife, Michal....David escaped and went to Samuel. As Saul and his men chased after David to kill him....Jonathan again intervened and helped David in his escape plans.
So...this brings us thru chapter 21....and I've only touched on some high-lights.
I hope that you all are gleaning from my reading and things that stand out to me and touch my heart.
Blessings to you!!!
In His Most Precious Love....and with mine!!!