READ: 1 Samuel 1-2
BACKGROUND: Samuel was the final judge in the 350-year period of the judges in Israel. 1 Samuel covers a period of just over 100 years that stretches from the birth of Samuel to the anointing of David as king and the beginning for his reign. It is a really cool book, full of amazing stories, that describes how Samuel – a gift from God to his mother in the very beginning – shows up in one of the darkest eras of Israel’s history and calls the people back to God.
By Verse –
1:2 – Polygamy wasn’t God’s design, ever, but it was permitted in ancient Israelite society in the case of a childless first marriage. This practice, though, led to obvious frustration and relational conflict.
3 – LORD of Hosts is a military term (Yahweh Sabaoth) which emphasizes the sovereignty and power of God.
11 – Hannah promised that if she were given a son he would be a lifelong Nazarite – one dedicated to God’s service.
15 – I love Hannah’s description of prayer – “Pouring my soul out before the LORD.”
20 – Samuel means “Name of God.”
28 – Dedicated – The literal meaning is “made him over” and the idea is complete, total, and irreversible giving over of the child to God.
2:13-17 – Eli’s sons took more than their allotted share (Leviticus 7:34), taking the meat before the fat had been burned off as a sacrifice to God (Leviticus 3:3-5) and not treating the offerings of the Lord with proper respect.
22 – Women who served weren’t priests, but they were individuals who gave their time to help out with temple functions in some way.
31-35 – This prophecy is partially fulfilled in 1 Samuel 22:11-19 and then completed during the time of Solomon in 1 Kings 2:26-35.
THINK: Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. – Psalm 37:7
I’m sure you’ve had it happen to you. You call the appliance store and ask for the service department. “Can you hold?” a cheerful voice asks, and before you know it you’re hearing music. Every so often a taped message assures you that your call will be answered. You wait and wait. You think, ‘I could have driven over there and back by now!’ You feel forgotten and that nobody cares.
Sometimes it seems that God has put us on hold. We pray and pray about a matter of extreme importance, but nothing happens. Nothing!
I’m sure that’s how Hannah felt. She was asking God for a baby. Childlessness was a curse in her day. To make it worse, her husband’s other wife ridiculed her mercilessly. Hannah wanted desperately to give her husband a child. She prayed out of deep pain and bitterness. Yet year after year she did not conceive.
How can we reconcile the apparent silence of God to our repeated prayers? Remember that God’s wisdom surpasses our own. What we’re asking for might harm us. We can’t see the whole picture. Our timing is not God’s timing.
When God puts you “on hold,” don’t grumble. You can entrust your most cherished longings and desires to Him, and then patiently wait for Him to answer.
When God puts you on hold, don’t hang up!
By: D C Egner in Our Daily Bread