Tag: Samuel

False accusations!

Scripture reading for March 16th: 1st Samuel 1-3

Have you ever been falsely accused of doing something wicked?  How about a false accusation coming from a man or woman of God?   How would you feel about that person who represented God? The temptation would be strong to get angry at the person or worse yet, to get angry at God for allowing such a thing to happen!

Hannah was barren and sought God for a child .  Her husband, Elkanah, had two wives.  His other wife had children but Hannah cried out to God for a child.    The Scripture specifically states that “the Lord had closed her womb”.  (1st Samuel 1:6)  There are several issues here that can cause us to question.  First, why did this Israelite have two wives?  We do notice that there was rivalry and strife between the wives. Think about Abraham and Sarah and her concubine Hagar!  God allows certain behavior, but does not say it is right.  Jesus pointed his followers to Genesis and the pattern of one man and one woman. (Mark 10:5-9)

Another issue is the Lord closing Hannah’s womb.  Why would God do that?  I thought that God was a life-giver and wanted to bless His people?  It seems that in several instances, the people God used faced difficulties that forced them to deal with the only one who had an answer–God!  Abraham and Sarah or Isaac and Rebbecca faced a similar difficulty.    They had to go to God for an answer and God opened their wombs and brought forth a special child!

Another accusation in this passage comes from Eli the priest.   As Hannah was praying desperately for a child, weeping and crying out to the Lord, Eli told her not to come drunk and to give up wine! (1st Samuel 1:12-16) To her credit, she did not become angry or disrespect him.  She patiently explained her dilemma and Eli blessed her.   God answered her prayer and she got her child!  Not only that, she had three additional sons and two daughters!

Our reading today should help us deal with false accusations.  We must not make snap judgments or respond in anger to those who may accuse us falsely.  We must also rightly divide the Word of God.    May the Lord grant us all grace today to operate on the facts, not on speculation or false assumptions!

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The “Witch” way to Trouble!

Scripture reading for March 25: 1st Samuel 27-31

Have you ever been curious about what will happen in the future?  Our world is full of curious people and everyone would like to know about tomorrow.  If we had that information, we feel that we could get rich, save ourselves from disaster, or control the world.  God warns us not to seek any source other than Himself for this information! (Leviticus 19:31) He is the only source of Truth because He alone knows the things to come!  (Isaiah 42:9)

Saul, tormented by the evil spirit that came as a result of his rebellion, sought information about the future by disguising himself and going to visit a medium.  He had tried to seek the Lord first, but God didn’t speak through the priests or prophets. (1st Samuel 28:5-6)   He was terrified and desperate for direction.  He, himself, had banned all witches, mediums, and sorcerers from the land in accordance with the law of God.  His disobedience showed that obedience to God was still not a priority in his life.

This incident is very perplexing because it seems that God allows the spirit of Samuel to be brought up from the dead through this medium.  Samuel speaks prophetically to King Saul one last time, pronouncing his coming death the next day. (1st Samuel 28:16-19)  Again, God’s Word is true and truth about what happened and will happen comes from Him alone.  He can record our sin truthfully and still show mercy to us in the midst of our sin by speaking truth.  When we are in rebellion and under God’s judgment, truth is hard to face.  True repentance must be sought while the Lord may be found!  (Psalm 32:6-7)

True to the Word of Samuel, Saul and his sons die the next day.  Saul is wounded and asks his armor bearer to put him out of his misery.  The armor bearer was terrified and refused, so Saul fell on his own spear, taking his own life!  Even in his death, he took matters into his own hands! (1st Samuel 31:2-6)

The life and death of this first human king of Israel has much to teach us.  Saul’s anointing by Samuel to become king was a wonderful opportunity to rule and lead under God’s guidance.  Saul’s choices to disobey God’s clear instructions brought consequences that eventually lead to further rebellion and death by suicide.  Someone has said, “sin truly takes us further than we want to go, holds us longer that we want to stay, and exacts a price higher than we want to pay”.

If you are doing something in clear disobedience to the Word of God, take time right now to get down on your knees and ask the Lord for mercy!  God gives grace to the humble.  Repentance is more than just saying you are sorry, it is getting up to go a new direction of willing obedience! (2nd Corinthians 7:9-11) Without repentance, there is no forgiveness of sins!  “But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)

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False accusations!

Scripture reading for March 17: 1st Samuel 1-3

Have you ever been falsely accused of doing something wicked?  How about a false accusation coming from a man or woman of God?   How would you feel about that person who represented God? The temptation would be strong to get angry at the person or worse yet, to get angry at God for allowing such a thing to happen!  Our story today has just such an opportunity!

Hannah was barren and sought God for a child .  Her husband, Elkanah, had two wives.  His other wife had children but Hannah cried out to God for a child.    The Scripture specifically states that “the Lord had closed her womb”.  (1st Samuel 1:6)  There are several issues here that can cause us to question.  First, why did this Israelite have two wives?  It seems that in the Old Testament, this issue was not dealt with often.  We do notice that there was rivalry and strife between the wives.  This happens in other instances too.  Think about Abraham and Sarah and her concubine Hagar!  God allows certain behavior, but does not say it is right.  Jesus pointed his followers to Genesis and the pattern of one man and one woman. (Mark 10:5-9)

Another issue is the Lord closing Hannah’s womb.  Why would God do that?  I thought that God was a life-giver and wanted to bless His people?  It seems that in several instances, people God used faced difficulties that forced them to deal with the only one who had an answer–God!  We can think of Abraham and Sarah or Isaac and Rebbecca as starters.  They had to go to God for an answer and God opened their wombs and brought forth a special child!   Both of these difficulties could bring accusations on the Lord.

Another accusation in this passage comes from Eli, the priest.   As Hannah is praying desperately for a child, weeping and crying out to the Lord, Eli thinks that she has had too much wine and is drunk!  He even tells her not to come drunk and to give up the wine! (1st Samuel 1:12-16) What a message for a pastor to give to a humble seeker of the Lord!  To her credit, she did not become angry or disrespect him.  She patiently explained her dilemma and Eli blessed her.   God answered her prayer and she got her child!  Not only that, she had three additional sons and two daughters!  God is truly good!

Our reading today should help us deal with false accusations.  It is easy to jump to conclusions when we read a passage of Scripture.  All Scripture is inspired by God and must be weighed by other passages and God’s heart and Spirit.  We must not make snap judgments!  May the Lord grant us all grace today to operate on the facts, not on speculation or false assumptions!

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