Week 1: 1 Samuel 1-3
Day 1: 1:1-20
Hannah sought the Lord in tears and in pain for a child. How many women today have fought the same struggle. The Lord had purpose in closing Hannah’s womb, and it was for this moment right here. There are times that nothing can comfort us except for the Lord to answer our prayers. No human words of wisdom or kindness can help us. Barren women know this all too well. Have you been in such a situation in your life?
Day 2: 1:21-28
People vary on what age Samuel was weaned, but because of the wording of the sacrifice they brought, it would seem that he was three years old, which is a very normal age for weaning, even in the ancient world. Imagine Hannah dropping off little Samuel at age three and entrusting him to Eli. It must have been difficult for her. Imagine Eli’s surprise. It doesn’t seem like this was a normal thing to do, or there would be lots of kids roaming around the tabernacle with Eli.
Day 3: 2:1-11
Hannah’s song is a beautiful example of raw emotion. All too often we withhold from God our emotions because we feel like we should be better. Don’t ever be anything less than honest with God. If you’re angry at God, tell Him. He has very big boy pants. It’s much better to tell Him how we feel then to lie and stew in our anger and pain. If we’re angry at another person, tell Him. It’s much better to allow Him to help us work through our anger than to sugar coat our feelings and bury them.
Day 4: 2:12-36
Eli was not the best father around. This shows us how difficult it is to deal with family when harsh changes are needed. For their wickedness, and for Eli’s complicity, he received one of the harshest words in scripture not delivered to a wicked king. We will see the fulfillment of this word later in the book in a horribly gruesome way.
Day 5: 3:1-21
If you have children, you can appreciate the call of Samuel. What is even more amazing is that Eli recognized it was the Lord calling Samuel. With what we’ve been told about their situation, it seems hard to believe that Eli would have thought about the Lord at all, but he was happy to know the Lord was willing to speak again.
Eli knew that if the Lord was speaking, it was likely against he and his sons, so he bound Samuel with a curse if he didn’t tell him every last detail of what the Lord said. His resolve is both honorable and sad at the same time. Had Eli repented and sought the Lord’s forgiveness, would He have granted it? Would the Lord have relented like He did with the most vile king Manasseh?