Bible Reading and Commentary November 17-22, 2014

Bible Reading and Commentary
November 17-22, 2014

I SAMUEL — With Samuel we end the period of judges and enter Israel’s rule by kings. As we study the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles, you’ll see these authoritative offices in action, that of prophet, priest, and king. While these powerful offices in Israel were carried out imperfectly, Jesus carried them out for us in our lives perfectly.

Monday, November 17, I Samuel 1
v. 2 — While God doesn’t condone polygamy (Genesis 2:24; I Tim. 3:2, 12), it did exist in Israel. The heartache and problems it caused can be seen in vv. 5-7.
Vv. 10-11 — We see how children were considered precious gifts from God. Read Psalm 127:3. What a contrast to the way our world treats children as disposable!
v. 13 — As with Hannah’s pleas that came from the inner depth of her heart, our pleas, too, that come from a distraught heart, are heard and answered by God. Read Ps. 50;15.

Tuesday, November 18, I Samuel 2
v. 6 — Today, in our society and world, human life isn’t worth much. However, it’s very precious to God. Hannah reminds us that only the Lord has the right to take life or those to whom He gives that right (Rom. 13:1,4).
v. 10 — A prophecy of the coming Savior. Underline “He will give strength to his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.” Similar words were spoken by Zacharias in Luke 1:69.
v. 21 — God always answers the prayer of faithful Christians. Sometimes God’s answer is “My grace is sufficient for you.” (II Cor. 12:8,9) On the other hand, God also can bless us with more than we ask, as in the case of Hannah (v. 21)
v. 23 — Eli scolded his sons, but very likely never enforced discipline. On parental discipline, read Prov. 13:24 and Eph. 6:4.

Wednesday, November 19, I Samuel 3
v. 19 — Two forces were attempting to influence Israel’s spiritual future: Samuel and Eli’s sons. Israel recognized that Samuel was God’s approved leader (v. 20). That God did not permit Samuel’s word to “fall to the ground,” means that his words were true–and were fulfilled.

Thursday, November 20, I Samuel 4
Vv. 3, 10 — For a concise description of the ark, read Hebrews 9:3-5. What was Israel’s problem in carrying the ark of the Lord into battle? Their trust apparently was not in the Lord, but in the ark. Let’s not make that same mistake and put our trust in material things, human wisdom and scientific break-throughs. Rather, in the day of trouble, let’s cast all our anxiety and troubles upon the Lord. Read why in I Peter 5:7 and Ps. 50:15.
v. 11 — The sins of Eli’s sons were great. Their gross wickedness is described in chapter 2:12-17, 22. Eli should have removed them from office. God finally rejected them. They not only died early in life, but ended in eternal damnation. Their fate is a warning to us all. Let’s not make light of God’s Word! Those who continually do that and oppose God’s directives in their lives, will share the same end as Eli’s sons.

Friday, November 21, I Samuel 5
Vv. 3, 4, 11. 12 — While the ark in itself had no special power, it was an integral part of Israel’s worship on the Day of Atonement. It reminded Israel on that day that Jesus’ blood someday would free them from the law’s curse of sin, eternal death, and would restore to them Paradise. Because of the ark’s important significance in Israel’s worship, God wanted it returned to Israel. God’s plagues on the Philistines and the humiliation of their god, Dagon, gave the Philistines the message not to trifle with something sacred to God. Through all that, God gave them the opportunity to find out more about the real God, the God of Scripture, which, sadly, like so many in the world, they didn’t do.

Saturday, November 22, I Samuel 6
Vv. 5-6 — Most people in this world reject God’s plan of salvation. Whose fault is it? The Philistines, as we saw in chapter 5 and in v. 6 of chapter 6, knew of and were witnesses to God’s great power. God thereby gave them opportunities for salvation, but they refused them. Read also Matt. 23:27, 28 and Acts 7:51.
Vv. 17-18 — Instead of gold rats and gold tumors, God would have preferred Philistines who were sorry for their sins and turned to Him for help. That’s what God looks for in us. The top priority in our lives should not be our offerings, but to live in sincere daily repentance. Do you?

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