I Samuel 2

Nothing is more provoking to God than the profanation of sacred things and men serving their lusts with the offerings of the Lord.
Those who allow and countenance their children in an evil way by not using their authority to restrain and punish them,
involve themselves in their guilt and may be expected to be cast off from God’s service.

1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.

2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.

5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.

6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.

7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.

8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them.

9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

11 And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest.

12 ¶ Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.

13 And the priests’ custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand;

14 And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.

15 Also before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.

16 And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.

17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.

18 ¶ But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.

19 Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

20 ¶ And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home.

21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.

22 ¶ Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.

24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD’S people to transgress.

25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.

26 And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.

27 ¶ And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house?

28 And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel?

29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?

30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

31 Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house.

32 And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever.

33 And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age.

34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.

35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.

36 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests’ offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.

1 Samuel 2:1-11 – The God of the Lowly

   Hannah’s song was to inspire David, the Virgin-Mother, and countless others to sing hymns of praise. So the song of a bird will set the whole woodland ringing with the minstrelsy of a feathered chorus. We, too, shall sing someday! God will turn the waters of our tears, which fill the jars to their brim, into the wine of joy. You, also, my friend, shall someday take your harp from the willows and get from it music which will go through the world to stir men’s sad hearts.
   How full of the Lord the song is! The overflowing heart ascribes its rapture to the Rock of Ages. He saves; He is holy; He knows; He weighs; He kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and up; He will vindicate our trust. We do not prevail by strength, but by yielding ourselves into His hands. God answers our prayers thoroughly. The gifts that come from above are good and perfect. Bereaved mother, your little child is yours still, though hidden from your eyes! Try to think of your beloved one as ministering to the Lord in the eternal temple! —Through the Bible Day by Day

1 Samuel 2:12-21 – Growing before the Lord

   Not only were Eli’s sons strangers to the power of religion in the heart, but they had gone to great lengths of profligacy. They had seized on a larger share of the offering than was prescribed, and their rapacity had made men abhor the sacred rites. It is an awful thing when the inconsistencies of professing Christians cause men to abhor the service of Christ. It will go very hard with them at the last. The Master says that it would have been better for a millstone to be hanged about their neck; and one cannot but think that great allowance will be made at the last for those who have fallen over these stumbling-blocks.
   What love and prayer Hannah must have wrought into that little coat! Every stitch was put in with such motherly pride. It was hard to give the boy up, but at least she could do something for him. How nice he would look in it! How proud she was that every year’s new one had to be larger! Thus parents still make the clothes that their children wear. The little ones almost unconsciously become arrayed in the character that is constantly being shown before their quick and inquisitive eyes. —Through the Bible Day by Day

I Samuel 2:19—His mother made him a little coat.

   What happy work it was! Those nimble fingers flew along the seams, because love inspired them. All her woman’s art and wit were put into the garment, her one idea and ambition being to make something which should be not only useful, but becoming. Not mothers only, but fathers, are always making little coats for their children, which they wear Iong years after a material fabric would have become worn out. How many men and women are wearing today the coats which their parents cut out and made for them long years ago!
   Habits are the vesture of the soul. The Apostle bade his converts put off the old man, “which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22), and to “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:24); to put off anger, wrath, and malice, whilst they put on mercy, humility, and meekness. What words could better establish the fact that habits are (as the name indicates) the clothing of the inner life! Where and how are habits formed? Not in the mid passage of life, but at its dawn; not in great crises, but in daily circumstances; not in life’s arena, but in the home, amid the surroundings of earliest childhood. Oh that the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness may ever be exhibited before those with whom we daily come in contact!
   By their behavior to each other and to their children; by the ordering of the home life; by their actions, more than by their words; by the way in which they speak, and spend their leisure hours, and pray men and women are making the little coats which, for better or worse, their children wear ever after, and perhaps pass down to after generations.

1 Samuel 2:22-36 – The Penalty of Dishonoring God

   Eli was held responsible for the excesses of his sons. He was a mild and gentle old man. But there are times when mildness and gentleness are out of place. We must be stern and strong when the occasion demands. It is always necessary to be on the alert, lest flabbiness and weakness should pass under the designation of Christian graces. Moreover, severer measures might have restrained his sons, I Samuel 3:13. Therefore in the message of judgment Eli was included, I Samuel 2:27-36. He is classed with his sons and reckoned as an accomplice with them in their sin against God, I Samuel 2:29-30.
   Notice that prediction of the “faithful priest,” I Samuel 2:35-36. In its first reference Samuel may be seen, but beyond him rises the figure of Another who ever lives to intercede, and is expressly designated as “faithful.” Eli and his sons lived in the Temple, where the burning holiness of God was reflected in every service; but they seem never to have heard the chant of the seraphim, nor to have cried (Isaiah 6:5), “Woe is me! for I am undone,” nor to have felt the burning coal on their lips. Do not trifle with the sacred privileges of God’s house! They will condemn where they do not uplift. —Through the Bible Day by Day