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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

2020.01.29 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Samuel 1:1-8

Questions from the Scripture text: From where was the man in 1 Samuel 1:1? What was his name and lineage? How many wives did he have (1 Samuel 1:2)? What difference does verse 2 point out between them? How was this two-wife system working out in 1 Samuel 1:5-7? When did Elkanah go up (1 Samuel 1:3)? To do what? Where? Who were there? To whom would Elkanah give portions, when (1 Samuel 1:4)? How much did he give to Hannah (1 Samuel 1:5)? Why? What had Yahweh done? What was Peninnah doing (1 Samuel 1:6)? What does verse 6 call her? How often did this happen (1 Samuel 1:7)? Where? What did Hannah (not) do with her double portion? What did she do instead? What did Elkanah ask her in 1 Samuel 1:8? What did he claim about himself?
The irony of Elkanah’s challenge in 1 Samuel 1:8 is pretty rich. Even his favoritism—even out of love to her—in 1 Samuel 1:5 indubitably made the entire situation worse. Really, by taking two wives, he had made himself less than half a husband.

The worst part of it, however, wasn’t even the wickedness and folly of the polygamy. It was the idolatry of presenting himself to his wife in a position that really only belongs to God. It is our Lord who ought indeed to be more to us than any spouse or any amount of children. Our flesh desires to be all-important, all-comforting, and all-satisfying, but at its core this is a blasphemous idolatry. As we seek to comfort, strengthen, and gladden our loved ones in word and deed, our aim should be that they find these things in the Lord Himself.

In some ways, this is setting us up for the rest of 1-2 Samuel. Eli’s sons are going to be in it for themselves instead of the Lord. The people are going to reject being ruled and protected by the Lord and His Word, and ask for a king. Saul is going to fail miserably as Israel’s great hope, and there will be a temptation to shift that hope onto David.

The message of Samuel and Kings is that Christ Himself must be our great Prophet and King, because it is ultimately Christ Himself in whom God delivers us, speaks to us, rules us, and gives unto us that which is more than all other things put together. Himself.

This is one reason why God uses so many barren women in bringing Christ into the world. Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Mrs. Manoah, Elizabeth, Mary in her virginity… not by might, nor by power, nor by fertility, nor even by how much your husband Elkanah might mean to you. But only by the Lord Himself. We must find in Him all of our hope, peace, comfort, strength, gladness, and purpose!
In what area of life are you grieved or unfulfilled? How might the Lord be your consolation in this part of your life? What are you doing to direct your heart back to Him?
Suggested Songs: ARP73C “Yet Constantly, I Am with You” or TPH446 “Be Thou My Vision”

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