Wednesday, February 12, 2020

2020.02.12 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Samuel 1:19-28

Questions from the Scripture text: What did they do when (1 Samuel 1:19)? To where did they return? Who remembered Hannah? What did she do in the course of time (1 Samuel 1:20)? What did she call him? Why? What did Elkanah do in 1 Samuel 1:21? Who didn’t go and why (1 Samuel 1:22)? How long did Hannah and Samuel refrain from going up to Shiloh (1 Samuel 1:23)? What did she bring with her, where, when she had weaned Samuel (1 Samuel 1:24)? What does the verse point out about the boy? What do they do when they have slaughtered one of the bulls (1 Samuel 1:255)? How does Hannah identify herself (1 Samuel 1:26)? What does she tell Eli about her request those years ago (1 Samuel 1:27)? What does she tell him that she is doing with Samuel (1 Samuel 1:28)? What do they continue to do after giving Samuel at the tabernacle?
Our covenant Lord remembers us, for Jesus’s sake, and calls us to remember Him.

That was the point of the three annual feasts at which all men went up to the tabernacle. Perhaps at one of these—or perhaps at a fourth time—Elkanah went up every year with his whole family (cf. 1 Samuel 1:3, ff). Despite the blindspot of the two wives (something that never goes well in Scripture, and which Jesus interprets Genesis 2 to explicitly forbid), Elkanah was a devout man—a rarity in the days of the Judges, and a stark contrast to Hophni and Phinehas. And Hannah was a devout woman, who had the confidence of her husband (1 Samuel 1:23, “Do what seems best to you”), and she too is remembering the Lord.

For (probably three) years, as she nurses and teaches and trains her son, she is preparing him to serve Yahweh in the tabernacle. From what we later learn about Eli’s parenting approach, it seems probable that Samuel is being better trained than the Aaronic priests had been.

Even when God sends His Son into the world, it is as a baby of common but godly folks who live their lives mindfully of the Lord. Who remember Him. And Samuel—who will be brought up in the High Priest’s care, and serve as a prophet and judge in Israel—points us forward to Christ in this way as well.

Just as Jesus, brought by His parents, Samuel is the first to open the womb of Hannah; and, his godly parents (who are of greater means than Joseph and Mary would be) bring a great sacrifice in His place—even though they are handing Samuel over for the service of the Lord.

An entire bull is sacrificed for him (it is almost certain that it is three bulls, not a three-year-old, as some translations say; not only does it make sense under the circumstances, but they bring a full ephah of flour, when a bull required only three tenths’ of an ephah). And, Hannah is eager not only to fulfill her vow, but to give praise to the Lord: “Yahweh has granted me my petition.”

The passage concludes with, “So they worshiped Yahweh there.” Just as the Lord remembers us, so we too are to remember Him—keeping all our obligations before Him as a life of worship, in addition to those formal, consecrated times and actions of worship.
What are some ways the Lord has remembered you? In what ways must you remember Him?
Suggested Songs: ARP146 “Praise the Lord” or TPH245 “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”

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