1 Samuel 1 – 1 Samuel 3
We turn the page to read a new Book of the Bible, or at least part of it. I say that because our reading through 1 Samuel is one part of what was once a single writing that included 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings. Historically speaking, it’s length was much too long to contain on one scroll, so you guess it, it was split up into four different scrolls, and later labeled as we know them . . . 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings. As we will find out, its a great story of the rise and fall of Israel under the leadership of the various Kings.
To start off our story, we journey to the Tabernacle located in Shiloh. It’s a place we haven’t been lately, yet as we read in these first few chapters, the practices instilled by God throughout Leviticus and Numbers are still being upheld under the guidance of Eli and his family. I do have to make one observation, and I’m curious on your take . . . what did you make of Eli’s response to Hannah (1:14)?
Here we find a grieving Hannah. Kneeling outside the Tabernacle, she is pouring her heart out to God and with it the tears flow. Eli, observing from a distance, proclaims, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.” How pastoral! Where is the compassion? Where is the empathy? For being priest of our Most High God, I certainly think he lacked the skills needed to walk faithful with the people in their time of need. So to Hannah, we say sorry for the callous encounter you received at the house of God.
Then to Hannah, we also owe you our praise acclamation for your faithful devotion. After all those years she waited to have a child. When motherhood was the one thing she desired and longed for in life. Then, to realize the gift that came from God in giving birth to Samuel, and to give him back as a servant to God. Wow! What an amazing witness! If only we could be so bold!!
Our next reading: 1 Samuel 4-8