1 Samuel

1 Samuel - Lesson 1

Chapters 1:1-28; 2:1-11

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  • Jesus Christ is our suffering Prophet, our High Priest, our righteous King and the Judge for all Creation

    • Sinful mankind requires someone assume these roles so we can know, serve and enjoy God the Father

      • We need a Prophet to explain the Father to us 

      • We need a Judge to convict unrighteousness

      • We need a High Priest to intercede for our sins with the Father

      • And we need a King to lead us into righteousness

    • In the Old Testament, the Lord gave Israel each of these roles

      • Prophets were sent to the people

      • Priests were appointed to serve in the tabernacle

      • Judges ruled the people

      • And ultimately kings ruled the nation

    • Yet in each case, scripture demonstrates that human actors were not sufficient to the needs of the people

      • Judges failed to stem the tide of sin among the people

      • Prophets were ignored and usually murdered 

      • Priests became corrupt and self-serving

      • Kings turned tyrannical and despotic 

      • And so Jewish society remained far from the God Who called them into covenant

      • Like all men, Israel needed a Savior Who could serve and save mankind in these roles 

  • The books of Samuel tells of the rise of Israel’s kings in this OT story

    • Our study of 1 Samuel is actually the study of the first half of a single work called Samuel

      • Prior to the Septuagint, 1 Samuel and 2 Samuel were one work in the Jewish Bible

      • They were later divided for convenience in the same way as Chronicles and Kings

      • The earlier parts of the book were probably written by Samuel 

      • But the rest were later finished by other prophets like Gad or Nathan

    • The first seven chapters of 1 Samuel overlap with the final period of Judges

      • During these chapters, Samson is the judge of Israel when Samuel is born and becomes his contemporary

      • At Samson’s death, Samuel begins to judge Israel 

    • Eventually, Israel demands a king in Chapter 8

      • Then from Chapter 8 until 31, we trace the reign of Israel’s first king, Saul: a man after the people’s heart

      • Midway through the book, we’re introduced to Saul’s eventual successor, David: a man after God’s heart

      • Both Saul and David reigned for 40 years

      • Leading to a rivalry during the final half of the book

  • There are several notable themes in this historical work, which we will highlight as we move through the book

    • Key among them is the sovereignty of God in ruling His people

      • Even as the people of Israel reject judges and demand a king, the Lord is still very much ruling over His people

      • He brings a king to satisfy the people’s fleshly desires for status, ego and image

      • And quickly the people see the folly of Saul

    • Having made His point, then the Lord elevates a successor the people overlooked, David

      • This new man will one day become king

      • But not before the Lord allows Saul’s life to play out even as he tries to destroy the man the Lord anointed

      • The delay gives opportunity for David to write most of the Psalms

      • And it forms a picture of the suffering Messiah awaiting to enter into His kingdom

    • Finally, the books of Samuel also reinforce the superiority of God’s word as spoken through the prophets

      • During the time of patriarchs and judges, the Lord spoke to the people through their leaders

      • Once kings arrived, God only revealed Himself through prophets, beginning with Samuel

      • Kings would lead, but even the kings had to turn to prophets to know the Lord’s word

      • Thereby demonstrating that God’s word is the highest authority in God’s creation

    • But before we get to all that, we dive into Chapter 1 and Samuel’s background story

1Sam. 1:1 Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 
1Sam. 1:2 He had two wives: the name of one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 
1Sam. 1:3 Now this man would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the LORD there. 
1Sam. 1:4 When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters; 
1Sam. 1:5 but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the LORD had closed her womb. 
1Sam. 1:6 Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 
1Sam. 1:7 It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. 
1Sam. 1:8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” 
1Sam. 1:9 Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 
1Sam. 1:10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. 
1Sam. 1:11 She made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.” 
  • Our story opens with Samuel’s parents

    • Samuel was born to a man named Elkanah

      • He is described as a “certain man” in the opening verse

      • In other words, his identity doesn’t matter except for his relationship to the story’s main character

    • Elkanah lived about 5 miles north of Jerusalem in Ramah

      • He was a Levite by birth, according to 1 Chr. 6, so he was a priest

      • But Eli’s living in a small town in central Ephraim

      • He’s not living in a Levite town as he should

      • This is our first clue that this man isn’t focused on obeying the Law

    • Nevertheless, in v.3 we also hear he travels annually to worship in Shiloh

      • Shiloh was the location of the tabernacle during the years from Joshua until David, when it was moved to Jerusalem

      • Jerusalem was an unconquered Jebusite city in these days

  • Elkanah also practices bigamy, which has always been contrary to God’s design of marriage

    • This is the second clue that Elkanah was not a particularly godly man

      • His two wives are Hannah and Peninnah

      • From Peninnah he received many sons and daughters, but Hannah was barren

      • The prospect of Hannah ever having children seems remote at this point

    • The Lord withholds the giving of children to a woman in scripture from time to time

      • Hannah reminds us of Sarah and Rebecca, two women who would only have a child if the Lord performed a miracle

      • In reality, we should understand these circumstances in the opposite way

      • These women couldn’t have children in the first place so that when a child finally came, the arrival would be “pregnant” with meaning

      • So the arrival of Hannah’s first child would mark a special moment in God’s plan

    • In v.4 we learn Elkanah was a decent provider to this family, including always giving his wives and children their allotted portions 

      • But in sympathy and love to Hannah, he gave her a double portion

      • Much like with Hager and Sarah, Peninnah resented her husband’s favoritism directed toward Hannah

      • Which led Peninnah to mock and torment Hannah over her lack of children

      • To be childless in this time in history was the height of dishonor for any woman, and Peninnah turned the knife

    • Here’s another example to remind us that the Bible always looks negatively upon a man taking multiple wives

      • Whenever we see a man taking multiple wives, the circumstances of his life always reflect the mistake of that choice

      • Usually, we see the consequences of this sin play out as jealousy and bitterness among the wives

      • Which is completely logical, considering a man’s affections were always intended to be directed toward one woman alone

      • And there are other negative consequences tooHannah was a devout and godly woman, and we’re told she traveled regularly to the tabernacle in Shiloh to seek the Lord’s mercy for her barrenness

    • And each time as she prayed at the tabernacle, Hannah would weep and fast hoping to receive a positive response from the Lord

      • Meanwhile, Peninnah, who was there with the rest of the family, would provoke Hannah again

      • Mocking Hannah’s hope in the Lord

      • Hannah’s persistent hope in the possibility that the Lord might grant her a child was evidence of her faith in God’s promises

      • Even as Peninnah’s mocking would suggest she was not a God fearing woman

    • Meanwhile, her husband wasn’t the most sensitive sort either

      • He dismisses Hannah’s misery in a cold and uncaring way

      • First, he asks why she was so upset while worshipping at the tabernacle?

      • Why bother praying and fasting and weeping over the lack of a child?

    • He flippantly asks, isn’t having him as a husband better than ten sons?

      • Why would a wife need anything beyond a husband??

      • So not only has Peninnah mocked Hannah but so has her husband

      • All Hannah had was her faith in the Lord and His mercy

    • You can see just how godly this woman was when you read the first part of v.9

      • When her husband tells her to rise up from her weeping and fasting to eat, Hannah does what he instructs

      • I doubt she felt like doing so, but she obeyed her husband’s request nonetheless

      • Everything about this woman’s life testifies to her godliness

      • Even her name, which means “grace”

  • Meanwhile, in v.9 we learn that the priest at the tabernacle was a man called Eli

    • Though he’s not mentioned in the Book of Judges, Eli also judged Israel for 40 years before Samson became a judge

      • When Hannah returned on another day to the temple to pray and weep again, Eli was there to observe her

      • This time as she prayed to the Lord, Hannah was moved to make a vow to the Lord in the hope she would finally receive the child she desperately wanted

    • She declared that if the Lord should give her a son, this son would be dedicated to serving God from birth 

      • Moreover, he would be raised as a Nazarite

      • Nazarites were men who took a vow to be dedicated to serving the Lord

      • And as evidence of that vow, they neither cut their hair nor drank alcohol

    • Hannah was essentially bargaining away the companionship of her son

      • From an early age, her son would be in the company of the priests learning the Law and serving in the tabernacle

      • This is a serious sacrifice on her part

      • She is trading away the very thing she seems to want most

  • In reality, what she wants is something even more important than the companionship of a son

    • She wants the honor of the Lord’s favor

      • It was understood in that day that a barren woman had been made barren by the will of God

        • It wasn’t bad luck or chance

        • It was the purposeful act of a sovereign God

      • And therefore, a barren woman viewed her circumstances as the Lord withholding His favor from her

      • Which is why Hannah’s prayer was to receive the favor of the Lord

      • And it explains her willingness to bargain away the very thing she requested

    • This too is evidence of her faith

      • For since she believed that her barrenness was of the Lord’s doing

      • Then she also understood that if the Lord were to grant her a child, it could only mean He had some specific purpose in mind for reversing her situation

      • Therefore, she concludes that any such a child must have a special future in God’s plan

      • So she loses nothing in acknowledging the obvious: the child would belong to God

    • But if Hannah received a son, she would gain greatly because she would be vindicated before her enemies

      • So she makes her request as Eli watches

1Sam. 1:12 Now it came about, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli was watching her mouth. 
1Sam. 1:13 As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. 
1Sam. 1:14 Then Eli said to her, “How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you.” 
1Sam. 1:15 But Hannah replied, “No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD. 
1Sam. 1:16 “Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and provocation.” 
1Sam. 1:17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.” 
1Sam. 1:18 She said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
  • As all this is taking place, the priest is observing Hannah praying

    • In this time of history, most public prayer was out loud not silent

      • People prayed out loud to relieve a burden before the Lord

      • In the same way that we might “vent” to a person in charge 

    • But Hannah is praying without making a sound which was unusual

      • Eli notices her lips are moving but no sound is coming out of her mouth

      • So Eli makes an assumption that Hannah is drunk

      • And he chastises her for it

    • Naturally, Hannah defends herself

      • In v.15 she says she is suffering in her spirit

      • She uses a beautiful turn of phrase when she says she hasn’t taken in strong drink but has poured out her spirit before the Lord

      • And in v.16 she explains she has been praying like this for some time

      • But she never mentions her vow to Eli

    • Eli must have realized he had come to a wrong conclusion from the moment she began to speak

      • Clearly, she’s fully in control of her senses

      • So he quickly backs down and tells her to go in peace

      • And then he adds, may the Lord grant her petition 

  • This encounter seems innocent to us, but it meant much more to Hannah

    • The high priest and judge of Israel took notice of Hannah during prayer

      • It was highly improbable that a man of such power and importance in Israel would take note of anyone in particular

      • Much less to notice a woman

      • For him to pronounce a blessing upon her prayer request was like hitting the lottery for Hannah

    • Remember in this day Eli was priest, judge and prophet of Israel

      • He was the man though whom the Lord spoke to Israel

      • And the prophet of Israel just said, may the Lord grant Hannah her request

    • I’m sure Hannah heard his blessing as a confirmation that the Lord was already at work in answering her request

      • Notice in v.18 she breaks her fast

      • And she is no longer sad

      • This is a woman operating in faith from beginning to end

      • In faith she put her request before the Lord

      • And now in faith, when she receives a word from the Lord, she rests in that word

  • But will she keep her vow concerning her son when the time comes?

1Sam. 1:19 Then they arose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned again to their house in Ramah. And Elkanah had relations with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 
1Sam. 1:20 It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of the LORD.” 
1Sam. 1:21 Then the man Elkanah went up with all his household to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow. 
1Sam. 1:22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “I will not go up until the child is weaned; then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD and stay there forever.” 
1Sam. 1:23 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you. Remain until you have weaned him; only may the LORD confirm His word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. 
  • After they travel back to Ramah, they return to regular life

    • And in the course of events, Hannah becomes pregnant

      • At this point, the miracle of her conception would have only served to strengthen her confidence and faith

      • At the first indication that she was with child, Hannah must have felt such joy at the confirmation that the Lord answered her

    • Whatever doubts she might have had were wiped away at that point

      • Such is the Lord’s work in our lives as well

      • Even when we believe and hope for the Lord to answer affirmatively, there is always room for doubt even in the life of a believer

      • That’s why the Lord commonly gives us encouragement along the way

    • Usually, the Lord moves in our lives by means of a series of smaller steps

      • With each step, the Lord will ask us to persist in our belief and trust Him for the rest of the plan

      • And as the Lord comes through with each step along the path, His faithfulness is a sign to encourage us forward

    • Like with Hannah, each step we take along that path will require faith and trust

      • Even after her husband and his wife mocked her, she maintained her determination

      • Though he ordered her to leave the temple, nevertheless she returned on another day

      • But the Lord never asks more of us than we are capable of giving

      • And as we take the next step in faith, the Lord will show up to encourage us onward

        • Just as He did when Eli encouraged Hannah’s faith

      • And so the next step comes easier

    • But here’s the catch…we’ll never reach the end of the path the Lord has prepared for us if we give up at a point along the way

      • We often think of a walk of faith as an “all or nothing” proposition

        • We are either walking with the Lord or we aren’t

      • And if we are speaking of saving faith, then it is an “either/or” proposition

      • But for the one who is a believer, then a walk of faith is truly a matter of degrees

      • We experience more and more of what it means to walk with the Lord as we follow Him in the small steps He asks of us

  • Then in v.20 Samuel is born to Hannah

    • The name Samuel probably means something like “heard of God” or “God hears”

      • He is Hannah’s only son 

      • And yet she will give him up as she promised

    • When Samuel was born, his father prepared to travel to the tabernacle in Shiloh to pay his vow

      • In Lev 27 the Law required that when a person made a vow to the Lord, that vow must be accompanied by an offering

      • This rule has a parallel in modern contract law, where no contract is considered valid without a payment of consideration

      • Here it’s called Elkanah’s vow, because Hannah’s vow became his vow once he heard of his wife’s decision yet didn’t challenge it

      • So Elkanah is obligated to pay the offering associated with her vow

    • But Hannah declines to accompany her husband at the tabernacle

      • First, Hannah wasn’t required to make the trip

      • But she won’t go now because she would have had to take her infant son with her

      • And she is so committed to her vow, that she won’t bring him near the tabernacle until she is ready to leave him there

      • Clearly, she’s not going back on her vow to the Lord

    • She says she will keep the boy only long enough to wean him

      • But this length of time was considerably more heartbreaking for Hannah than it may appear to us

      • In the ancient times, weaning traditionally took place at the age of five years

      • While it would be difficult for any mother to give up a child, this woman is giving up her five-year old son

      • This is no small sacrifice for this mother

1Sam. 1:24 Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull and one ephah of flour and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh, although the child was young. 
1Sam. 1:25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli. 
1Sam. 1:26 She said, “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the LORD. 
1Sam. 1:27 “For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. 
1Sam. 1:28 “So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there. 
  • Hannah knew this day would come, and as promised she brought Samuel to the Lord

    • She brought a significant thanks offering with the boy

      • A bull, which was very expensive

      • Plus a large quantity of flour and wine

      • The value of the items she brought were evidence of her great thankfulness to the Lord

    • After she performed the sacrifice, she presented her son to Eli

      • He may have recognized the mother yet still been surprised to see her place a boy into his hands

      • And after reminding Eli of who she was, Hannah declares her young son is now a ward of the tabernacle

      • The Lord gave Hannah the answer to her prayer 

      • So the time has come to make good on her vow

  • Notice in v.28, she declares that Samuel will be dedicated to the Lord

    • The word for dedicated in Hebrew conveys the idea of giving something completely to the Lord

      • She was holding nothing back

      • And because she was willing to give up her only son, Israel gained a prophet and kingmaker 

      • There is an obvious picture of Christ in her actions

    • Samuel is the first, and one of the most important, prophets of the Old Testament

      • Not only did he write major parts of the books that go by his name, but he also likely wrote Ruth and Judges

      • This man had been a gift to Hannah

      • And she made him a gift back to the Jewish people 

    • Hannah’s choice to give up Samuel is a beautiful example of how all God’s children should respond to His gifts

      • Whatever the Lord has given us should be made available to the Lord for His use

      • Paul tells us to make our lives a living sacrifice, and this is what that looks like

      • Holding nothing back, giving Him our all

      • And when we do that, He can take our sacrifices and make them into so much more than we can imagine

  • Notice at the end of v.28 we’re told that “he” worshipped the Lord there

    • The “he” is a reference to Samuel

      • Samuel begins to worship the Lord from the start of his time with Eli’s family

      • If we wonder how Hannah could leave her young son in the hands of a man like Eli, consider she wasn’t entrusting Samuel to Eli

      • She placed Samuel in the care of the Lord

      • The Lord raised this boy

    • Her logic must have been something like this:

      • If the Lord opened Hannah’s womb to give her Samuel, then the Lord must have a specific plan for Samuel’s life

      • Therefore, Hannah can trust the Lord to care for Samuel…even through the hands of a man like Eli

      • Hannah shows the full impact of living with trust in God’s sovereignty in our daily lives

      • We have to learn to act with the trust we claim to have

      • Do we trust the Lord to take care of our kids when they answer His call?

    • In fact, the story of Eli and his sons makes clear that God’s will is responsible for the outcome of each person’s life

      • And the Lord’s will brings blessing for obedience and consequences for disobedience

      • But regardless of whether we obey or not, the Lord’s will will be done

  • After this dedication Hannah praises the Lord in song, recorded in the first part of Chapter 2

1Sam. 2:1   Then Hannah prayed and said, 
           “My heart exults in the LORD; 
My horn is exalted in the LORD, 
My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, 
Because I rejoice in Your salvation. 
1Sam. 2:2   “There is no one holy like the LORD, 
Indeed, there is no one besides You, 
Nor is there any rock like our God. 
1Sam. 2:3   “Boast no more so very proudly, 
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; 
For the LORD is a God of knowledge, 
And with Him actions are weighed. 
1Sam. 2:4   “The bows of the mighty are shattered, 
But the feeble gird on strength. 
1Sam. 2:5   “Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, 
But those who were hungry cease to hunger. 
Even the barren gives birth to seven, 
But she who has many children languishes. 
1Sam. 2:6   “The LORD kills and makes alive; 
He brings down to Sheol and raises up. 
1Sam. 2:7   “The LORD makes poor and rich; 
He brings low, He also exalts. 
1Sam. 2:8   “He raises the poor from the dust, 
He lifts the needy from the ash heap 
To make them sit with nobles, 
And inherit a seat of honor; 
            For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, 
And He set the world on them. 
1Sam. 2:9    “He keeps the feet of His godly ones, 
But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; 
For not by might shall a man prevail. 
1Sam. 2:10    “Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered; 
Against them He will thunder in the heavens, 
The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; 
And He will give strength to His king, 
             And will exalt the horn of His anointed.” 
1Sam. 2:11  Then Elkanah went to his home at Ramah. But the boy ministered to the LORD before Eli the priest. 
  • Hannah’s song sounds like it was sung right in Penninah’s face

    • This song is a close match to the one David sings at the end of 2 Samuel

      • Both begin with a reference to the strength of the Lord as a horn and a rock

      • Both speak of a deliverer and salvation

      • Both end with a mention of His anointed

    • These two songs serve as bookends for the entire book of Samuel

      • And they both teach a similar lesson about the Lord and His ruling over His people

      • In fact, Hannah’s song serves as a roadmap for understanding the rest of this book and 2 Samuel

  • Hannah starts by declaring she can speak boldly and find strength in the face of her enemies because she finds her joy in the salvation God brings

    • In v.2 she echoes that there is no other rock, no other god besides the Lord

      • When you remember the Lord is seated on His throne, we cease our boasting and we take comfort in our afflictions

      • The Lord is never not reigning over His Creation

      • So that when things seem to be going against us and the world is falling apart, the Lord is orchestrating all these events

      • An understanding of God’s sovereignty in everyday events is the single most powerful spiritual insight any Christian can obtain

      • It will set everything else in your life in its proper perspective 

    • Next, Hannah declares that the Lord is a God of knowledge in v.3

      • That He weighs every action He takes

      • In other words, everything God does has purpose and meaning

      • And the consequences of His every action are well-considered taken into account in His planning

      • Simply put, there is never a “Plan B” with God

    • Therefore, Hannah’s many years of waiting factored into God’s plan

      • Samuel was to be born, but not a day too soon

      • Therefore, Hannah’s years of mocking and waiting were not wasted 

      • Nor did they suggest God was slow or uncaring

  • Furthermore, the Lord places His strength on the side of the weak, not the mighty

    • There is a familiar phrase people throw around, sometimes even claiming that it’s a statement found in the Bible

      • They say “the Lord helps those who help themselves”

      • But of course this statement does not appear in the Bible

      • More importantly, this concept isn’t biblical

    • The Lord is not inclined to help those who help themselves

      • Instead, He’s inclined to help those who confess they can’t help themselves and therefore appeal to Him for the help they need

      • And the Lord delights to assist these people, who gird themselves with His strength Hannah says

    • In v. 5 Hannah points out the foolishness of those who already have plenty yet still hire themselves out for work to gain even more

      • It’s foolish because it represented a waste of time and energy and a lost cause in the end

        • Meanwhile, those who are hungry are fed by the Lord

      • And those who have many children still languish because their children aren’t a comfort to them

        • While the barren woman is blessed with seven children she never expected

    • In other words, the world is busy working to obtain the very things that the Lord is prepared to grant to those who seek for Him

      • As Jesus said

Matt. 6:31 “Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’
Matt. 6:32 “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
Matt. 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
  • The Lord helps those who can’t help themselves

  • And none of us can truly help ourselves, though sometimes we make the mistake of thinking we can

  • And we run the risk of spending our time on the wrong things while missing the chance to see God bless us in our dependence

  • From here, Hannah’s song moves to existential issues

    • She declares God brings both life and death as He sees fit

      • He determines the destination of all men’s souls, whether Hell or Heaven

      • He also sets the station of our lives

      • Some people will be poor

      • Some people will be rich – all according to God’s will

    • But the Lord creates the poor and needy, Hannah says, so that He can show Himself strong and compassion as He raises them up

      • And the Lord has the power to raise up the poorest and place them at the table of kings

      • Prophetically, she alludes to shepherd boys becoming king

      • For the Lord is in control of all men’s lives and delights to show His power as He moves men like pieces on a chess board

  • In v.9, Hannah moves finally into questions of God’s grace in the lives of men

    • The Lord is working to keep the feet of His godly ones

      • Godly refers to those who by faith have been saved and made children of God

      • And these the Lord “keeps” so that they remain His forever

    • But those who are wicked, which is all who do not know the Messiah sent to die in our place, will be silenced in darkness of Hell

      • The plan God has authored for our salvation works this way to preclude anyone from pointing to their own strength as a means of salvation

      • No man will prevail by strength

      • Not even kings who attempt to rule by their own power

      • Instead, those who prevail will do so by the strength of the Lord 

    • And that strength is found in the Anointed One sent on our behalf

      • In v.10 Hannah ends by declaring the coming Messiah as King for God’s people

      • The Lord will judge the earth and give strength to His King

      • The anointed who will be exalted

      • This song forms a loose outline of the books of Samuel, and we’ll refer back to it from time to time as we study the rest of the book

  • To end tonight, in v.11 we’re told that the family returns home but Samuel stays with Eli

    • The story follows Samuel to tell the story of his new home

      • He has brothers who serve as a contrast to his godliness

      • And his new father, Eli, is a man with many problems of his own

    • Remember, this is the time of Judges when men did what was right in their own eyes

      • Furthermore, the men are weak leaders in their homes

      • Eli will represent that clearly

      • Nevertheless, the Lord is raising Samuel

      • So despite the poor family dynamic, Samuel turns out OK