DECLARING THE LORD’S GRACE
1 Samuel 1:1-2:11 September 7 2008
Centuries had passed since the Israelites had left Egypt,
wandered in the wilderness, and then moved into Canaan.
During the earlier period, the people worshiped at the
tabernacle, a portable tent easily transported from campsite
to campsite . Their occupation of Canaan led to construction
of a more permanent sanctuary in Shiloh . The town was
centrally located among all twelve tribes. Little is known
about the actual building . First Samuel 1:9 refers to its door
posts, an architectural element not found in tents. The prophet
Jeremiah alluded to its ruins several centuries later (Jer. 7:12
-15;26:6). Whatever the structure’s appearance may have been,
its presence meant Shiloh was at heart of Isrrael’s religion.
Despite the reality of this building, the religious life of the
nation eroded. Priests abused their office for personal gain.
Genuine prophetic preaching no longer guided the nation.
Consequently the social order decayed . To that extent polygamy
was practiced then is not clear, but many ordinary people
adopted this marital arrangement.
Even though the nation had departed from the standards
established in the law, close personal relationship with God
existed . First Samuel 1-2 describes the fervent prayer of
Hannah and her joy over God’s response to her petition.
1. Acknowledge The Lord’s Sovereignty (1Sam. 1:1-2,6-7)
1Sam. 1:1 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite
from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son
of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an
Ephraimite. 1:2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and
the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
1:6 And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept
provoking her in order to irritate her. 1:7 This went on year
after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD,
her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.
Ramathaim . The name occurs only here in the OT and
appears to be another name for Ramah (1 Sam.1:19; 2:11; 7:17;
19:18; 25:1). It is perhaps to be identified with the Ramah of
Benjamin ( Jos 18:25) located in the hill country about five
miles north of Jerusalem near the border of Ephraim and
Benjamin. Zupite . It is not entirely clear whether this word
refers to the man or the place. If it refers to the man, it
indicates his descent from Zuph (1Ch 6:34-35). If it refers to
the place, it designates the general area in which Ramathaim
is located (1 Sam.9:5). Ephraimite . Although Elkanah is here
called an Ephraimite, he was probably a Levite whose family
belonged to the Kohathite clans that had been allotted towns
in Ephraim (Jos 21:20-21; 1Ch 6:22-26). Two Wives . ( Ge 4:19;
16:2; 25:6). Her Rival . ( Ge 16:4). Temple. Here and in (1 Sam.3:3)
the central sanctuary, the tabernacle , is referred to as “the
LORD’s temple.” It is also called “the house of the LORD” (1 Sam
1:7; 3:15), “the Tent of Meeting” (1 Sam.2:22) and “my dwelling”
(1 Sam. 2:32). The references to the tabernacle as a “house” and
a “temple,” as well as those to sleeping quarters and doors (1 Sam.
3:2,15), give the impression that at this time the tabernacle was
part of a larger, more permanent building complex to which the
term “temple” could legitimately be applied ( Jer 7:12,14; 26:6).
2. Seek Strenth in the Lord’s Presence (1 Sam.12-16)
1Sam. 1:12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her
mouth. 1:13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were
moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk
1:14 and said to her, “How long will you keep on getting drunk?
Get rid of your wine.” 1:15 “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied,
“I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking
wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. 1:16 Do not
take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here
out of my great anguish and grief.”
Vow . (Ge 28:20-22; Nu 21:2; Ps 50:14; 76:11; 116:14,18;
132:2-5; Pr 20:25; 31:2). Regulations for the making of vows by
women are found in (Nu 30). Remember . To remember is more
than simply to recall that Hannah existed. It is to go into action
in her behalf (1 Sam. 1:19; Ge 8:1). All the days of hie life . In
contrast to the normal period of service for Levites, which was
from age 25 to 50 (Nu 8:23-26). No razor. Hannah voluntarily
vows for her son that which God had required of Samson (Jdg
13:5). Long hair was a symbol of dedication to the service of the
Lord and was one of the characteristics of the Nazirite vow
( Num. 6:1-21). The vow was normally taken for a limited time
rather than for life. Drunk . Eli’s mistake suggests that in those
days it was not uncommon for drunken people to enter the
sanctuary. Further evidence of the religious and moral
deterioration of the time is found in the stories of (Jdg 17-21).
Wicked ( Dt 13:13).
3. Experience the Lord’s Peace (1 Sam. 1:17-18)
1Sam. 1:17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel
grant you what you have asked of him.” 1:18 She said, “May your
servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate
something, and her face was no longer downcast.
Hannah was not pregnant yet. Her peace came from being in
God’s presence , not from God’s granting her petition. She had
begun praying in despair, she concluded transformed and confident.
Having peaceful confidence in the Lord is more than putting on an
insincere act to impress others. Hannah’s confidence determined
her subsequent behavior . Once she returned home, she engaged in
intimate relations with Elkanah – demonstrating she expected to
conceive. The Bible does not reveal the length of time between
the family’s return home and Hannah’s conceiving (1 Sam. 1:20).
4. Tell Others About the Lord’s Grace (1 Sam. 1:20,24-28)
1Sam. 1:20 So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave
birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked
the LORD for him.” 1:24 After he was weaned, she took the boy
with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an
ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of
the LORD at Shiloh. 1:25 When they had slaughtered the bull,
they brought the boy to Eli, 1:26 and she said to him, “As surely
as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you
praying to the LORD. 1:27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD
has granted me what I asked of him. 1:28 So now I give him to
the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.”
And he worshiped the LORD there.
Samuel . Annual Sacrifice (1 Sam. 1: 3-4). His vow . Making
vows to God was a common feature of OT piety, usually involving
thank offerings and praise ( Lev 7:16; Ps 50:14; 56:12; 66:13-15;
116:17-18; Isa 19:21). Elkanah no doubt annually made vows to
the Lord as he prayed for God’s blessing on his crops and flocks,
and fulfilled those vows at the Feast of Tabernacles (1 Sam. 1:3).
Weaned . It was customary in the East to nurse children for three
years or longer since there was no way to keep milk sweet. His
word . No previous word from God is mentioned, unless this refers
to the pronouncement of Eli in(1 Sam.1:17). The Dead Sea Scrolls,
Septuagint (the Greek translation of the OT) and Syriac version
resolve this problem by reading “your word. As surely as you live .
A customary way of emphasizing the truthfulness of one’s words.
"The Lord’s presence" refer to a revelation of God
It often is associated with God’s face. Elsewhere the Scripture
declares God is present everywhere (Psalms 139:7-12). However,
we are not always aware of God’s presence. Hence this term
indicates the Lord’s initiative in encountering people.
Sin separates people from God. Adam and Eve
demonstrated that by attempting to hide from any encounter
with god after they had disobeyed Him and eaten the
prohibited fruit .
The most tangible symbol of the Lord’s presence
was the ark of covenant. the psalmist referred to the Lord as
the one enthroned above the cherubim (Psalms 80:1;99:1), a
reference to the mercy seat. By extension then, the holy of
holies was perceived to be the location of the Lord’s presence.
So in a real sense , first the tabernacle and later the temple
were visible reminders of God’s presence.
While 1 Samuel 1:12 may allude to the holy of
holies , the phrase suggests something else. Hannah was praying .
In her prayer she experienced an encounter with God. He communicated
with her, and she with Him as she prayed.
DECLARING THE LORD’S GRACE