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knittinchick
True Blue Farmgirl

1854 Posts

Megan
Wisconsin
1854 Posts

Posted - Feb 13 2011 :  5:21:54 PM  Show Profile
Nini, I love your insights! Thank you so much for posting:)
God's and Farmgirl's Blessings,
Megan aka Loretta Rae

At heart, I am both a sassy city girl and a down-home country gal.

The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
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amomfly
True Blue Farmgirl

658 Posts

Angie
LaGrange IN
USA
658 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2011 :  03:50:20 AM  Show Profile
Nini, That was great! I love to read your posts! Thanks!

Ruth was not afraid, she had such faith in a God she didn't know before. She loved God so much, she left with Naomi, she had to have knowen the risk to her life. But she didn;t worry she continued to move forward and do what God was calling her to do. I think it shows us if we have faith, and trust God completly we will follow the path he set for us.
I think it also shows how God wil accept anybody as long as we follow him, trust him, and love him.



God Bless
Angie-amomfly
#1038
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jpbluesky
True Blue Farmgirl

6064 Posts

Jeannie
Florida
USA
6064 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2011 :  12:00:58 PM  Show Profile
I have to share, I have a granddaughter coming into the world in March. Her name is Ruth. I am making her a quilt, and I always pray that each grandchild I have (all with biblical names) will live into their name heritage. I cannot wait to see our own little Ruth.

Farmgirl Sister # 31

www.blueskyjeannie.blogspot.com

Psalm 51: 10-13
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knittinchick
True Blue Farmgirl

1854 Posts

Megan
Wisconsin
1854 Posts

Posted - Feb 14 2011 :  7:31:38 PM  Show Profile
Aww, Jeannie! Congratulations! A lot of girls at my high school all have Biblical names. Lots of Mary's, Mary Grace's, Mary Kate's and Catherine's. Sarahs are also in abundance! A little sidebar from Bible Study, I actually like my name. Megan is a form of Margaret, which is derived from Mary, so in theory, I have a Biblical name too!
God's and Farmgirl's Blessings,
Megan aka Loretta Rae

At heart, I am both a sassy city girl and a down-home country gal.

The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
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jpbluesky
True Blue Farmgirl

6064 Posts

Jeannie
Florida
USA
6064 Posts

Posted - Feb 15 2011 :  4:31:17 PM  Show Profile
I have a niece named Megan.....it is a beautiful name for sure and it is good to know it's background! And you are certainly a godly woman in the making!

Farmgirl Sister # 31

www.blueskyjeannie.blogspot.com

Psalm 51: 10-13
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knittinchick
True Blue Farmgirl

1854 Posts

Megan
Wisconsin
1854 Posts

Posted - Feb 16 2011 :  8:50:25 PM  Show Profile
Aww, thanks Jeannie:)
God's and Farmgirl's Blessings,
Megan aka Loretta Rae

At heart, I am both a sassy city girl and a down-home country gal.

The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7577 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7577 Posts

Posted - Feb 16 2011 :  9:55:05 PM  Show Profile
How wonderful! Congratulations, Jeannie! I'm so happy for you!

My son's name is Samuel. It means, "God heard my cry." Believe me - He did! :) We were told we'd never have children - that it wasn't possible. But we all know that "all things are possible with God," and "nothing is impossible with God!" God truly heard my cry that afternoon we left the doctor's office after having received the devastating news. We had taken separate vehicles to the appointment (it was right after work), and I arrived home before my husband. I just threw myself flat out prostrate on the bed - face down and arms opened wide - and cried out to God. I cried out from the depths of my soul, and hot tears just poured. Then I suddenly received this overwhelming peace - that amazing "peace that surpasses all understanding." If you've ever had that experience, you know there are just no words to describe it. Anyhow, in that instant the tears stopped and I knew God had it all under control. He truly did. I continuously prayed for a child, but with special hopes for a son, for I would name him "Samuel," because I knew that day God heard my cry, just as He had heard Hannah's.

Then one night at a prayer meeting I had a vision of him; no kidding - an honest to goodness vision of our son. It took my breath away. I saw his blonde little locks flying in the breeze as he ran barefoot along the beach with his Daddy. I'll never forget it. It was like a little palm-squeeze of reassurance from God that He still had everything under control - to just trust Him. When I told my girlfriends who were with me, we just hugged and cried. We still talk about it to this day.

It took some years of waiting and pressing into Him for faith, but - wow, and I'm just realizing this now - SEVEN years later (the Biblical number of completion or fulfillment), we conceived! The following summer I gave birth to our beautiful, healthy, 9 lb. 11 oz. precious gift from Above! I just got chills - I never realized that before: SEVEN years later - to the month - God fulfilled His promise to my heart! And our child's name would serve as a gift to God in return; a testimony to and proclamation of the love and faithfulness of God: "God heard my cry;" "Samuel."

And yes, just in case you are wondering... I did see that vision come to life! 'Makes me cry just thinking about it! Our God really is awesome! I just love Him so, so much!

Well, I just had to share... I hope our story encourages you all to press into Him and keep the faith - even in the darkest hours! And Biblical names? I think they are the best ones, because they truly mean so very, very much!

Hugs and blessings to all - Nini

God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

Farmgirl Sister #1974

Edited by - Ninibini on Feb 16 2011 9:58:35 PM
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jpbluesky
True Blue Farmgirl

6064 Posts

Jeannie
Florida
USA
6064 Posts

Posted - Feb 17 2011 :  04:23:15 AM  Show Profile
We sometimes forget that He is still working mighty in people's lives today as He did in the Bible! That was a wonderful story of your faith and of His mighty works! Glory to God! What a truly wonderful testimony. Ruth had that kind of faith too.

My other grandchildren are named Abigail, Hannah and Josiah. My daughter and her husband pray and listen for months before deciding on names. They take it very seriously, as it is true, we often live into our names without realizing.

As I read the book of Ruth, I get such strong feelings from her. The readings exude a confidence and faith that I sense more and more when I read it again. And Nini, your insights were so good.



Farmgirl Sister # 31

www.blueskyjeannie.blogspot.com

Psalm 51: 10-13
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Cherime
True Blue Farmgirl

1222 Posts

Cherime
Wasilla Alaska
USA
1222 Posts

Posted - Feb 17 2011 :  1:12:03 PM  Show Profile
Oh Nini, God is so good and he is faithful. His promises are never broken. I imagine that he looked at Ruth who would not leave an old woman to fend for herself and smiled to see the love in her heart. And Ruth is right up there in the linage of Jesus. he undoes me every time.

CMF
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prayin granny
True Blue Farmgirl

1874 Posts

Linda
Kansas
1874 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2011 :  7:11:42 PM  Show Profile
Oh my goodness, such great, great posts! I recently taped the movie 'The Book of Ruth'. Cant wait to visually watch this story! I find the lineage of Christ so amazing. Reminds us how He uses each of us for His design.

Blessings, Linda

www.scatteredlittleblessings.blogspot.com

Country at Heart
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knittinchick
True Blue Farmgirl

1854 Posts

Megan
Wisconsin
1854 Posts

Posted - Feb 20 2011 :  7:13:59 PM  Show Profile
Nini, that is a truly hearttouching story:)
God's and Farmgirl's Blessings,
Megan aka Loretta Rae

At heart, I am both a sassy city girl and a down-home country gal.

The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
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amomfly
True Blue Farmgirl

658 Posts

Angie
LaGrange IN
USA
658 Posts

Posted - Feb 25 2011 :  04:38:43 AM  Show Profile
Has naybody read 1 Samuel 3?
I have, and today I feel more led to read in Ecclesiastes.
But was wondering how or what it is you all have read, what is it God is telling you in 1 Samuel 3?

I hear him saying he may punish us and yet bless us at the same time.
God was punishing Eli, and his family. Yet he blessed him with a "foster child", who was a great leader.
I was struck by how Eli wanted to hear what it was God was saying no matter what. He knew a punishment was coming. Yet he still wanted and even craved for Gods word.

Does anybody else find this amazing? Maybe if we all listened more closely to Gods word we would be blessed.
That is what I was getting from my reading today. God wants us to obey. If we are led to stop wearing provocative clothes, do we always listen? If we feel led to fix any area of our lives, do we truly listen, or do we try to hid?



God Bless
Angie-amomfly
#1038
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prayin granny
True Blue Farmgirl

1874 Posts

Linda
Kansas
1874 Posts

Posted - Feb 26 2011 :  5:44:35 PM  Show Profile
So true Angie! I think, know that He always has what is best for us in mind. Tries to guide us down paths that just may lead us to blessings and away from things that may cause us harm. Yet, so often, we do not listen too well or ignore His guidance altogether. He may or may not show us the accountability of our actions quickly. Yet, thankfully, in His mercy towards us He often gives us His grace and blesses us in ways we cannot imagine!

Blessings, Linda


www.scatteredlittleblessings.blogspot.com

Country at Heart
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amomfly
True Blue Farmgirl

658 Posts

Angie
LaGrange IN
USA
658 Posts

Posted - Feb 27 2011 :  05:52:08 AM  Show Profile
Very true Linda. Thanks


Come visit my blog
http://angieruralliving.blogspot.com/

God Bless
Angie-amomfly
#1038
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countrymommy85
True Blue Farmgirl

898 Posts

Krystle
MT
USA
898 Posts

Posted - Mar 02 2011 :  07:39:59 AM  Show Profile
Just came across this thread, I love it and when I catch up with reading everything I will join in too! This past month our pastor has been speaking on faith and trust which is crazy because my husband and I are getting this drive that God wants us to move to help out in a church, or bible study or something. This study looks to be really informative, good idea! Thanks all, I will be posting soon, I hope! :)

~We can make the world a better place for our kids and future generations by what we do today!~

http://countryrenaissance.blogspot.com
http://www.etsy.com/shop/SunflowersAndHoney
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prayin granny
True Blue Farmgirl

1874 Posts

Linda
Kansas
1874 Posts

Posted - Mar 02 2011 :  10:31:42 AM  Show Profile
Krystle, yes, please join us!!

Blessings, Linda

www.scatteredlittleblessings.blogspot.com

Country at Heart
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prayin granny
True Blue Farmgirl

1874 Posts

Linda
Kansas
1874 Posts

Posted - Mar 04 2011 :  1:46:47 PM  Show Profile
Ladies, may I ask for prayer? Just a LOT of family news and stresses within the last few days. Thank you!!

Blessings, Linda

www.scatteredlittleblessings.blogspot.com

Country at Heart
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knittinchick
True Blue Farmgirl

1854 Posts

Megan
Wisconsin
1854 Posts

Posted - Mar 05 2011 :  7:31:29 PM  Show Profile
Hi everyone! Angie, thank you for starting the next post. I've been a little busy the past week or so. Something that you said really struck to heart with me. We as a society don't like to listen, we want to do our own thing, but in order to find happiness with God, we can't just do whatever we want. Listening to God is the only way to find happiness. People today are so attached to our noise and technology (me included!), that we never just slow down and listen. We are so absorbed in our own lives that we don't hear God telling us to help the struggling mother with her groceries, or to help the elderly woman trying to get out of her car. So, my lesson from this is just be quiet sometimes and listen to what God is trying to tell you.
God's and Farmgirl's Blessings,
Megan aka Loretta Rae

At heart, I am both a sassy city girl and a down-home country gal.

The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work.
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jpbluesky
True Blue Farmgirl

6064 Posts

Jeannie
Florida
USA
6064 Posts

Posted - Mar 06 2011 :  11:19:26 AM  Show Profile
Linda, will pray for you. Hope all is well.

Farmgirl Sister # 31

www.blueskyjeannie.blogspot.com

Psalm 51: 10-13
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prayin granny
True Blue Farmgirl

1874 Posts

Linda
Kansas
1874 Posts

Posted - Mar 07 2011 :  11:17:54 AM  Show Profile
Thank you! It is going to be a bit crazy and challenging over the next few months. One day at a time tho, right?

Blessings, Linda

www.scatteredlittleblessings.blogspot.com

Country at Heart
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jpbluesky
True Blue Farmgirl

6064 Posts

Jeannie
Florida
USA
6064 Posts

Posted - Mar 09 2011 :  09:52:22 AM  Show Profile
Lilnda, yes you are right. One day at a time, filled with ongoing prayer. Soemtimes, when times are trying, and they have been forme lately too, I wake in the night. Then I lay there and pray. It really helps me get through stress thoughts and worries.

Welcome Krystle! Hubby and I taught a bible study Sunday school for several years together, and it was so nice.

I have no thoughts to add today on our readings, and I really want to get to readings our verses and pray on them. New baby in the family has filled this week for sure. (my granddaughter, not me having the baby, thank goodness!)

Farmgirl Sister # 31

www.blueskyjeannie.blogspot.com

Psalm 51: 10-13
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buffypuff
True Blue Farmgirl

1183 Posts

Claudia
Deer Park WA
USA
1183 Posts

Posted - Mar 09 2011 :  5:00:16 PM  Show Profile
Well, I read Chapter 3. There are some things that come to mind and maybe others will be able to add to it. If one reads Chap 2 flowing into Chap 3, there are several interesting dynamics. In chapter 3:1 b, it says that the Word of the Lord was rare & visions were infrequent. There was no Bible like we have today, and God was silent to His people. Sounds pretty bad. People were left with what had been said before. Easy to stray, and do your own thing. God's people relied on their priests for spiritual direction and leading sacrifices. That was disasterous if the priests were corrupt and only thought of what they could get from the people. So it was with Eli and his 2 sons. God was fed up with the situation, and in chap 2, Eli's sons' sins were discussed. They were FAT from eating all the good things presented to God for sacrifices. Eli saw that his boys were wrong, but even after telling them, they did not change their ways. God told Eli He was removing His favor from Eli and the sons, and that they would die on the same day. God would be raising up a faithful priest who would obey God. Now we start Chap 3. Samuel, Hannah's son is a young boy who sleeps near the Ark of God. It says in verse 7, that Samuel didn't know the Lord YET or nothing of God's Word had been given him. That says alot. Here was a boy, who did not know God. Eli had not taught Samuel any of the Torah. But God called to him anyway. Kept calling him. Samuel couldn't even think that a God would be calling him. So he thought it was Eli. After several more calls by God, Eli got the message that God calling Samuel. This was the beginning of the end for Eli. Don't you think that made Eli worry, a gnawing in his gut? death to his 2 sons? But as a good priest, Eli told Samuel to answer the call with "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening." Samuel spoke those words when God called again. That is when Samuel met the Lord. God told him that judgement was coming to Eli and his sons. Samuel went back to bed, but was afraid to say anything to Eli. Maybe he would be killed in his sleep. Who knows his thoughts. In a nutshell, when asked, Samuel tells Eli what God said. Eli remarkable says, "Let Him do what seems good to Him." It says Samuel grew.

Now, I find it amazing that even before Samuel knew God, God had already appointed Samuel as the man to take over Eli's position. God knows the beginning and the end. He knows what position He has for each of us, before we can even conceive it. Eli, believed that God will follow through on what he said. It says that Eli loved his children more than he loved God. He allowed his sons to continue in their sin, which brought destruction to them all. He chastized them alright, but they were grown men. Do you suppose that Eli was too permissive as a parent when the kids were young?.. so that when they were men, they just gaffawed at "their old man?" Another point, after Eli told Samuel to answer the Lord, Samuel had not developed the faith yet to believe that if God said it...it would be done. He was afraid to tell Eli. I would too. I'm not sure that I would believe God to stop the hand of Eli or one of his sons from killing me. And yet...Eli and Samuel had a relationship that did not allow lies. It must have been sad for them both to realize that the priest who had raised Samuel would feel the heavy hand of the Lord soon enough. What faith and trust Samuel developed almost immediately at God's call.

The one thing that was so important to me, was the answer Samuel was to give God...."Speak Lord, for Thy servant is listening." I pray that that sentence becomes a daily prayer for me to God...that I be His servant, and that I invite God to speak, because I will listen.

Buffypuff/ Claudia ~ Farmgirl & Sister #870 ~
"It compliments God to ask great things of Him." ~ St. Theresa of Avila


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Cherime
True Blue Farmgirl

1222 Posts

Cherime
Wasilla Alaska
USA
1222 Posts

Posted - Mar 10 2011 :  08:53:26 AM  Show Profile
How true Claudia, in order to hear we first must shut up and listen. How difficult to tun us off and let Him tell us what to do.

CMF
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prayin granny
True Blue Farmgirl

1874 Posts

Linda
Kansas
1874 Posts

Posted - Mar 10 2011 :  09:30:31 AM  Show Profile
Awesome points, Claudia!!! I am so guilty of the tech gadgets of today and not shutting my mind off. Now, the gadgets can be so helpful and used of God, hence MJF and our study here!

There is a scripture, I believe it is in Romans? That speaks of how 'God makes Himself known even thru nature, so no one is without excuse'. I think it is comforting to know that even in spite of ourselves, He is always there, and always seeking us. We are the ones that at times push Him away, never the other way around, as long as we have a desire to listen.


I used to have a harder time with the old testament. But more and more I am seeing it with a clearer vision and it is blessings me so much. It is so true Claudia, the old testament saints had FAR less than we have today, what with the Bible, and Christian themed books, radio and tv programs. Yet often times our faith today seems harder to hold onto.

What lessons we are learning! Enjoy everyones thoughts, really get blessed here! Also, again, thank you for your prayers!

May the Lord bless everyone's day, Linda

www.scatteredlittleblessings.blogspot.com

Country at Heart
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Ninibini
True Blue Farmgirl

7577 Posts

Nini
Pennsylvania
USA
7577 Posts

Posted - Mar 17 2011 :  12:35:55 AM  Show Profile
Hi girls! Wow! This is really a thought-provoking section of Scripture! I started what I thought was going to be a rather simple study, but it became so much more deep than what I had originally thought! Please forgive my lengthy post, but there is just so much here that I have discovered in my study of I Samuel 3 over these past couple of weeks... It has been so hard to organize all my thoughts. I've been trying to keep them as concise as possible, but I haven't been too successful, so please bear with me! :)

First off, it's really important to realize we’re not looking at just one calling here in this passage, but two: the unfulfilled call of Eli in contrast with the call of young Samuel.

I need to go back to I Samuel 2 for a little bit, if you’ll bear with me. To me, Eli is such a tragic figure. What we learn from I Sam 2 is that Eli's father was chosen priest by God, and that his father’s house would minister before Him forever. Eli’s role at this time - his calling - would have been both as priest AND judge over Israel. 1 Samuel 2:22 tells us that Eli was very old and had "heard" about everything his sons were doing. His remarks concern his sons' “sin against Israel.” Obviously their actions were an embarrassment to their father, however he completely neglects to directly confront them about the serious nature of their sins, for truly they have sinned against God himself! Notice how instead of rebuking them, Eli questioned them about their wicked deeds. He said “Why do you do such things?” (vs. 23). Eli states that God may mediate for a man who sins against another man, but asked them who would intercede for the man who sinned against the Lord? (vs.24). THAT was his harsh rebuke to his own flesh and blood concerning their serious state of sin?! Eli was a priest who served before the Ark of the God! It was his job to serve the Lord, as was theirs. All three of them were well aware of the severity of their sins. He should have harshly rebuked them, causing them to stop their sin, AND he should have interceded - pleaded - to God on their behalf when they changed their ways! But Eli didn’t do anything to effect that change. No. Then a man of God came to rebuke Eli himself. The Lord’s word to Eli included not only a rebuke and judgment for his son’s sin - but for Eli’s own participation in their sin as well! WOW! Vs. 29 says, “Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people?” As a result, a sign was given to Eli concerning his sons Hophni and Phineas (their deaths) and the promise that God would raise up a faithful priest who would do according to His heart and will. What horrible news for Eli; yet he doesn’t plead for God’s mercy, he doesn’t change his ways OR rebuke Hopni and Phineas to change. Actually, he seems to do nothing. He fails to meet his calling.

Next we see young Samuel who ministers before the Lord under Eli. It’s a beautiful thing to see how God is not a respecter of age. Here we see God calling a young child to become His prophet. I can’t help recalling here the story in Luke 2:46 & 47, where Jesus who at 12 years of age had been lost, and after three days of searching, his parents found in the Temple among the doctors who were astonished at His wisdom. :)

We now learn in I Samuel 3:2 that Eli’s “eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see.” He lies down in his “usual place.” Samuel, however, is described as “lying down in the temple of the Lord where the Ark of God was,” and that the lamp of God had not yet gone out. In Leviticus 24: 1 - 4, there are two lamps mentioned here - one standing outside the curatin of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting which was to burn continually evening until morning, and one before the Ark of the Covenant which was to burn continually. This lampstand provided light for the ministering priests (typifying Christ, the Light of the World). (As a side note: we see that the oil used in this lamp was obtained from olives that were pressed and not crushed - this made the oil purer in quality, which burned more brightly and with less smoke. I love that! Isn’t that how we as Christians grow - we are pressed, but not crushed, and our resulting “oil” will help produce a brighter light to lead others to Christ! WOW!!!) Samuel sleeps before the Ark, so that lamp is the one meant to be burning continually… Why on earth, then, would I Samuel 3:2 indicate that the lamp “had not yet gone out?” Could it be that this was another area where Eli was in “epic failure,” as my son would say, to live up to his call as priest ministering before the Ark of God? Back in 2 Samuel 29, God was upset with Eli for “scorning my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling.” Eli was also neglecting this prescription that the lamp before the Ark of the Covenant - the lamp stand which provided light for the ministering priests - should be burning continually. I can’t help but notice the symbolic nature of Eli’s eyes going dim (“The eye is the lamp of the body,” Matt 6:22; and the priest is the light that leads Israel), while the lamp (the light for the priests) was “allowed” to go out. The darkness of Eli’s eyes seems to coincide with the darkness of the lamp stand. He neglects to serve the Lord and is failing to fulfill his calling as priest.

Back to Samuel. Notice when the Lord called him, Samuel didn’t recognize His voice. This is another failure on Eli’s part! Even though at that time there wasn’t much prophetic activity in Israel, you would think one of the main concerns of Eli would be teaching the boy to listen for and hear God’s voice! You would think he, as priest, of all people, would be earnestly seeking and longing to hear God’s voice! Yet it took three times before Eli himself recognized God’s call to Samuel. Eghads!

Next, notice how Eli told Samuel to say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” But what did Samuel say in response to God’s call? “Speak, for your servant is listening.” Isn’t that interesting? He doesn’t say, “Lord,” as if he didn’t realize the magnitude of God’s visit and call! Samuel did not realize the magnificence of the Lord - he did not have real “fear” of the Lord. Another epic fail on Eli’s part! On the other hand, we could also understand this verse to simply mean that Samuel simply did not “fear” God - that he was at peace in God’s holy presence. Samuel simply had the childlike faith and innocent boldness before the Lord that we, as children of God through Christ, have when we come before our Heavenly Father. That’s really beautiful to me. I am reminded of how Jesus said, “Unless you change and become like little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. “ (Matthew 18:3). Notice - “change;” “become like little children.” We have to go back to that child-like innocence and love God, trust Him, boldly ask for things of Him in faith that He will always give us good things, always delighting in our Father, and always be eager to please Him… That was Samuel. Where we see Eli using the term, “Lord.” as more of an obligatory term of formality mixed with fear, we see Samuel’s approach to God as one without fear or a false pretense of respect. With a child-like sense of anticipation and awe, Samuel goes forth and enters into conversation with God in almost a familiar way - just like a child approaching his father, eager to hear what Daddy has to say! Samuel’s child-like innocence delighted the Lord! My Bible (Ryrie Study Bible) says in the footnote of I Samuel 3:1 that the word Samuel used for “listening…means ‘to hear with a view to obeying’…Samuel was listening to God’s Word and was determined to obey it.” This is quite a contrast to Eli’s form of listening, isn’t it?

God’s Word spoken concerning Eli was a difficult challenge for Samuel. Yet despite the risk of pain and heartache this will cause the dear old priest - the man whom has served Samuel as father figure, teacher, guide - he tells Eli everything the Lord said. Samuel loves Eli, yet we see that Samuel’s personal encounter with the majesty of the Lord could not be denied - he loves and fears God all the more! This was Samuel’s first test of the calling as a prophet. As young and as inexperienced in his understanding of God as he was, he passed with flying colors.

I find it extremely interesting that this man of God, Eli, who wanted so desperately to learn what God said to Samuel, would be so bold as to call down a curse upon young Samuel if he should fail to do the Lord’s will, don’t you? First of all - are priests supposed to bring down curses? No! And this curse came out of Eli’s fear - it was not a warning that came from God. Again, we see Eli’s failure to meet his true calling. Notice here also how Eli refers to Samuel as “my son,” as he threatens him with a curse should Samuel not fulfill God‘s will in telling Eli all that the Lord said… Isn’t it interesting how he didn’t use that same type of force with his own true sons in an attempt to get them to turn from their wickedness (and instead to turn them toward fulfill God’s will)? Like Claudia said, Eli wanted to hear the truth, even if it hurt; yet he did not afford his own sons that same courtesy. He didn’t even outright acknowledge direct knowledge of their sin; rather he said he heard it “from all the people about these wicked deeds of [theirs].” Again, he may have been embarrassed by their behavior, but he surely didn’t warn them about the condemnation they were bringing upon themselves by their serious offenses against God. He didn’t even address repentance or the need for them to change their ways! Although Ezekiel was prophet long after Eli lived, we know that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. These are the words of Ezekiel 18:23-31 "‘Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked?’ declares the Sovereign Lord. ‘Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?... Because he considers all the offenses he has committed and turns away from them, he will surely live; he will not die... Repent! Turn away from all your offenses; then sin will not be your downfall. Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?’” If Eli had truly known God - if Eli had truly embraced his calling - he would have known God in this same way. And knowing God’s heart, he would have done everything he could to save his sons - and himself - from sin. He would have prayed with them appealing for God’s mercy, and he also would have interceded for them. His questions posed to them back in 2 Samuel concerning their sin, indicate that he felt powerless himself to intercede - that perhaps he was aware that he himself was in sin and not fulfilling God’s call as judge and priest.

Now the Word spoken by the Lord to Samuel concerning Eli was not only a confirmation of what the man of God had earlier told Eli back in I Samuel 2, but here it also chastises Eli for knowing the sins of his sons and failing to restrain them. God said that “the guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice and offering.” (I Samuel 3: 14). Now think about that - is God limited to forgiveness through sacrifice and offering? NO! Should Eli have so non-chalantly accepted God’s Word as he did? It was almost like the modern day response of, “Whatever.” Wow. This man was priest! Surely he knew God is a merciful God! Surely he would have known to tear open his vestments, cover his head with ashes, change his ways and appeal to God’s great love and mercy! Nope. Didn’t do that at all. Eli’s fatalist response is, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.“ Although at first glance it seems in his “wisdom” Eli is accepting God’s will and submitting, he really just took the “oh well,” attitude and submitted to his desire to let things go - something he has done the whole time. He‘s not exactly the strong man you would expect a priest of Israel to be. He is weak and ineffectual; he shows no hope or faith in the goodness of his God whom he professes to serve. That’s not exactly the way a man of God should have reacted, and it surely wasn’t the example he should be setting for young Samuel. Eli really was “missing his call,” here. And we also see that he really didn’t know God. Think about Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:21-23: ““Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Makes me kind of shudder to think about it, you know?

As we read on in the story, we see in vs. 19 that the result of Samuel’s response to God's call - Samuel's "yes and amen!" - is that the Lord is with Samuel as he grows up and none of his words fell to the ground; that he becomes renown in throughout all of Israel as an attested prophet of the Lord. We also see that after many years of very little prophecy in Israel, as a result of Samuel’s rise to God’s call, the Lord continues to appear at Shiloh, and reveals himself to Samuel through his word. In other words, Samuel becomes so close to God that he knows God intimately; he knows God’s character, His heart, His will, His being.

Because Samuel’s heart and actions were turned toward God, great blessing came upon Israel. How sad the contrast is of Eli, now a weak, old man, dim in the eyes, dim in his relationship with the Lord, dim without hope, dim with the shadow of condemnation hanging over him. Here we witness two calls of God, each with very different responses: one call neglected to wither and die unfulfilled, full of condemnation and painfully fading into darkness; the other call fulfilled, replete with blessings and hope for a future of brightly lit with promise.

Many blessings and prayers that each of us heed and fulfill our calling in Him -

Nini



God gave us two hands... one to help ourselves, and one to help others!

Farmgirl Sister #1974
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