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God is King: It's Best to Obey

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This week...

The passage for this week in from the Book of Samuel 1 Samuel is the next book after Ruth. Some look at this book as misplaced from the Book of
This has been a tough week for your Pastor. I studied and prayed and read and prayed some more.
I could not understand what God was trying to tell me about this passage. I usually spend several constructive hours on Monday morning, praying for you all, reading the passage a “hundred times,” consulting several sources, commentaries, other sermons, books and authors about the topic or passage.
This week I could not get into it…into the very technical parts of the book and passage. A look at the Hebrew basically confused me this week. It was just not there. After our very rich time at prayer at 11AM on Monday’s I usually dive headlong into beginning writing an outline of what the topics I want to cover and some the of the scripture, The Big Idea
This week…crickets. I was talking with Pam about the lack of inspiration. She had some wise advice. She sent me home...
Home to clear my head, away from the distractions of the office, I retreated to my place. Gradually God began to move my “fog” around and started bring some things into focus.
This is largely a product of that effort.
In spite of what we believe at the time, God is looking out for us. He has our back and our front. AND God is sovereign. What he wants to come to pass will in fact come to pass by us or someone else
God uses certain people at certain times for His Glory and for His purpose. In the past couple of weeks we have seen Ruth, a Moabite, used by God is a very special way to show us the concept of “Kinsman-Redeemer,” and it worked. Ruth has to be one of the more beloved stories in scripture.
This week we begin to witness the beginning of the ruling Kings, Monarchs, God’s anger with Israel, that’s no surprise, right. The very desire for a human king drives God to anger and disappointment in His chosen people. In the next several weeks don’t get me wrong, God is mad, sad and dissapointed with Isreal. BUT…they are still His chosen ones. Once you’re His, really His nothing can change that relationship! Nothing…That’s at the Intersection of Grace and Cross. All that is taken care of once and forever.
Let’s get to the passage
1 Samuel 1 NIV
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. 2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none. 3 Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. 4 Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. 6 Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 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. 8 Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” 9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” 12 As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.” 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. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” 17 Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” 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. 19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” 21 When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vow, 22 Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, “After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the Lord, and he will live there always.” 23 “Do what seems best to you,” her husband Elkanah told her. “Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his word.” So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him. 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. 25 When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, 26 and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. 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.
1Sam
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1 Samuel 1:1 NIV
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.
This man came from Rama, from the hills around Jerusalem his name was El-kanah. In Hebrew the use of
El = God, deity, Lord/lord
Kanah = possession, creation
So this man’s name indicates that the “Lord possessed Him or Lord Created Him”
Hannah =Grace
Penny = Jewel
So that we don’t get caught up in the passage and we miss the forest for the trees, don’t get stuck in the weeds and then you miss the punchline.
El-kan
1 Samuel 1:2 NIV
2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
1 Samuel 2 NIV
1 Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. 2 “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 3 “Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the Lord is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. 4 “The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. 5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are hungry no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away. 6 “The Lord brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. 7 The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. 8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s; on them he has set the world. 9 He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. “It is not by strength that one prevails; 10 those who oppose the Lord will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the Lord will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.” 11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the Lord under Eli the priest. 12 Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord. 13 Now it was the practice of the priests that, whenever any of the people offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being boiled 14 and would plunge the fork into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. 15 But even before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the person who was sacrificing, “Give the priest some meat to roast; he won’t accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.” 16 If the person said to him, “Let the fat be burned first, and then take whatever you want,” the servant would answer, “No, hand it over now; if you don’t, I’ll take it by force.” 17 This sin of the young men was very great in the Lord’s sight, for they were treating the Lord’s offering with contempt. 18 But Samuel was ministering before the Lord—a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord.” Then they would go home. 21 And the Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord. 22 Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. 24 No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the Lord’s people is not good. 25 If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the Lord, who will intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death. 26 And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people. 27 Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself to your ancestor’s family when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh? 28 I chose your ancestor out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your ancestor’s family all the food offerings presented by the Israelites. 29 Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’ 30 “Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ But now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. 31 The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age, 32 and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, no one in your family line will ever reach old age. 33 Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life. 34 “ ‘And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day. 35 I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always. 36 Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and plead, “Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat.” ’ ”
So for the sake of clarity this is Hannah and Penny. Penny had children, Hannah did not.
Children validated the worth of women in that culture. Boy children further elevated that status.
There is a long history in scripture of women being unable to conceive, only to find out, in spite of their age, circumstance they become pregnant and the child is the next Billy Graham…sorry I mean next king, ruler, soldier, savior that saves the bacon of Israel.
He are some of those instances of infertility and what God did...
Abraham and Sara…Hagar entered the picture and then Jacob, who became Israel, who was leader of God’s people.
Issac and Rebekah
Jacob and Leah and Rachel
All needed special intervention from God to conceive.
God used infertility to show the people of Israel that he was able to continue on His pattern of redemption from sin through multiple intertwined relationships, lies, falsehoods, deceptions. This all happened to the Glory of God.
Principle #1 - God can and does use our mistakes, our misfortunes, our sin for His Glory. He can turn ANY circumstance that is completely upside down, right side up for the well-being of His people. For our well being, for His Glory.
The problem is that we don’t stick with the plan long enough to see what God can do...
We marry and divorce with a whim
Bankruptcy is a quick fix to overwhelming debt
We move in and out of relationships so quickly no one can keep up
Our health fails us long before we planned it to and we become bitter to our families, friends and angry at God for it.
We want to see the end before we experience the ups and downs of the middles…
[DO NOT MISS HERE ME!! I’M ILLUSTRATING HOW FICKLE WE ARE. I KNOW OF MANY INSTANCES WHERE MARRIAGES BROKE UP AFTER YEARS OF TRYING, BANKRUPTCY THAT HAD TO HAPPEN FOR VARIOUS ISSUES. --- THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION IN WHAT I SAID FOR THOSE WHO HAD NO RECOURSE]
The story of the people of Israel recorded in the Bible is a living demonstration of the fact that the Lord does win the battle, that He is sovereign in all things. People and events recorded in Scripture are part “salvation history,” God’s gracious plan to send the Savior into the world to die for sinners.
Be Successful Chapter One: “The Lord of Hosts Is with Us” (1 Samuel 1–3)

The story of the people of Israel recorded in the Bible is a living demonstration of the fact that the Lord does win the battle, that He is sovereign in all things. People and events recorded in Scripture are part of what theologians call “salvation history,” God’s gracious plan to send the Savior into the world to die for sinners.

Let’s Continue...
1 Samuel 1:3 NIV
3 Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord.
1 Sam
At Shiloh because the temple did not yet exist in Jerusalem
This two characters Hophni and Phinehas
HOPHNI and PHINEHAS in Hebrew “tadpole and dark one”

HOPHNI hofʹnī, hofʹnē, and PHINEHAS finʹē-əs [Heb. ḥop̱nî < Egyp ḥfn (r), “tadpole”; Heb. pinḥās (1 S. 1:3), pîneḥās < Egyp pʾ nḥsy, “the Negro/Nubian”]. Sons of Eli, priests of the sanctuary at Shiloh. Their character was wicked enough to merit the designation “worthless men” (AV “sons of Belial,” 1 S. 2:12). Their evil practices are described in vv 12–17. Twice Eli was warned concerning them, once by an unknown prophet (vv 27–36) and again by the lips of the young Samuel (3:11–18). The curse fell at the battle of Aphek (4:1–18) at which the brothers were slain and the ark was taken; these events caused Eli’s death. Phinehas was father of the posthumous Ichabod, whose name marks the calamity. A remoter sequel to the prophetic warnings is seen in the deposition of Eli’s descendant Abiathar from the priestly office (1 K. 2:26f, 35).

Sons of Eli, priests of the sanctuary at Shiloh.
Their character was wicked enough to merit the designation “worthless men” (AV “sons of Belial,”
They lost the Ark of Covenant…The Holy Ark that contained the essence of Israel in a battle.
El-Kanah went and worshipped and sacrifice to these two worthless men.
Principle #2 - God will honor your efforts, if you give him the time and space to do that.
No one promised you a rose garden and most of us got a dandelion field.
There is power in the process of working our situations out. We, all of us, want a quick fix. God wants us for the long game. We are His for eternity.
God also give us opportunities that we would not have had…ones we don’t even know about.
1 Samuel 1:4–5 NIV
4 Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb.
1Samuel1.
“…Because he loved her” Those four words made the difference in life and death to Hannah. If he didn’t love her she would have starved, be put out of the family relationship by Penny.
Principle #3 - To be loved and cared for covers a multitude of sin and circumstances. Because God loved us so much He sent His and one and only Son to die for us.
If you are married here, God calls it out pretty clearly in Ephesians. As Christ died for the Church we, men are called to die for our brides. Do we love enough to die for our spouse?
Penny tormented Hannah horribly. Provoking her out of jealousy. She had no where to turn but to God. Hannah wanted a child specifically a son.
1 Samuel 1:10 NIV
10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.
Hannah made some promises during these prayers; God if will give me a son, I will dedicate him to the Lord from his birth.
1 Samuel 1:11 NIV
11 And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.”
1 Samuel 1:10 NIV
10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly.
Her son was to be a Nazirite, a sacred person, committed to God, one of the marks of a Nazirite was that a razor would NEVER touch his head. He would be free from the “Fruit of the Vine.” This just was not a party thing. In may parts of the world the only drinkable liquid was wine.
A confusion exists…Jesus was NOT a Nazarite, he did NOT take that vow. He was a Nazarene, from Nazareth.
Last and final and maybe the most difficult principle.
Principle #4 - Prayer is a POWERFUL vehicle into the mind of Christ. The more we pray the more time we spend with the Savior and Creator of the Universe. The more our thoughts conform to His thoughts
1sam1
1 Samuel 1:26 NIV
26 and she said to him, “Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord.
1sam
1 Samuel 1:27 NIV
27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.
1sam1.
1 Samuel 1:28 NIV
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.
Whatever you ask the Lord for in prayer and petition he has infinite options how to answer that prayer...
I have a friend who was seeking a new position in the sales world. She prayed and prayed for this new position. Instead after years of infertility she got pregnant…It’s answer to prayer, she got a new position. It’s called “Mom.”
I’m not sure how Jill did this…she worked full-time, had twin boys at home, excelled in her work at the hospital, was named Employee of the Year and had a third son to care for…that was me!
I’ve prayed some stupid, selfish prayers in my life, thank you God for NOT answering them “Yes.”
I have also prayed for something that I thought was impossible that I could be called as the Pastor of any church, anywhere. I was called…Thank You Jesus.
Get the habit of prayer…you will be blest by it!
As a way of closing let’s look at the four principles God’s word laid out for us today..
Principle #1 - God can and does use our mistakes, our misfortunes, our sin for His Glory. He can turn ANY circumstance that is completely upside down, right side up for the well-being of His people. For our well being, for His Glory.
Principle #2 - God will honor your efforts, if you give him the time and space to do that.
Principle #3 - To be loved and cared for covers a multitude of sin and circumstances. Because God loved us so much He sent His and one and only Son to die for us.
Principle #4 - Prayer is a POWERFUL vehicle into the mind of Christ. The more we pray the more time we spend with the Savior and Creator of the Universe. The more our thoughts conform to His thoughts.
At the intersection of the Cross and Grace; God provides his one and only Son, one just like him, to take our penalty, the one we deserve and die on a tree in a garbage dump. But that’s not the end of the story. He arose, he defeated death, we are no longer a slave to sin because Christ beat satan on Easter morning. Because of that single act, Grace became available for EVERYONE! Not just the “elect” not just those who worshipped a certain way but to EVERYONE! Grace, grace nothing but grace!
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