Thursday, January 26, 2012

1 Samuel 7-8 Januray 25, 2012

Good Evening Ladies, let's pray. Don’t you enjoy talking to the LORD! My friend Sandy says it is a privilege and an honor to bring your petitions before the throne of God. And it is so easy just talk to Him, after all He is your “Abba Father.”

  Mark 1:35  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

We are told Jesus prayed no less than nineteen times in the Gospels. John 17 is Jesus’ longest prayer.  But why did Jesus pray? He could raise the dead, heal the lame and the blind! Why would He need to pray? Although fully God, He was also fully human. His prayers not only taught His disciples and us the importance of prayer, but it also shows His intimate conversations with His Father and His complete dependence on God. How can we be too busy to pray? We shouldn’t make a decision or utter a word from our mouth without His guidance.

I wish I could say to you that I do that all the time. You’ve heard me apologize enough to know that is not true. That is the desire of my heart to be in constant communication with my LORD.

Andrew Murray “Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue; God’s voice is its most essential part. Listening to God’s voice is the secret of the assurance that He will listen to mine.”
Oswald Chambers “It is only when we know that we are powerless that we are prepared to listen to Jesus Christ and to do what He says.”
Tonight Samuel with intercede for the children of Israel as they seek help from God.
 God is Faithful Even When His Children are Not
Israel Seeks the LORD-ch. 7
Israel Rejects the LORD-ch. 8
The Philistines didn’t possess the ark any longer, but the LORD was not with Israel. The Philistines had destroyed Shiloh.
Ch.1  v. 2  all the people of Israel mourned and sought after the LORD. 3 And Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, "If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then  rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and  commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.”  4 So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only. 5 Then Samuel said, “Assemble all Israel at Mizpah and I will intercede with the LORD for you.” The meaning of Mizpah seems to be "watchtower." 

First mention of Mizpah  Genesis 31:49 when Jacob and Laban part company.
Normally we think this is a blessing “May the LORD keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other.”  (Actually it was a warning that if Jacob mistreated Laban’s daughters of took other wives, God would be His witness.) Mizpah is a key location for Israel. In Judges, Jephthah repeated his vow to the Lord here, Israel made an oath at Mizpah. Samuel will again assemble the people here again in Ch. 10
6 When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the LORD. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, “We have sinned against the LORD”
Pouring out water
·        Clarks’s "And they poured out their hearts in deep penitence and sorrow, as Waters, before the Lord."
·        The same desire is voice by Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:15; I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit; I have Poured Out my soul before the Lord. 
·        David also in Psalm 22:14, I am Poured Out like Water
·        Wesley's Notes 7:6 to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit.
In fear of the Philistines the people beg Samuel to pray; to be their intercessor.
8“Do not stop crying out to the LORD our God for us, that he may rescue us from the hand of the Philistines.” 9 …”Samuel” cried out to the LORD on Israel’s behalf, and the LORD answered him. 10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the LORD thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites.
Once again God win the battle for His people.

 God is Faithful Even When His Children are Not

Listen to the prophetic words of Hannah’s Prayer to the LORD 1 Samuel 2:9-11

9 He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.
 “It is not by strength that one prevails;10 those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them 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.”

 8- 12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far has the LORD helped us.”
        KJV Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.

Does this remind you of the stones that Joshua piled up in various places to signify victories and memorials to God; especially the 12 stones taken from the middle of the Jordan?

Pondering the word Ebenezer, I found a Christian Blog on the web called “AnotherThink.”
 “Samuel placed a large stone at the place where this restoration began. He publicly dedicated it as a monument to God's help, God's faithfulness, and God’s eternal covenant. And as the people got on with their lives, the stone stood there, visible to all who passed that way, a reminder of judgment and repentance, mercy and restoration.”

The song from the hymnal tonight was composed by the Methodist pastor and hymnist Robert Robinson. Robinson penned the words at age 22 in the year 1757. The Second Verse is one of my favorites..  

Here I raise mine Ebenezer; hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger, wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed his precious blood. 
(public domain)

Dr. Gregory Neal “Spiritually and theologically speaking, an Ebenezer can be nearly anything that reminds us of God’s presence and help: the Bible, the Sacramental Elements, a cross, a picture, a fellow believer, a hymn – those things which serve as reminders of God’s love, God’s Real Presence, and God’s assistance are "Ebenezers."
We’ve all wandered from the fold of God at one time or another. Our Ebenezer can be as simple as a prayer journal where we have unburdened our heart before the LORD.  We can also record answers to prayers. What a legacy we can leave our children when we teach them to pray and to leave them our journals indicating we prayed for them through their teen years and the early years of their marriage.  We all need a constant reminder so we don’t forget God’s infinite mercy and His boundless grace He has poured out on us.  What is your Ebenezer?  Find somewhere in your home or your car to display a visual prompt. Something to Daily remind us we need worship and praise him; to pour out our heart to Him, to empty ourselves of our desires and our needs. Ladies, after He rescued us with His Precious Blood we never have to fear; we will Safely Arrive at home, in heaven with our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ.

 God is Faithful Even If  We are Not

Israel Rejects the LORD Samuel 8
In the last verses of Chapter 7 15 Samuel continued as judge over Israel all the days of his life. 16 From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places. 17 But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also judged Israel. And he built an altar there to the LORD.
Probably 20-25 years pass between Chapter 7 and Chapter 8. Now Samuel is an old man. He appoints his sons to be judges and they turn out to be as wicked as Eli’s sons.  I want to make an excuse for Samuel he seems to be as bad a parent as Eli. BUT ladies we are not responsible for the actions of our children. If we have raised them to know the Bible and LORD Jesus as their Savior, it is their responsibility to accept or reject His love.
4 So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”
Samuel was displeased with their request,

But God is Faithful Even When Israel Was Not 

God is not surprised by Israel asking for a King, in fact throughout the Bible we have evidence that God has planned for a King to reign.

God’s promises to Abraham Genesis 17:6  I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.

Sarah 16 I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

Jacob Genesis 35:11 And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body.

7 And the LORD told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. 8 As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. 9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.” 

God is Faithful Even When We are Not

It wasn’t Israel greatest sin to ask for a King, their sin was to demand one now. Just as God was preparing Samuel in Hannah’s womb to replace Eli as priest; He had already chosen His King to be David from the tribe of Judah.

 God would use Saul to chastise his people.

Hosea 13:11 So in my anger I gave you a king, and in my wrath I took him away.

1 Samuel 2:9 … warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do.”
Weirsbe “The key word in Samuels speech is the word TAKE, not give. vv.11-17
·        He will take your sons and make them serve in the army
·        others to plow his ground and reap his harvest,
·        others to make weapons of war and equipment for his chariots.
·        He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.
·        He will take the best of your fields crops, grain, and wine to feed his officials and servants
·        Your servants, the best of your cattle, donkey, and flocks he will take for his own use.
·        You, yourselves will become his slaves.
18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day.”
 19 ...“No!” they said. “We want a king over us. 20 Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.”
22 The LORD answered, “Listen to them and give them a king.”

JV McGee “God will grant Israel's desire for King but it will not be to their advantage.  God's guidance of the nation will be indirectly through the prophet. As we shall see God will not speak directly to the king, but still through the prophet who will convey God’s word to the king. The king will accept it or reject as he chooses”

The demands Samuel made Ch.7 v.3 reminds me of this scripture from
2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV) 14If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
In our nation today, it is hard for many to follow an invisible God; to take in FAITH all that the LORD has done for us and promised us. Like Israel we want be like all the other nations, a visible leader. In our churches do we strive to look like the world and sound like the world.
In America needs to humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face. If Jesus prayed to His Father, isn’t it emphatic that we fervently and specifically pray for our nation.

God is Faithful Even When We are Not

Coming up in February are the birthdays of President Washington and President Lincoln. Lincoln is one of my favorite presidents to quote.
"...I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the Lord's side." 

"I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day."

Just as Samuel was intercessor for the children of Israel, we too have an intercessor before the throne of God. Jesus Christ stands at the right hand of His Father’s throne and intercedes for us every day and night. O What A Savior!

Will you choose tonight to be faithful in praying to God, your Father?

 Let us pray.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1 Samuel 3-6 January 19, 2012

Photo-Noise, water, and air pollution affect everyone
 What we do matters to those around us!
Cartoon- Our actions have an effect on those around us.
This cartoon illustrates fumes of cars and cigars as having second hand smoke. Foul language in a public event, littering affects others. Our bad attitudes can even rub off on others. Have you noticed at the hospital warnings that strong perfume may affect patients’ health? What about postings to silence cell phones-in the airport, at the doctor’s office, even at the drive thru? Do you care about others’ comfort?
 Our actions to others in CBS are so much more important. Some offenses mentioned to the Servant’s Team have been heavy cologne, texting during core time and lecture, cell phones’ ringing, and arriving late for class. If you have a Bible on your cell phone, do others know what you are doing?
1 Corinthians 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord,

Remember your actions at CBS affect someone else.
            GOD REWARDS FAITHFULNESS-1 Samuel 3
            GOD JUDGEMENT ON ELI AND HIS SONS IN Fulfilled -1 Samuel 4
            GOD’S JUDGEMENT ON THE PHILISTINES AND Beth-Shemesh 1 Samuel 5-6
TEMPLE at Shiloh- Eli and Samuel would probably have slept in the temple. Samuel near the lampstand.
God Rewards Faithfulness 1 Samuel 3
·        Attentive ear-1-8
·        Obedient Will 9-12
·         Humble heart  13-21
V1 Under the direction and instruction of Eli, Samuel was capable of, such duties as opening and closing the doors, lighting the lamps, singing the praises of God, (Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible) We usually think of the child Samuel at the age of 3-6 years. But now certainly was older if he tended the lamps in the temple. According to Josephus, Samuel was now about twelve years of age:
We know from Numbers 8:24,25 “the Levites: 25 year old to serve; at fifty, they must retire from their regular service and work no longer. Eli was too old and could not see and should have stepped down when his son became priests. His blindness was prophesied by the man of God in Ch.2
3 In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.
The silence of God was the judgment for disobedience. There are other times when God was silent. Eli nor his sons had heard from the LORD. When the LORD cannot find an obedient adult, He sometimes calls a child. WW.
Samuel had an Attentive ear
Samuel must have been in charge of the Lamp of God. It would look like a Menorah. Numbers 3: 31-36 Lampstand had six branches, three from one side and three from the other; put three cups on one branch, three on the next the entire Lampstand fashioned from one piece of hammered pure gold.  37-38 "Make seven of these lamps for the Table. Arrange the lamps so they throw their light out in front. Make the candle snuffers and trays out of pure gold.  39-40 "Use a seventy-five-pound brick of pure gold to make the Lampstand.
The lamp and light are symbolic of God’s Truth. The central candle must not go out.
4 Then the LORD called Samuel.  Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. 6 Again 
7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.  8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
   Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
Obedient Will -9-12 Samuel did not understand that the voice he heard was from the LORD. But surely he must have heard the scriptures at his mother knee or read the scriptures to Eli as he grew blind. Nonetheless, he was obedient to Eli’s request; to go lie down and listen for the LORD’s voice. Samuel’s area of knowledge did not include a direct contact from the LORD. After the third time Eli must have discerned that God was speaking to Samuel. It must have confirmed to Eli that the LORD was indeed finished with Eli as a priest and was using Samuel to receive a message from God.
 10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
   Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

 Can you imagine how Samuel must have felt for the LORD to come and stand and call his name twice. How marvelous that the LORD God of the Universe knows Samuel by name.
Ladies, God has written your name in His book of life when you accepted Christ as your LORD and Savior. He knows your name. Will you be still before the LORD (cut off you cell phones and computer and TV and radio) and wait for the LORD to call your name. How often do we have a quiet minute much less a quiet time to listen for the LORD to speak to our hearts, to speak to us through his Word, through his Holy Spirit. Sometimes even in church “and yes in CBS” we can get distracted by the person in front of us or beside us. Many times I will close my eyes when I am listening to a beautiful song or scripture being read or the pastor speaking the WORD. To enjoy an intimate relationship with the God who created you, the One who redeemed you. He must have your undivided attention.
Samuel has Humble heart 13-21
13 For I told (Eli) that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’”
It must have been difficult for Samuel to receive the stern judgment on Eli and his sons. Surely Samuel had grown to love Eli. Probably he had a hard time sleeping after he heard. Not only was Samuel attentive and obedient to the LORD’s call but he was humble of heart. He went about his regular chores dreading the time he must reveal to Eli what God had told him. This is the second time Eli has heard this warning from the LORD.
Eli did not act surprised by the words, in resignation says, “He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.”
1 Samuel 3 19 The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD.
Willful disobedience brings consequences on others besides Eli and his sons.
The Philistine army had been a nuisance to the Israelites the days of Samson in the book of Judges. Due to poor spiritual guidance and the disobedience of the people, the LORD was not with them. The Philistines easily killed 4,000 men. Unbelievable! “Why did the Lord bring defeat upon us today before the Philistines?”
4 So the people sent men to Shiloh, brought back the ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, carried the ark of the covenant of God.  They surely had the wrong priests to carry the ark.
All Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. The Philistines were afraid for they had heard of plight of the Egyptians. But God was not with them Israel.
 10 The Philistines defeated Israel killing thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
Two wrongs do not make a right. The ark was not a magic object to be paraded into battle. They did not consult the LORD.
How many times have we tried to second guess God and do something for Him that HE did not ask for and He did not bless? We must be very careful when we assume to speak for God. Study His Word and be silent before Him. Give Him the honor and tribute He deserves.
17 A man ran into Shiloh announced the heavy losses and told Eli “Hophni and Phineas are dead and the ark of God has been captured.”
 18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli, 98 and blind, fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. Broke his neck died, for he was an old man and heavy. He had led Israel forty years.
 19 His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, went into labor and gave birth to a son.
 21 She named the boy Ichabod,22 She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”
Willful disobedience can affect those you love.
Philistines took the ark of God it to Ashdod set it beside Dagon( merman fish god. Early the next day, there was Dagon, his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! They took Dagon and put him back in his place- Because an idol cannot move itself. How can something man has made with his hands have any power? 4 the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off.  6 The LORD struck people of Ashdod afflicted them with tumors.    Now tell me God does not have a sense of humor.  He can control the tides, He can protect His Ark.
Map Shiloh to battle in Aphek, Philistine cities of Ashdod, Gath, Ekron and Beth Shemesh
So they sent it to Gath where God afflicted the people of the city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors. 10 So they sent the ark to Ekron 11 they called all the rulers of the Philistines and said, “Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it will kill us and our people.” For death had filled the city with panic; God’s hand was very heavy upon it. 12 Those who did not die were afflicted with tumors,
 Seven months the Philistines were punished with the presence of the ark; so long it was a plague to them, because they would not send it home sooner. Note: Sinners lengthen out their own miseries by obstinately refusing to part with their sins. Matthew Henry
Willful disobedience has severe consequence for everyone.

1 Samuel 6 The Ark Returned to Israel

After 7 months the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners “Tell us how we should send it back.” Send a guilt offering to Him. 5 gold tumors;  5 gold rats to the number of Philistine rulers.
These pagans believed in the power of  Israel’s God and they had more respect for God than his own people. They remembered what happened in Egypt?
They built a new cart hooked up 2 milk cows, penned up their calves. The loaded the cart with the ARK and the gold offerings and turned them loose. If the cows went back to their calves, then it was just chance they said. But those cows went straight to Beth Shemesh not turning to the left or the right.
 So joyous were the people of Beth Shemesh that The people chopped up the wood of the cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt offering to the LORD. 15 The Levites took down the ark of the LORD, together with the chest containing the gold objects, and placed them on the large rock.
Proper movement of the ark     19 But God struck down 70 of the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD.
It took a tragedy for Israel to develop a new awareness of God’s power.

“Who can stand in the presence of the LORD, this holy God? To whom will the ark go up from here?”

God’s judgment was against the men of Beth Shemesh for their carelessness and failure to respect the symbol of the Living God. God departs from their presence. The Ark of the Covenant now goes to the hill country of Judah.
·        Just a few broken rules
·        Ark should be covered at all times Exodus 39
·        It is to be carried on poles Exodus 40
·        Only priests allowed to see it once a year Leviticus 16:2
·        Don't go near it. Stay back 1000 yards Joshua 3:4
·        Offering given by priests at Shiloh
·        Only unblemished male animals acceptable
Psalm 51
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
   you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
   a broken and contrite heart,
   O God, you will not despise.

God does not want our rituals and ceremony. God wants your heart. The place is not important as long as God is worshiped and obeyed. It is important to honor God every day, no matter where you are-on the job, in the car, or at home. Worship the Father in spirit and in truth and teach your children well.

2 Timothy 2:15 (NLT) Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed

Will you choose to show love to those around you by obeying God?

1 Samuel 11-2 January 12, 2012

Good evening Ladies. Did you have some good discussions in your Core Coffee? Did you share your Christmas traditions and New Year’s resolutions? Well, I’m glad you had some time to fellowship.
Tonight let’s talk about Treasures. What is your greatest treasure? Did you get a wonderful Christmas gift? Something that you have always wanted? Something you would never buy for yourself.  If your house was on fire, what would be the first thing you would grab? Of course, we would rescue our family and pets, but what “thing” would you pick up? I’ve been trying to declutter through the holidays. Lately instead of trying to acquire more “stuff,” I pass along past treasures to friends I know will enjoy them. Some friends collect angels, or monkeys, or teapots. First I thought of all my family albums, but then I have uploaded most of my photos to online storage. If there was a fire, my first thought is that I would grab my Bible, but which version or commentaries. I have be reading e-books on Kindle for the last two years. Over time I have acquired many versions of the Bible, KJ, NIV, ESV, Message, Holman Bible, some commentaries by Weisbe, McGee, many Christian classics and many books by Billy Graham. Also, I transferred all my recipes, CBS Servants Team manual, CBS pictorial directory, my planning calendar, address book, and appointments to my iPad. In case of a fire, I would probably grab my purse with my mobile phone and iPad. Because “stuff” can be replaced.
Join me as we read Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus said 19Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:  20But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:  21For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Are you storing up treasures in heaven? What is your greatest treasure?
Let us pray
You may open your Bible to the book of 1 Samuel. We will start with a little history. The books of 1 and 2 Samuel were originally one book called the Book of Kings. Later it was named for Samuel who was the last of the judges. Judges was the book of “no king.” 1 Samuel is the book of “man’s king.” and 2 Samuel is the book of “God’s king.” Samuel was also a priest, and God used him as the first in a new line of prophets. He established a school of the prophets and anointed two kings, Saul and David. Samuel’s influence lay in his personal integrity and his unceasing loyalty to God.
Where is your treasure? 3 points in my lecture tonight are---
1.     Hannah receives a “treasure” from the LORD
2.     Hannah returns her “treasure” to the LORD
3.     Eli’s sons steal “treasure” from God
1 Samuel 1 We meet El-kanah, a man from the hill country of Ephraim, had two wives. There is the first problem, while bigamy and divorce were not prohibited by the law, God states his perfect plan in Genesis 2 for one man and one woman to be joined together for a lifetime. Hannah, who Elkanah loved above all else, was probably the first wife, but she was barren. As we noted throughout our studies, the pride of the Jewish father is to have many sons. Another wife was taken to provide offspring. Pe-ninn-ah took every opportunity to irritate Hannah and belittle her because she had no children. Although Pe-ninn-ah had children, she did not have her husband’s love.
V. 3 Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh.
Surely Elkanah does not understand the deep desire of Hannah’s heart. To show his love to her, he gave her extra meat from the sacrifice. Not a splendid choice and add to that his remarks in verse 8? “Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”
Hannah leaves her food and slips away to the temple to pour out her heart to the LORD.
You know that kind of crying out to God when you can’t even get the words out.
9 Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD’s temple.  10 In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD.
 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 will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of 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.”
Right now our Spirit should tell us something about Eli. He doesn’t seem to be a man of discernment to accuse a weeping woman of drunkenness. We will find Eli is out touch with the LORD and his sons.
Poor Hannah, teased by the second wife, misunderstood by her husband, and now accused by the priest. The One she can count on is the LORD.
11 And she made a vow, saying, “O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon 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.”
This is the same vow made by Samson’s mother. Samuel will also be a Nazirite dedicated the service to the LORD.
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.  
Hannah had immediate confirmation in her soul. I’m not sure that Hannah could put her faith in that priest, but she can Trust in the LORD God of Israel.  God had closed Hannah womb and now God will give her a son to unite his people.
WW says “As God often did in Israel’s history, He began to solve the problem by sending a baby. Babies are God’s announcement that He knows our needs, cares about His people and is working on our behalf. The arrival of a baby ushers in new life and a new beginning; babies are signposts to the future, and their conception and birth is a miracle that only God can do. To make the event even greater, God often chooses barren women to be the mother of these extraordinary men. He sent Isaac to Sara, Jacob and Esau to Rebekah, Joseph to Rachel, and now Samuel to Naomi.
V 19 the LORD remembered her. 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.”
Hannah receives a “treasure” from the LORD. What is your greatest treasure? What is valuable to you? Is it a big house, fancy cars, large 3D HD LCD TV with surround sound? Or is knowing Christ the most valuable thing you possess? Where is your treasure, is it here on earth or in heaven? Do you desire the things of this earth or God?

Here is a photo of a mansion in California owned by my son’s boss. It is lavish beyond belief. My son, Kurt is in the forefront of the photo. This is my son’s vision of success. What he aspires to own someday. I am still praying for Kurt to realize his greatest treasure is not in things, but in his relationship with Christ. Only then can he experience true peace and joy and fulfillment.

Matthew 6: 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. KJV
2-Hannah returns her “treasure” to the LORD
Picking up in Verse 24 Samuel was weaned probably at the age of three. Hannah brought the boy to the temple of the LORD in Shiloh and presented him to Eli the priest.
v. 26 “As surely as you live, my lord, 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.”
Would you leave your 3 year old with Eli and his sons? They must have witnessed the abuses in the temple by Eli’s sons. Hannah and Elkannah must have fully trusted in the LORD and His purpose for Samuel’s life.

Hannah’s Prayer is so beautiful and heartfelt. It can be divided it into four parts.

Samuel 2 : 1-2 Thanksgiving and praise. We will read only some select verses.
 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.               Say your  MEMORY VERSE with me.
 2 “There is no one holy like the LORD;
   there is no one besides you;
   there is no Rock like our God.

Verse 3  A warning to the arrogant and proud. It is almost prophetic of Eli’s son.
 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.

verses 4-8a Hannah gives glory to the God who exalts the weak, the hungry, the barren, the poor, the needy. Notice the contrasts in verses 6-7.
 6 “The LORD brings death and makes alive;
   he brings down to the grave[
c] 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.

verses 8b-10 Hannah’s confidence is in the LORD.
   “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s;
   upon them he has set the world.
9 He will guard the feet of his saints,
   but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.

   “It is not by strength that one prevails;
 10 those who oppose the LORD will be shattered.
He will thunder against them 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.”

What is your greatest treasure? Would you be willing as Hannah did to give your treasure to God for his work?
3-Eli’s sons steal “treasure” from God
Immediately following this beautiful prayer praising the LORD, we learn how despicable Eli’s sons were. The situation with Eli’s wicked sons did not take God by surprise. He was preparing His FAITHFUL PRIEST in the womb of Hannah to lead His people. Weirsbe says “Samuel is God’s “bridge builder” at such a critical time in Jewish History when the tribes of Israel desperately needed direction.  
Let’s will not spend much time on these despicable events.
Eli’s sons: Hophni and Phinehas
·        Wicked men
·        Stole meat and fat offering from the LORD
·        They had no regard for the LORD
·        Sin was very great in the LORD’s sight
·        Contempt for the LORD’s offering
·        Slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
Eli says to his sons in verse 25 If a man sins against another man, God[e] may mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the LORD’s will to put them to death.

36For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36 (KJV)

Hopni and Phineas did not treasure their position as priests. They did not count as worthy the LORD’s offerings. What was their greatest treasure? Gluttony and lust. They surely can’t take it with them on the day they die.
And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men. 1 Samuel 2:26
Man of God delivered a message to Eli 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. God will remove the priesthood from Eli’s family.
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 house, and he will minister before my anointed one always.  1 Samuel 2:35  Hannah’s treasure, her first boy son, will minister to the Kings of Israel.

Look at the illustration on the slide. Can you see that tiny period mark beside the word ME? In the realm of God’s universe, I am but a speck, a grain of sand, nothing of importance. Yet, God loves me and He loves you so very much that He was willing to become a man and die for my sins on the cross.

Deuteronomy 26:18   And the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands.

As the closed circle represents, now I am completely surrounded by His protection and grace. I trust Him completely with my greatest treasures; my children and my grandchildren. We have to believe that NOTHING, nothing can touch us that does not go through His hands. Psalm 91:11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;

Psalm 19:1The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. This is an actual photo found on the NASA site. Will you trust Him tonight with your greatest treasure?