Thursday, January 19, 2012

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?