Daily Encouragement

May 7 – Elkanah: Not Quite Abraham … Not Quite Isaac

1 Samuel 1:1-2:21
John 5:1-23
Psalm 105:37-45
Proverbs 14:28-29

1 Samuel 1:2 — In case you think the Bible is endorsing polygamy, see what 1 Samuel 1:6-7 says about the immediate results of this situation, and then consider the social context of Judges (hint: it involves a lot of sins), as well as what we see in the next verse.

1 Samuel 1:3 — If we interpret as Barnes suggests, then the Israelites were only celebrating one feast as opposed to the three celebrations called for in Exodus 23:14 and Exodus 34:23.

1 Samuel 1:8 — Like many men today, Elkanah offered his wife advice that did not help!

1 Samuel 1:10 — Psalm 113:9 says the LORD “maketh the barren woman to keep house and to be a joyful mother of children.” (KJV) Unlike Sarah (Genesis 16:2), Hannah did not take things into her own hands. She knew there were promises she could claim (Exodus 23:26, Deuteronomy 7:14), and so like Isaac, she entreated the LORD (Genesis 25:21). If her husband had read the Torah, would he have responded like Isaac and entreated the Lord? Instead, he replied, “… am not I better to thee than ten sons?”, and he let his wife suffer alone.

English: Biblical illustrations by Jim Padgett, courtesy of Sweet Publishing, Ft. Worth, TX, and Gospel Light, Ventura, CA. Copyright 1984. Released under new license, CC-BY-SA 3.0

1 Samuel 1:14 — Eli did not have the gift of discernment. He couldn’t tell the difference between prayer and drunkenness. He couldn’t tell that his kids were sons of Belial (1 Samuel 2:12), or that the people abhorred the offering (1 Samuel 2:17) until he was very old (1 Samuel 2:22). He couldn’t honor God above his sons (1 Samuel 2:29), and he could barely recognize the voice of the LORD; it took him three tries (1 Samuel 3:8).

John 5:8 — In 1 Samuel 2:8 (the verse that we read earlier today), Hannah said that the LORD lifts up the beggar. Jesus lifted up this certain man who no longer needed to beg.

John 5:14 — In Luke 17:15, we see only one of the ten lepers came back to thank Jesus, and that leper received salvation in addition to healing (Luke 17:19). The man in our passage today didn’t get what Jesus was saying (John 5:7), and so didn’t thank Jesus (John 5:9). We also find out that he didn’t know Jesus’ name (John 5:13) and quite possibly couldn’t even recognize Jesus (remember that Jesus approached him, he didn’t approach Jesus). Interestingly, Jesus told him the same thing He told the woman caught in adultery (John 8:11).

Psalm 105:45 — God funded His people, delivered His people, fed His people, watered His people, provided lands for His people, and all He asks is obedience!

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