TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 2:12-26
TO CHEW ON: "Meanwhile the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord....And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people." 1 Samuel 2:21, 26
Do you think it’s possible to live as a Christian in a neighborhood where you have no friends who love Jesus? What about in a school where people tease you if they find out you read the Bible, or in a family where you’re the only one who trusts in God and prays?
You would expect for little Samuel, the tabernacle, where people came to worship God, would be the easiest place in the world to get to know God. But it wasn’t. Instead, it was a place full of rebellion, disobedience and sin.
The trouble was not with Eli, the old priest, but with his sons. They had no respect for God and pretty much did as they pleased. They demanded offering meat before it was ready and had sex with the servant girls who worked near the Tabernacle. Even after Eli scolded them, they didn’t change.
Meanwhile Samuel was growing up. Every year he got stronger and taller. Every year his parents...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 28:3-20
TO CHEW ON: "He inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him . . . . Saul then said to his attendants, 'Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.'” 1 Samuel 28:6,7
The Philistines were threatening again and Saul was terrified. He wanted to talk to God and find out what to do. But Samuel had died, Saul had killed the priests, and no prophet came with any message. God was silent.
In desperation Saul asked his servants to find a medium. A medium was a person who could contact the spirits of dead people and get messages from them. But this power came from Satan and not God. God had commanded Saul to rid the land of all mediums and spiritists.
Still Saul’s men managed to find a medium. Saul disguised himself and went to her house. He persuaded her to try to bring up the spirit of Samuel so Saul could talk to him.
Soon the woman saw something coming out of the ground. And then Samuel’s voice filled the room, “Why have you disturbed me?...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 25:14-20; 32-35
TO CHEW ON: "David said to Abigail, 'Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgement and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.'” 1 Samuel 25: 32,33
Many people loyal to David began to join him in the cave where he was hiding. Eventually David and his men moved from caves to the desert. While they were there, some shepherds, the servants of a man named Nabal, were herding sheep nearby. David and his men made friends with the shepherds. They protected their flocks from wild animals and bandits.
After the shepherds had taken the sheep home, David heard that Nabal was going to throw a party for his servants. This would be a good time to get a meal from Nabal in payment for protecting him, David thought. He sent one of his men to Nabal with a polite note, asking if he and his men could come to the party.
Nabal, who was very rich, but also very selfish, answered David’s servant roughly. “Why should I take the food I make...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 9:15-20
TO CHEW ON: "Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel: 'About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him leader over my people Israel...'” 1 Samuel 9:15,16
When Samuel told the people to go home after they had asked for a king, he didn’t know who that king would be. But God did.
Some time after that some donkeys got lost. Their owner Kish, from tribe of Benjamin, sent his son Saul and a servant to look for them. They walked for miles and miles but they couldn't find the donkeys. Finally Saul was ready to give up. “We’d better go home,” he said, “or Dad will start worrying about us.”
“Let’s try just one more thing,” the servant suggested. “A prophet lives nearby. Let’s ask him if he knows where the donkeys are.”
Meanwhile Samuel, the prophet, had heard from God. God had told him, “Tomorrow I will send a man to you from the tribe of Benjamin. He will be the new king.”
The next day Samuel was walking outside his house when along came a tall, handsome stranger. “Do you know where the prophet’s...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 13:7-14
TO CHEW ON: "He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. So he said, 'Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.' And Saul offered up the burnt offering." 1 Samuel 13:8,9
One day after Saul had been king for a while, Saul’s son Jonathan attacked a Philistine outpost. This was like poking a stick into a wasp’s nest. Immediately the Philistines gathered their army and came against the Israelites to fight.
Saul’s army was only two thousand men. In a panic he sent trumpeters through the land to call back the rest of the army and anyone else able to fight. Then he and his men waited. They waited for more soldiers to come. They also waited for Samuel, the prophet and priest, to offer a sacrifice and ask for God’s help. Saul knew that it would be useless to go to war without that.
Meanwhile every day the Philistine army grew larger. It swelled to three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers and thousands upon thousands of soldiers.
The men in Saul’s army watched and grew more terrified by the hour. Soon they lost...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL:1 Samuel 16:1-13
TO CHEW ON: "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people looks at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” 1 Samuel 16:7
For a long time Samuel felt sad about Saul and way he had turned out as king. One day God said to him, “Stop feeling bad about Saul. Today I want you to anoint a new king.” Then God told him where to go (Bethlehem) and which family the new king would come from (Jesse’s).
When he got to Bethlehem, he invited Jesse and his sons to join him and other people in offering a sacrifice to God. Then he asked Jesse to introduce him to his sons.
The first son, Eliab, was tall and handsome – just like a king. But God said, “Don’t judge by his height and good looks. I see his heart, and I have rejected him.”
The same thing happened when Jesse’s second son met Samuel, and the third, and the fourth, all the way to number seven....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 26:1-12
TO CHEW ON: "But David said to Abishai, 'Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?'” 1 Samuel 26:9
Messengers came running to Saul. “We’ve seen David,” they said. “We can tell you where he is!” So Saul took three thousand soldiers and went to the place the messengers had said.
David had his own spies. They knew exactly when Saul arrived and where his army was camped. One day David went to the hill overlooking Saul’s camp. As he peered down, he saw Saul asleep in the middle of all the soldiers. Even his bodyguard, Abner, was asleep.
After dark, David and his friend Abishai crept down the hill and into the camp. They tiptoed right past all the sleeping soldier to the place where Saul lay.
“Here’s your chance,” whispered Abishai. “God is giving Saul into your hands. Let me kill him for you.”
“No!” David said. “He’s the king that God chose. It’s up to God whether he lives or dies. I won’t lay a hand on him.” But David took Saul’s spear and the water jug that was close to his head. Then they left the camp as quietly as...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 18:1-16
TO CHEW ON: "Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. 'They have credited David with tens of thousands,' he thought, 'but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?' And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David." 1 Samuel 18: 8.9
David’s victory over Goliath sparked a big celebration. All the women in towns along the road from the battlefield to the palace came out to cheer. They had tambourines and lutes and sang a song:
“Saul has slain his thousandand David his ten thousands.”
When Saul heard this, he grew very jealous. They were praising David more than him. Next they’d want to crown David king.
Because David was now a famous warrior, Saul invited him to stay at the palace. David had actually been at the palace before, to play the harp for Saul. He did this to calm Saul when an evil spirit bothered him.
The day after they got back, the evil spirit came to Saul again and he asked David to play his calming music. This time, though, Saul’s jealousy was too strong. As David was playing, Saul took up a spear and threw it at...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 3:1-21
TO CHEW ON: "The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, 'Samuel! Samuel!'Then Samuel said, 'Speak for your servant is listening.'” 1 Samuel 3:10
One night after everyone had gone to bed, Samuel heard Eli call him. Because Eli was very old and blind, Samuel helped him with many things and was used to coming when Eli called. Now Samuel jumped out of bed and ran to Eli. “Here I am,” he said. “You called me.”
“No I didn’t,” answered Eli. “Go back to bed.”"Eli and Samuel" Original oil painting © 2001 by Darlene Slavujac Thau
A few minutes later, Samuel thought he heard Eli call his name again, and again he jumped out of bed to see what Eli wanted. Again Eli sent him back to bed.
When this happened a third time, Eli thought of something. Maybe this was God wanting to speak to Samuel. So he said, “Go and lie down. If He calls you a third time say, ‘Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.’”
So Samuel went back bed. Sure enough, in a few minutes the voice came again, “Samuel! Samuel!”...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 17:38-50
TO CHEW ON: "All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s and he will give all of you into our hands." 1 Samuel 17:47
Though Samuel had anointed David as Israel’s next king, Saul continued to rule. And Israel was still fighting their old enemy the Philistines. At one time instead of fighting with their whole army, the Philistines picked a nine-foot giant named Goliath to challenge Saul’s soldiers. “Pick one man to fight me,” he shouted. “If he wins, we’ll be your slaves. But if he loses, you’ll be our slaves.”
For forty days Goliath came out and challenged the army like this. Of course no one volunteered. Instead, each day the men grew more afraid and intimidated.
Meanwhile, David was still looking after sheep. One day his dad asked him to check on his brothers at the battlefront and take them some food. He went and had just found his brothers when Goliath came out to shout his daily challenge. “Pick a man to fight me,” he bellowed. “Why aren’t you coming? Are you chicken?”
David heard him and was shocked. “Why...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 7:2-13
TO CHEW ON: "Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far has the Lord helped us.'” 1 Samuel 7:12
God’s predictions for Eli’s family soon came true. The next time the Israelites were losing against the Philistines, someone suggested they bring the ark to the battlefield to help them win. So Eli's his sons brought the ark. But the Philistines beat them anyway. On top of that they killed Eli's sons and took the ark back home with them.
The Philistines didn’t keep it long though. Because wherever they took it, sickness broke out. They soon sent it back to Israel where it was stored in a little town. But even then the Philistines didn’t stop hassling the Israelites. They were as cruel and bossy as ever.
This went on for twenty years. By now Samuel was a grown man. The people began coming to him for advice. “What can we do to defeat these Philistines?” they asked.
1. Here are some things Samuel could have told him. What did he say? (1 Samuel 7:3)A. Conscript more soldiers and build a bigger army.B. Do sword practice three hours a...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 15:17-26
TO CHEW ON: "Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams." 1 Samuel 15:22
Samuel came to Saul one day to give him a new job from God. He was to fight Israel’s old enemy, the Amalekites. After the battle was over, Samuel gave him plain instructions not to let any person or animal escape alive.
Saul’s army won easily. Then they did as Samuel told them and destroyed all the people. But they kept the best cattle and Saul saved the life of king Agag.
After the battle God talked to Samuel. “Saul hasn’t carried out my instructions,” He said.
So Samuel went to find Saul. When Saul saw him he was all smiles. “I did exactly what God told me to,” he said.
“Then what are the sounds of sheep and cattle I hear?” Samuel asked.
“The soldiers kept those,” Saul said. “They’re planning to sacrifice these animals to God. I destroyed all the people just like you told me to. I only kept Agag the king.”
But Samuel wasn’t fooled by the Saul's excuses. “God wants...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 8:1-21
TO CHEW ON: "But the people refused to listen to Samuel. 'No!' they said. We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations. . . .'” 1 Samuel 8:19,20
Samuel judged Israel till he was an old man. Then he appointed his sons to be judges after him. But they were not fair and wise like Samuel their father had been. So the people didn’t want them as rulers. Instead they wanted a king. They wanted to be just like the nations around them.
Samuel warned them that a king would give them a whole new set of problems. Name five of the disadvantages of having a king Samuel lists. A king will (1 Samuel 8:10-18):1. ___2. ___3. ___4. ___5. ___
In spite of this, the people insisted. They thought that if they had a king like everybody else, they would win wars and be as strong as their enemies.
Samuel felt hurt by this request. He felt as if the people had rejected him. But God told him, “It isn’t you they’ve rejected, but Me. Even so, listen to them and give them a king.”
The Israelites didn’t realize that it wasn’t the outward...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 10:1-9
TO CHEW ON: “The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” 1 Samuel 10:6,7
The next day Samuel sent Saul back home. Just before they parted, Samuel took out a bottle of oil and poured some on Saul’s head. Anointing him in this way showed that Saul was God’s choice to be Israel’s king.
1.To make sure that Saul knew this was God’s idea and not just Samuel’s, Samuel predicted some things that would happen to Saul in the next few hours. Which thing Samuel did not say: (1 Samuel 10:2-6)...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 20:32-42
TO CHEW ON: "Jonathan said to David, 'Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the Lord saying, "The Lord is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever."'” 1 Samuel 20:42
King Saul’s jealousy meant that the palace was no longer a safe place for David. Saul even told his servants and his son Jonathan to kill David if they got the chance. So David left to live somewhere else. This made Jonathan sad. He liked David a lot. In fact, you could say they were best friends.
One day Prince Jonathan asked his father, “Why are you trying to kill David? He doesn’t mean you any harm.”
“You’re probably right,” King Saul answered. He promised to stop trying to kill David. Then Jonathan convinced David to come back and live in the palace again. But no sooner had he moved back when again Saul tried to kill him and David had to run for his life....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: I Samuel 1:20-29
TO CHEW ON: “I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:27,28
Have you ever made a promise that later you wished you didn’t have to keep? Perhaps you promised your brother that if he’d deliver your papers, you’d do his chores. Or you promised your parents if they gave you what you wanted, you’d never beg for things again. Or maybe you made a promise to God that if He answered your prayer, you’d do something special for Him.
Hannah had made a big promise to God. She told Him if He gave her a baby, she would give that baby back to God for his whole life.
God answered Hannah’s prayer with baby Samuel. How thrilled she was! She loved dressing him, feeding him and playing with him. But every time she looked at him, she also remembered her promise. She knew that if she kept it, she wouldn’t be keeping little Samuel. I wonder if she ever wished she could take back that promise.
The year Samuel...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 1:1-18
TO CHEW ON: “'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.'” 1 Samuel 1:15
An Israelite man named Elkanah had two wives. Their names were Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none. This made her very sad.
Whenever the family went on their yearly trip to Shiloh to worship at the temple, Elkanah would give Hannah an offering twice as big as Peninnah’s because he loved her even though she didn’t have children. Then Peninnah, jealous of Hannah's big offering, teased Hannah and reminded her that she didn’t have the one thing she wanted most - a child.
One year, when this happened again, Hannah was so distressed she couldn’t even eat. Instead she went by herself to the temple to pray. Tears flowed down her cheeks as she silently talked to God, only moving her lips. She begged for a son. She even made a promise or vow to God. If God would give her a son, she would (1 Samuel 1:11) _______________
The priest Eli was sitting in the temple watching her....
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