Year 2 Day 161
Read - 1 Samuel 1:1-3
Message - Alan Burke
Today we may look around us with wonder at the spiritual and moral decline of the society we live in. We might conclude that everyone does what is right in their own eyes but I suggest we have some way to go before that is the case. As we come to the book of Samuel it was towards the end of the period of the Judges and we are told ‘every man did what was right in his own eyes’ (Jdg 21:25). The spiritual and moral decline in the society that surrounds us has nothing on what it was like in those days. In such a time when every man did what was right in his own eyes, we are introduced to a ‘certain man’ Elkanah (1). You could summarise what we are told by saying this is Mr Average from nowhere important, but what makes this so significant is that in the days when everyone did what was right in his own eyes this man took his family, year after year to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh (3).
He was a man to whom God mattered, his faith was important to him, even though he lived in a time when every man did what was right in his own eyes but Elkanah did not. He knew his need of God and that as a sinner the shedding of blood is needed to cover sin. The sacrifices that he brought year after year, like all the Old Testament sacrifices pointed forward to the shedding of Blood of the lamb of God Jesus Christ. For Elkanah and all those who had faith in the Old Testament they were saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, looking ahead to the coming of Christ. When John the Baptist said “Behold, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), he was seeing Christ as the perfect Passover lamb, who would die to make a once and forever atonement for sin for all these who have believed throughout the ages.
It is through the faith of this man or rather this family God was at work, in bringing about a new leader in this time of spiritual bareness. His wife Hannah who was unable to have children came and would cry out to the Lord there at Shiloh (12). Hannah trusted that the Lord that he was sovereign over all that was taking place even though she had no children, even though she was unable to have children. But God was at work, for just like Sarah who was unable to have children, Rebekah, Rachel, God was working according to his plans and purposes and the original readers of Samuel would have had this in the back of their mind and hearing this they would have known that God was going to do something significant in redemptive history, in his plan of salvation.
For us we think that things look bleak around us but likewise we can be assured that God is at work. This opening scene seems almost irrelevant in the unfolding of redemptive history in this ordinary family but God was using it for his purposes and his glory. Likewise God continues to use his people as we seek to live for his glory and is at work in the midst of all that is taking place in this world. He his sovereign and by his providence What are God’ s works of providence he by his most holy, (Ps. 145:17) wise, (Ps. 104:24, Isa. 28:29) and powerful preserving, (Heb. 1:3) and governing all his creatures, and all their actions. (Ps. 103:19, Matt. 10:29–31).
Q 47 What is forbidden in the first commandment?
The first commandment forbiddeth the denying, (Ps. 14:1) or not worshipping and glorifying the true God as God, (Rom. 1:21) and our God; (Ps. 81:10–11) and the giving of that worship and glory to any other, which is due to him alone. (Rom. 1:25–26)