Read the Bible | April 10th1
1 Samuel 1
The Birth of Samuel
 There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite.  He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
 Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD.  On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters.  But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb.  And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.  So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.  And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”
 After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD.  She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly.  And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
 As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.  Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.  And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.”  But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD.  Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.”  Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.”  And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.  And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the LORD.”
Samuel Given to the LORD
 The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow.  But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the LORD and dwell there forever.”  Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the LORD establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him.  And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh. And the child was young.  Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.  And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD.  For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him.  Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD.”
And he worshiped the LORD there.
1 Samuel 2
 And Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the LORD;
my horn is exalted in the LORD.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.
 “There is none holy like the LORD:
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.
 Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the LORD is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
 The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble bind on strength.
 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
 The LORD kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
 The LORD makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and he exalts.
 He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD's,
and on them he has set the world.
 “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail.
 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces;
against them he will thunder in heaven.
The LORD will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy was ministering to the LORD in the presence of Eli the priest.
Eli's Worthless Sons
 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD.  The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,  and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.  Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw.”  And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force.”  Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD, for the men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt.
 Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy clothed with a linen ephod.  And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.  Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the LORD give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the LORD.” So then they would return to their home.
 Indeed the LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the LORD.
Eli Rebukes His Sons
 Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting.  And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people.  No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad.  If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the LORD to put them to death.
 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and also with man.
The LORD Rejects Eli's Household
 And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh?  Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel.  Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’  Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.  Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.  Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever.  The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep his eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants of your house shall die by the sword of men.  And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day.  And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever.  And everyone who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and shall say, “Please put me in one of the priests' places, that I may eat a morsel of bread.”’”
1 Samuel 3
The LORD Calls Samuel
 Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD in the presence of Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.
 At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his own place.  The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was.
 Then the LORD called Samuel, and he said, “Here I am!”  and ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.
 And the LORD called again, “Samuel!” and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”  Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, and the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy.  Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
 And the LORD came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”  Then the LORD said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which the two ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.  On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.  And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.  Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
 Samuel lay until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli.  But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he said, “Here I am.”  And Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.”  So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD. Let him do what seems good to him.”
 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.  And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the LORD.  And the LORD appeared again at Shiloh, for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the LORD.
Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees
 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.  Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
Have No Fear
 “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.  But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!  Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God.  Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
Acknowledge Christ Before Men
 “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God,  but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.  And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.  And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say,  for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
The Parable of the Rich Fool
 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”  But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?”  And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”  And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully,  and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’  And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’  So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”
Do Not Be Anxious
 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.  For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.  Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?  Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!  And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried.  For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.  Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.
 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys.  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.