Summary: The Lord Is the Cause of Stability in People’s Lives
The Horn of Stability
Scripture Text: 1 Samuel 1,2
Introduction: Instability in Financial Areas may be one example of how our lives are today. (Hurricanes, stocks, forclosures.)
Propositional Statement: The Lord Is the Cause of Stability in People’s Lives
I. Instability is caused by sin. (2:12-36) -In these verses, we find a contrast between the despicable acts of Eli’s sons and the careful fulfillment of worthy worship to God of Samuel. The people of Israel are much like any society. On one hand, you have those who will take advantage of their situations and the people around them; but on the other are people who live in such a way that upholds goodness, and righteousness.
A. Eli’s Sons Created Instability. They are spoken of as ‘sons of Belial;’ worthless men. They took what they could, and they did it with contempt. Verse 17 says, “the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for the men despised the offering of the Lord.” You see, when it comes to sin; it is not so much your own personal situation that you need to think about! Here, God is the one who is offended! Verses 28-29 say …. “Read…” God had given them freedom, an opportunity to worship Him in worthiness; and God questions…. HEARTFELT… “Why despise what I have asked you to do?”
ILLUS> The captain of the ship looked into the dark night and saw faint lights in the distance. Immediately he told his signalman to send a message" "Alter your course 10 degrees south." Promptly a return message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north."
The captain was angered; his command had been ignored. So he sent a second message: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am the captain!" Soon another message was received: "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am seaman third class Jones." Immediately the captain sent a third message, knowing the fear it would evoke: "Alter your course 10 degrees south--I am a battleship." Then the reply came "Alter your course 10 degrees north--I am a lighthouse."
In the midst of our dark and foggy times, all sorts of voices are shouting orders into the night, telling us what to do, how to adjust our lives. Out of the darkness, one voice signals something quite opposite to the rest--something almost absurd. But the voice happens to be the Light of the World, and we ignore it at our our peril. Paul Aiello, Jr.
B. Though we have such great sin and offense against God in Eli’s sons; we have a love of God and obedience from Samuel. In fact, verse 26 gives us one of the clues that Samuel typifies the coming Messiah in strength, holiness, and humility. It says, “Now the boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men.” Does this remind us of anyone? pause… Luke 2:40 describes Jesus in a similar way. “The child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.” From the time that Samuel was born, he was dedicated to God….first through the strength of his mother Hannah, and then through his own careful detail in worshipping God the way he described proper worship should be. Whereas Eli’s sons despised the offering; Samuel followed God’s instructions to the letter….or in a biblical expression, down to the jot and tittle.
Transition: Not only was stability, or the lack of it a topic here; but so was the seeking of God. In chapter 1, Hannah is an example of one who was anquished over instability in her life; prayed earnestly for a son, which was her heart’s desire; and praised God when He answered her prayer.
II. Instability is Calmed in Seeking Out God in Prayer (1:10-16) John Bunyan said, “He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day.” Hannah prayed deeply that God would remember her; that God would grant a specific request; and she prayed in a passionate way.
A. v. 11- “…. remember me, and not forget your maidservant…” Hannah was humble in prayer and expressed an attitude of humility. My first inclination here, was to think about ‘who is man?’ in the sight of God. The Bible affirms that despite the repeated and even sometimes stubborn refusal of man to obey God….even when it is in their own best interest…that God continues in loving-kindness towards man. A love that is merciful, gracious, and continual.
B. v. 11, further shows us that Hannah prayed specifically for what she wanted, in this case…a son. This made me think of ‘the Son,’ one who would be dedicated and consecrated to the Lord. Samuel would be one that would ‘stay forever’ and ‘that he may appear before the Lord.’ (ref. v.32).