Tag Archives: 1 Samuel

1 Samuel 4 (SN)

1 Samuel 4 – Pastor Mark Neely


Desert Song – Hillsong
Give Us Clean Hands – Charlie Hall
Refiner’s Fire – Brian Doerksen
From The Inside Out – Hillsong
It Is Well – Traditional

This chapter is one of the saddest chapters in 1 Samuel. The Philistines encamped against Israel, and Israel decided to go to battle without first seeking the Lord. That was their first mistake. In this first military encounter, they are thoroughly routed by the Philistines. You would think that they learned their lesson from the first battle, but they didn’t. They go back home, and get the ingenious idea to bring out the Ark of the Covenant. They figured that since it had worked in the past to defeat enemies, it would work again. This thinking was false, and in addition to being crushed again, the ark was captured.

The biggest thing we can learn from this mistake is that God can never be put into a box. The Israelites figured that they could just take their magic genie with them and it would all work out in the end. They had superstition in God, not faith in God. The thing is, God really doesn’t like to do things our way. In fact, He delights in doing things the opposite of our way. He can’t be put into a box either. They learned this the hard way.

But really how different are we? What’s the difference between what they did, and confining God to church? God does not exist to be a last resort when things get rough for us. True, He is an ever-present help in trouble, but He should always be on the forefront of our minds. I know that I’m often guilty of only resorting to prayer for “big” things, but God wants to be in constant communication.

The point: God is not a lucky charm; He’s God.

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1 Samuel 3 (SN)

1 Samuel 3 – Pastor Mark Neely


All Who Are Thirsty – Vineyard UK
10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman
The Stand – Hillsong United
I Surrender All – Traditional
10,000 Reasons (Reprise)

In this chapter, God calls Samuel to be His prophet, and teaches us some pretty cool things along the way. Since this is so late, I’ll keep it short and sweet.

First off, we see that God calls Samuel while he’s sleeping. Lesson to learn here: God calls us on His timing, not ours.

Next, we see that at first Samuel doesn’t recognize God’s voice; he thinks that it’s his surrogate father Eli’s voice. There’s a few things here. First, Samuel was raised in “church”. His whole life was devoted to the service of God. Somehow, he didn’t recognize God’s voice. Just because a person is “churched” does not mean that they know God. It is not until God calls a person that they can hear Him.

Finally, Eli figures out what’s up and tells Samuel to go back to bed and tell God, “Speak, for your servant hears”. Samuel hears God’s voice a third time, and responds. This goes to show that ultimately, man still has the responsibility to listen to God. We have to let God speak to us before He can work.

What did I take home? Take the time to listen to God. He wants to speak, I just need to listen.

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Sermon Notes: 1 Samuel Ch. 2

1 Samuel 2 – Pastor Mark Neely


Everlasting God – Brenton Brown
O Praise Him – David Crowder* Band
Victory – Gateway Worship
How Great Thou Art – Traditional
Desert Song – Hillsong United

Here we have Hannah giving thanks to God for the miracle of her conception. As we saw last week, she was barren, but God gave her a son.  In return, she dedicated him to a life of service in the temple. This praise that she has for God is pretty cool. She isn’t trying to interject anything of herself, she’s just telling everybody how awesome God is. She’s telling God how awesome He is. Here’s a few excerpts:

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.

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.

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.”

A few themes:

1) There is nobody like God. Duh. He’s GOD. I need to be reminded of this though because it’s way too easy to forget.

2) God is in control at all times. On top of that, He doesn’t necessarily follow our expectations. In Hannah’s case, He gave her a child. In her praise, He takes the poor and makes them rich, giving them opportunities they would never have in and of themselves.

3) God is judge, and all will answer to Him. It’s interesting to note that Peninah (Hannah’s rival) is never heard from again from this point forward. Hannah continues to bear children, six in all.

So the really cool thing here is how Hannah praises God for who He is, even though the circumstances weren’t perfect for her. She knew that she was rarely going to see her firstborn son, but she also knew that God was going to get massive glory through it. Samuel turns out to be one of Israel’s greatest prophets.

Take home: praise God, even when circumstances don’t necessarily look perfect; God knows what He’s doing. And it’s going to be awesome.

The chapter has a bunch of other stuff about Eli’s sons really messing things up in the temple, but I think I’ll leave this post as it is for now.

Fact of Life: I don’t care how many times I sing it, How Great Thou Art is still my favorite ever. Seriously.

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