Date: November 15, 2015
Summary: We are the one body of Jesus Christ, with Christ on the Throne. Let us then encourage one another as God encourages us boundlessly.
1 Samuel 1:4-20 (CEB)
Whenever he sacrificed, Elkanah would give parts of the sacrifice to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But he would give only one part of it to Hannah, though he loved her, because the Lord had kept her from conceiving. And because the Lord had kept Hannah from conceiving, her rival would make fun of her mercilessly, just to bother her. So that is what took place year after year. Whenever Hannah went to the Lord’s house, Peninnah would make fun of her. Then she would cry and wouldn’t eat anything.
“Hannah, why are you crying?” her husband Elkanah would say to her. “Why won’t you eat? Why are you so sad? Aren’t I worth more to you than ten sons?”
One time, after eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah got up and presented herself before the Lord. (Now Eli the priest was sitting in the chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s temple.) Hannah was very upset and couldn’t stop crying as she prayed to the Lord. Then she made this promise: “Lord of heavenly forces, just look at your servant’s pain and remember me! Don’t forget your servant! Give her a boy! Then I’ll give him to the Lord for his entire life. No razor will ever touch his head.”
As she kept praying before the Lord, Eli watched her mouth. Now Hannah was praying in her heart; her lips were moving, but her voice was silent, so Eli thought she was drunk.
“How long will you act like a drunk? Sober up!” Eli told her.
“No sir!” Hannah replied. “I’m just a very sad woman. I haven’t had any wine or beer but have been pouring out my heart to the Lord. Don’t think your servant is some good-for-nothing woman. This whole time I’ve been praying out of my great worry and trouble!”
Eli responded, “Then go in peace. And may the God of Israel give you what you’ve asked from him.”
“Please think well of me, your servant,” Hannah said. Then the woman went on her way, ate some food, and wasn’t sad any longer.
They got up early the next morning and worshipped the Lord. Then they went back home to Ramah. Elkanah had sex with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, which means “I asked the Lord for him.”
Hebrews 10:11-25 (NRSV)
And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, “he sat down at the right hand of God,” and since then has been waiting “until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.” For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds,”
he also adds,
“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.