Wednesday, 10th March 2021
Rev Daniel Xi An Poon
I Samuel 2 Honour the Lord, Despise the Lord
Section One: V1-11 The Declaration of Walking in Faith
V1-2 the Song of Hannah shows her appreciation for God. Her “heart” rejoices not because of what others do or don’t do, but because of the LORD. We should guard our hearts above all else, do not let our heart and our emotions be influenced by others, otherwise we will not be able to love others as ourselves. No one can understand our hearts except God. After so many years, Hannah learnt the lesson of not being influenced by people. Put our emotions in God, change our focus, and ask God for His forgiveness for us not relying on Him and being easily influenced by the people and circumstances.
Hannah knew she fought not by what she could do but by what God could do for her. Do not think we know everything, but humble ourselves before the Lord, let Him take over our lives. Our “enemies” are not those people around us but Satan, who will come and accuse us, saying that we are not capable and not good enough. But we should declare with our “smile” the power of the salvation from our Lord Jesus, and come out of the darkness and enter the wonderful light. The light is wonderful because it was supernatural, we cannot come to this light without God. When we take the communion, again we declare we are not in the sins and our eyesight will not stay in the past. We need to learn from our past mistakes and not to live in the sins anymore. With our hidden sins, we need to come to the Lord and ask for His forgiveness. When we still have a gap in our lives, it’s not because God cannot save but because of our lives.
V2 “No one is holy like the Lord” – We are not holy, and we cannot expect others to be holy, but to always examine ourselves, let the light come into our lives through the Word of God. No one is perfect and no one is righteous. The Lord rules and reigns, it easy for us to put our eyes on people, our leaders, our authorities, our parents, etc. but we do not see the God behind them.
V3 the song of Hannah is speaking to all mankind, to not be proud and not rely on ourselves. Do not think ‘we can’, but ‘through the One, who gives us strength’. God audits us, sees us closely so our “actions are weighed”, God knows our weaknesses and the gap is our lives, but so does the devil. So we need to be vigilant and come to Him for His strength every day.
V4-8 this section talks about the principles of how God works. People see things from their eyes, they look upon the bows of the mighty men and those who are girded with strength. We are taught by this world with a lot of knowledge and common sense, we thought we know how to live, but everything we have is all in God’s hands, He kills and makes alive. He can lift us from our past ash heap to a place of honour all by His grace. Help us to be humble, not to rely on our strength but by the Lord, our God.
V9-10 talks about the things that will happen in the future. God will guard the feet of the saints and give strength to His anointed. Hannah wrote this song during the time of Judges, when the people were acting in their wilfulness, but by faith she declared God’s protection and judgement. We need to believe no matter what our circumstances are, we should always trust in God, see the things that are yet to happen, by faith we can proclaim, and because of this faith, God will send His Holy Spirit to guide us!
Section Two: V12-17 The Actions of Walking in the Flesh Desires
The two sons of Eli were priests, but they “were corrupt”, and they did not know God. They thought they were priests, but God did not approve them. A lot of times we see ourselves more than we should. We wanted to do this and that, but actually God did not appoint us to do! What were the jobs of the priests? To offer upon God’s altar, to burn incense, and to wear am ephod before God (V28). But the ways Eli’s sons acted make the people of Israel abhor to offer sacrifices in the Temple of God.
We need to live out a good testimony in front of people and manage our emotions. Because when we allow our lustful desires to show without constraint, we are also stopping people to come to the Temple of God and to make offering. They no longer enjoy coming to the Temple of God because of what they saw on other people’s lustful lives. We need to ask God to help us learn how to make an atmosphere where people around us will love to come before God to give thanks and confess sins, and they are also willing to bring their life problems before us and receive salvation from God.
Section Three: V18-21 God is Real
The Song of Hannah was made after she brought Samuel to the Temple of the Lord, but here we can see God is real, because later God visited Hannah and she had more children! From the eyes of people, it seemed that she gave up on her only son, but when she was willing to give up for God, God has given her even more!
As parents we often worry if we serve God, then no one will look after our children, but when we are willing to offer ourselves as well as our children, then God will look after us. Every year Hannah visited Samuel and made him a new robe. We also need to provide for our children, be the wise parents, not to give them what are of the world but what are from the Kingdom of God!
Section Four: V22-36 God will Revenge
Eli did not deal with his sons’ sins; he did not see how his sons led the Israelites to sin. He avoided the serious teaching, and just like what God said, Eli respected his sons more than respecting God! Our education nowadays is also like this, we do not want to upset our children, but at the end we displeased God. As authority, we need to be faithful, and help people to see the problems in their lives, not to speak the words that only please people. In the same way, when our authority speaks to us about the problems of our lives, we need to have an open mind to listen and appreciate for their effort to help us improve. God is real and He will revenge, those who honours God will be honoured and those who despise God will be despised.
V31-36 When God said He would remove Eli’s family from the priesthood and set up a new priest, it did happen later as recorded in 1 Kings 2:26,27,35 through King Solomon. The word of God is true, so let us cherish what we have now. In the current generation, let us be humble, and let our hearts turn back to rely on God only.
Pursuit & Respond
Dear Holy Spirit, come to touch our hearts, when we are lighting up the Temple of God, let the light also shine in our hearts. Can we really rejoice in God? Examine our hearts to we see the confusion and wilfulness within us. We declare in the Name of Jesus, the old is gone and the new is here, through Jesus Christ, we will come out of darkness and enter into the wonderful light! We will start relying on God, not on ourselves and not on this world!
Lord, You look into our hearts, though we are weak but You strengthened us. You are real and You’re faithful, we have this grace and blessing in Your wonderful light. Help us to rejoice only in You, we want to respond to Your love, to love You and love others. So when people see us, they can see Your love and how real You are. When we are willing to give a little, You will give us even more! In the Name of Jesus, amen!
V1 “我的心”：我们的心不是因为别人做的事快乐 – 不会因为别人做了什么事而令我们不开心，也就是说我们为我们自己的心负责任 – 一生的果效由心而出。若能为自己的心负责，就不会轻易指责别人，不然就不能爱人如己。人会让我们跌倒，但我们要倚靠耶和华。我们服事神的人要将情绪放在神那里，不要让人影响我们因耶和华而快乐的心，要求神饶恕我们的任凭我们情绪崩溃。
V2 只有耶和华才是至圣的，所以我们不要要求任何一个人圣洁，不要用我们的尺子去量我们周围的亲人或权柄，不然我们很容易跌倒； “也没有磐石像我们的神”-我们不能倚靠世界，唯有倚靠耶和华，相信耶和华掌权，不要看我们自己的权柄或遮盖为磐石，要看到他们背后的神。若不能爱神所给我们的权柄或不能行他的诫命 “爱人如己” ，我们就不能爱神。
V6-8 “耶和华使人死，也使人活；…他从灰尘里抬举贫寒人，从粪堆中提拔穷乏人，使他们与王子同坐….” ！我们过去可能在粪堆中打滚，臭气熏天，但因着神的恩典，我们能从一无所有到被他提拔出来，与王子同坐，得到荣耀的座位。让我们单单倚靠耶和华，见证神的真实。
神“必保护圣民的脚步，使恶人在黑暗中寂然不动…必审判地极的人…” 。哈拿所处的是士师时代，国中无王，各人任意妄为，偏行己路，但哈拿在诗歌中宣告神必会保护，最后 “将力量赐予所立的王，高举受膏者的角” 。我们要相信黑暗必将过去，神会带我们进入他奇妙的光明。
V22 与V26是很大的对比: 一个是轻视耶和华的以利，一个是尊重神蒙神祝福的撒母耳。
V22-25， 以利不是第一天听到这些事情，但他没有好好处理。他没有跟儿子说他们自己犯了罪，只是说他们 “风声不好…使耶和华的百姓犯了罪” ，又避重就轻地说 “…谁能为他祈求” 。以利尊重他的儿子过于尊重神（V29）， 怕得罪自己的儿子，怕他们不开心。我们现今的教育也遇到这样的问题，但耶稣教导我们要在爱心里说诚实话 – 犯罪的就必然死，而不是怪别人有罪。我们作权柄的是否对我们下面牧养的人说诚实话，帮助他们看到他们生命的问题，而不是只会说鼓励的话？神是会报应的，他很真实， “因为尊重我的，我必重看他；藐视我的，他必被轻视。” 求神帮助我们不要怕人，单要怕神，要帮助我们牧养的人在死亡前回头，勇敢说出真理。同理，当我们的权柄跟我们讲出生命的问题以提升我们时，我们要懂得感恩，不要轻易受伤。
V31-36，神在这里说要将以利整个祭司家族拿走，另立新的祭司。在列王纪上2章26，27 和35节，神借着所罗门王废去以利的后裔 亚比亚他而另立撒都为祭司。神的话是真实的，求神帮助我们珍惜所拥有的。在这样一个世代，让我们愿意谦卑，让我们的心回转倚靠神。