• For context:
    1. Hannah, Samuel’s mother, dedicates him back to God because she was barren, and Samuel was absolutely an answered prayer.
    2. Once Samuel was weened she brought him to the temple with (3) bullocks, an ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, made sacrifice, and left Samuel with the priest Eli to be brought up under the Word of the Lord.
      • 1 Samuel 1:24-28 – “24And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young. 25And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. 26And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. 27For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: 28Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.”
    3. Through her affliction of not being able to have a child (the Lord had shut up her womb), being ridiculed by Peninnah (Elkanah’s other wife who had children), receiving sympathy from Elkanah her husband, and being accused of drunkenness by the priest Eli we see in 1 Samuel 2 that she has gained some wisdom and enlightenment.
      • 1 Samuel 2:2-3 – (Prayer of Hannah)“2There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. 3Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”
      • 1 Samuel 2:6-7 – “6The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. 7The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.”
  • I like to think some of the wisdom God imparted in Hannah through her circumstances trickled down. That during her time weening Samuel, he picked up on the lessons she had learned.
    1. 1 Samuel 3:1-7 – “1And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision. 2And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see; 3And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; 4That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I. 5And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down. 6And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again. 7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.”
      • No hesitation!
      • Ready and willing!
      • No questions asked!
      • And don’t even find out until verse 7, he hadn’t even KNOWN the LORD yet, nor the Word of the LORD.
  • Are you ready to go into the thick of it?
    1. Gird thy loins
      • Job 38
        • As much as we know, we don’t really know much at all.
        • Do you think a Sunday morning pew sitting Christian is going to STAND when the devil rips the fiber of his being to shreds before his very eyes?
        • Job was prepared to go into the thick of it, desirous to do so or not.
        • Proverbs 22:3 – “A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.”
        • 1 Corinthians 16:13 – “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
        • Matthew 25:13 – “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.”
          • We have no clue what may take place in between now and the time Jesus returns.
          • Plenty of guesses out there on how it will all play out, and some are really studied through and insightful.
          • But nobody knows and we don’t have foresight.
        • I’d be a fool to become complacent as a powdered pew Christian.
          1. Almost every person in the bible we read about had their time of going into the thick of it for the honor and glory of God.
            • Job had everything but his life torn from him.
            • Samson died in his battles against the Philistines after having his strength stolen and being blinded and bound.
            • Daniel was ripped from his home and persecuted in his beliefs.
            • Joseph was sold by his own family, wrongfully imprisoned, and forgotten about.
            • Nehemiah and the others built that wall with a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other.
            • David was pursued by the previous king, Saul, and pursued by the sons and brother of Goliath, and pursued by his very own son, Absalom.
              • We always want to look at the encouraging endings of these stories to make the trivial afflictions in our life feel a little lighter, but we neglect the fact that these people ENDURED.
            • INTO THE THICK OF IT
              1. Jonah 3:1-10 – “1And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 2Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. 3So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey. 4And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 5So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 8But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. 9Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 10And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.”
                • A full days journey to the center, exhausted from lack of rest for multiple days, filthy and stinking of fish innards, preaching repentance in the midst of the vilest place known to man at the time.
  • When God says its time to go into the thick of it!
  • Will you reply, HERE AM I?
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