We’re rolling right along in the 90 Day Challenge. We’ve already covered 21 days. Let’s see…how many books did we read this week? Four–count ’em–FOUR books: Joshua, Judges, Ruth and I Samuel.
I’m definetely thrilled to be reading narratives instead of laws even if I don’t always understand what those guys (and girls) were thinking (or even what God was thinking, I’ll be honest)!
I had a crazy hectic week full of appointments, unexpected travel and whatnot. I did get behind for a bit, but I was able to complete all my readings. In fact, I think I put down my Bible right as the clock struck twelve last night. That’s right, I caught up before the new week began (even if it was a close call). Woot! Woot!
As usual, here are some of my observations and questions that I gathered from week three’s readings:
- Hannah wanted a baby more than anything, yet she willingly gave Samuel up once he was weaned. That led me to wonder: did she want to conceive simply to get rid of the “shame” of infertility (a.k.a. Did she just want to say “Take that, Penninah!,” the baby-making machine/other wife who was giving her nothing but grief)? She gave God glory for giving her a son, but she never asked for another. It just seems a little strange…natural inclination would be that if you gave up your only child and you wanted to be a parent, you would ask for another. Of course, God gave her other children, but she never asked for them. It just seemed like she wasn’t so much desperate to be a parent as she was to get Penninah off her back.
- I almost hate to write this, but it keeps coming up so I’m just going to say it: did/does God have a hand in infertility? I can’t count how many times I’ve read, “the Lord had closed her womb.” If you’ve ever struggled with infertility, I apologize; I definitely don’t want to rub salt in a wound. Still, I’ve read it several times scattered throughout the most of the books thus far, so I have to address it. Sometimes, the English wording can be a little off of the original intent. I’m hoping, hoping, hoping that it’s just some kind of translation issue or that God will help me better understand it. Insights anyone?
- Surely I’m not the only one who ever looks up to the heavens and says, “Hey, God! We could use some talking donkeys or writing on the wall or audible voices about now!” I know there are all kinds of theological reasonings about why God doesn’t do as many signs and wonders these days, but it still seems kind of unfair. *pout* However, I’d never noticed this little gem of a verse before: …In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions (I Samuel 3:1). This was when Samuel started serving alongside Eli. So, basically they were operating at the same level of blind-faith as we are (I don’t think there were any eye-witnesses left who could testify about God’s wonders in Egypt and in the desert)!
- I’ve noticed more instances where God’s Spirit came upon people. I also noticed that at least twice (once with Sampson & once with Saul) that anger and super-strength followed after the Spirit of God came upon them. Weird.
- In I Samuel 13, Saul’s impatience led him to do something dishonorable (he offered the sacrifices himself instead of waiting on the priests). Ultimately, that cost him his kingship. I will try to keep that in mind next time I want to take the chocolate chip cookies out of the oven a little early. 😉
- “…to obey is better than sacrifice..” I Samuel 15:22
- (I Samuel 15) Saul sinned because “he was afraid of the people and gave in to them.” Peer pressure has been around for a loooong time.
- Okay, here’s a humdinger: “Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.” (I Samuel 16:14) Was your reaction the same as mine: “Whaaaaa???” How could evil exist in a good God? Why would He send evil to someone? Good news (I think?)–the word is also translated to be an injurious or harmful spirit. That’s a little better…I guess. I have not researched this at all (you know, I’m sticking with my philosophy of “read now, study later”), but I wondered if this “harmful spirit” is something akin to depression? There are instances–like when he was listening to David’s music (doing things he enjoyed)—“…Then relief would come to Saul; he would feel better, and the evil spirit would leave him.” (I Samuel 16:23). I don’t know. I’ll try to sort it out later!
- I Samuel 20:18–I had never really noticed this verse before, but it was actually used at my great-grandmother’s funeral this week, so it caught my eye. You know Jonathan and David were BFF’s, right? David was getting ready to take off and hide from Saul (who wanted to kill him) and Jonathan, of course, was helping him escape. They were getting ready to celebrate the New Moon Feast (Yeah…I don’t know what it is…) and Jonathan said to David: “You will be missed, because your seat will be empty.” If you’ve ever missed a loved one or a friend, then you know exactly how Jonathan was feeling.
That’s all for this week. I’d love to hear how you’re doing on the B90Day Challenge. Also, if you have any insights/comments on these scripture passages, please share!