April 9

Luke 12:1-34

Jesus speaks out against hypocrisy, which is play acting, like when actors would put on a mask to hide their true identity. Why would a child of God put on a mask? Why pretend? The purpose is to hide the true heart to gain the approval of others, perhaps even an attempt to gain the approval of God. However, when our hearts are humble, we receive the grace of God and cease attempts to earn God’s favor. It is a gift of God!

In verses 4-5 we are told to fear the Lord. This fear is not a tormenting fear, but a respect and awe that leads us to reliant obedience. It has action that rests in grace. It has trust that has confidence, as in verse 7, “Do not fear.” You have so much value to the Lord!

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is a rejection of the saving work He does. Instead of rejecting salvation, let’s accept it and receive the recreation the Spirit does in our hearts.

We are not to trust in riches, but to rely on the Lord. He will meet our tangible needs as we look to Him to be our source.

1 Samuel 1-3

Samuel most likely wrote or supplied information for the writing of 1 Samuel. In this book, we read about two more judges, Eli and Samuel. Because of sin, the nation has taken a beating from the Philistines. Instead of repenting, the people cry out for kings to lead them. In the first three chapters we read about Samuel’s birth, dedication, and calling.

Samuel’s father, Elkanah, was from Ephraim, but a Levite. Levites were often referred to by the area in which they lived, which was scattered throughout Canaan. Samuel came from the priesthood (1 Chronicles 6:33-38).

It was customary for a man to take a second wife when the first wife was barren, desiring to have children to take on their inheritance and grow their family name. A barren woman was thought to be cursed by God, but many barren women were used in their need to give God glory for the children they would bear.

The second wife caused Hannah much turmoil and pain, probably knowing Elkanah loved Hannah more. She was so horrible to Hannah that it caused Hannah to cry and refrain from eating. When Hannah does have a son, she sings a song of praise. When God performs a miracle, the right thing to do is to give Him glory!

In her song, we find some prophetic words about a coming King, Jesus, the Messiah. This was before Israel had kings, and this King would judge the nations of the earth.

In chapter 2:30, God says, “… those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.”

God shows all of Israel that Samuel is an anointed prophet.

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