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Thoughts and Refection

In today’s reading we learn that Samuel places himself before the Ark of the Lord. He sleeps near God’s presence so he is able to hear the Lord’s voice. Eli tells him that the next time he hears the voice of God, he should say “speak, Lord, for your servent hears” (1 Samuel 3:9). When we say those words, we are placing ourselves under God’s grace and allowing him to speak to us through his word.

The people of Israel treat the Ark as a weapon rather than the presence of the Lord. God cannot be manipulated and the Israelites are defeated by the Philistines because they try to use the Lord’s Ark rather then relying on the Lord. Israel loses the Ark of the Covenant to the Philistines, who place it in the same temple as their god. The statue of dagon falls on its face and the people are killed. They then send the Ark to Gath and then to Ekron but the same things happen there.

God is able to fight his own battles and he invites us into his presence so he can fight for us.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

1 Samuel 3

1 Now, the boy Samuel was serving Yahweh in the presence of Eli; in those days it was rare for Yahweh to speak; visions were uncommon.

2 One day, it happened that Eli was lying down in his room. His eyes were beginning to grow dim; he could no longer see.

3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying in Yahweh’s sanctuary, where the ark of God was,

4 when Yahweh called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ He answered, ‘Here I am,’

5 and, running to Eli, he said, ‘Here I am, as you called me.’ Eli said, ‘I did not call. Go back and lie down.’ So he went and lay down.

6 And again Yahweh called, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ He got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, as you called me.’ He replied, ‘I did not call, my son; go back and lie down.’

7 As yet, Samuel had no knowledge of Yahweh and the word of Yahweh had not yet been revealed to him.

8 Again Yahweh called, the third time. He got up and went to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, as you called me.’ Eli then understood that Yahwehwas calling the child,

9 and he said to Samuel, ‘Go and lie down, and if someone calls say, “Speak, Yahweh; for your servant is listening.” ‘ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 Yahweh then came and stood by, calling as he had done before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ Samuel answered, ‘Speak, Yahweh; for your servant is listening.’

11 Yahweh then said to Samuel, ‘I am going to do something in Israel which will make the ears of all who hear of it ring.

12 I shall carry out that day against Eli everything that I have said about his family, from beginning to end.

13 You are to tell him that I condemn his family for ever, since he is aware that his sons have been cursing God and yet has not corrected them.

14 Therefore — I swear it to the family of Eli — no sacrifice or offering shall ever expiate the guilt of Eli’s family.’

15 Samuel lay where he was until morning and then opened the doors of Yahweh’s temple. Samuel was afraid to tell Eli about the vision,

16 but Eli called Samuel and said, ‘Samuel, my son.’ ‘Here I am,’ he replied.

17 Eli asked, ‘What message did he give you? Please do not hide it from me. May God bring unnameable ills on you and worse ones, too, if you hide from me anything of what he said to you.’

18 Samuel then told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Eli said, ‘He is Yahweh; let him do what he thinks good.’

19 Samuel grew up. Yahweh was with him and did not let a single word fall to the ground of all that he had told him.

20 All Israel knew, from Dan to Beersheba, that Samuel was attested as a prophet of Yahweh.

21 Yahweh continued to manifest himself at Shiloh, revealing himself to Samuel there,

1 Samuel 4

1 and, for all Israel, the word of Samuel was as the word of Yahweh; since Eli was very old and his sons persisted in their wicked behaviour towards Yahweh. It happened at that time that the Philistines mustered to make war on Israel and Israel went out to meet them in war, pitching camp near Ebenezer while the Philistines pitched camp at Aphek. 

2 The Philistines drew up their battle-line against Israel, the fighting was fierce, and Israel was beaten by the Philistines: about four thousand men in their ranks were killed on the field of battle.

3 When the troops returned to camp, the elders of Israel said, ‘Why has Yahweh caused us to be beaten by the Philistines today? Let us fetch the ark of our God from Shiloh so that, when it goes with us, it may save us from the clutches of our enemies.’

4 So the troops sent to Shiloh and brought away the ark of Yahweh Sabaoth enthroned on the winged creatures; the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, came with the ark.

5 When the ark of Yahweh arrived in the camp, all Israel raised a great war cry so that the earth resounded.

6 When the Philistines heard the noise of the war cry, they said, ‘What can this great war cry in the Hebrew camp mean?’ And they realised that the ark of Yahweh had come into the camp.

7 At this, the Philistines were afraid; for they said, ‘God has come into the camp. Disaster!’ they said. ‘For nothing like this has ever happened before.

8 Disaster! Who will rescue us from the clutches of this mighty God? This was the God who struck down Egypt with every kind of misfortune in the desert.

9 But take courage and be men, Philistines, or you will become slaves to the Hebrews as they have been slaves to you. Be men and fight.’

10 So the Philistines gave battle and Israel was defeated, each man fleeing to his tent. The slaughter was very great: on the Israelite side, thirty thousand foot soldiers fell.

11 The ark of God was captured too, and Hophni and Phinehas the two sons of Eli died.

12 A Benjaminite ran from the battle-line and reached Shiloh the same day, his clothes torn and dust on his head.

13 When he arrived, Eli was sitting on his seat beside the gate watching the road, for his heart was trembling for the ark of God. The mancame into the town and told the news, whereupon cries of anguish filled the town.

14 Eli heard the sound and asked, ‘What does this uproar mean?’ The man hurried on and told Eli.

15 Eli was ninety-eight years old; his gaze was fixed; he was blind.

16 The man said to Eli, ‘I have come from the camp. I escaped from the battle-line today.’ ‘My son,’ said Eli, ‘what happened?’

17 The messenger replied, ‘Israel has fled before the Philistines; the army has been utterly routed. What is worse, your two sons are dead and the ark of God has been captured.’

18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backwards off his seat by the gate and broke his neck and died, for he was old and heavy. He had been judge of Israel for forty years.

19 Now his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was with child and near her time. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and husband were dead she crouched down and gave birth, for her labour pains had come on.

20 When she was at the point of death, the women at her side said, ‘Do not be afraid; you have given birth to a son.’ But she did not answer and took no notice.

21 She named the child Ichabod, saying, ‘The glory has gone from Israel,’ alluding to the capture of the ark of God and to her father-in-law and husband.

22 She said, ‘The glory has gone from Israel, because the ark of God has been captured.’

1 Samuel 5

1 When the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod.

2 Taking the ark of God, the Philistines put it in the temple of Dagon, setting it down beside Dagon.

3 When the people of Ashdod got up the following morning and went to the temple of Dagon, there lay Dagon face down on the ground before the ark of Yahweh. They picked Dagon up and put him back in his place.

4 But when they got up on the following morning, there lay Dagon face down on the ground before the ark of Yahweh, and Dagon’s head and two hands lay severed on the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left in its place.

5 This is why the priests of Dagon and the people frequenting Dagon’s temple never step on Dagon’s threshold in Ashdod, even today.

6 Yahweh oppressed the people of Ashdod; he ravaged them and afflicted them with tumours — Ashdod and its territory. When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening they said,

7 ‘The ark of the God of Israel must not stay here with us, for he is oppressing us and our god Dagon.’

8 So they summoned all the Philistine chiefs to them, and said, ‘What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?’ They decided, ‘The ark of the God of Israel shall be taken away to Gath.’ So they took the ark of the God of Israel to Gath.

9 But after they had taken it there, Yahweh oppressed that town and a great panic broke out; afflicting the people of the town from highest to lowest, he brought them out in tumours too.

10 They then sent the ark of God to Ekron, but when it came to Ekron the Ekronites shouted, ‘They have brought me the ark of the Godof Israel to kill me and my people!’

11 They summoned all the Philistine chiefs and said, ‘Send the ark of the God of Israel away; let it go back to where it belongs and not kill me and my people’ — for there was mortal panic throughout the town; God was oppressing them.

12 The people who did not die were afflicted with tumours, and the wailing from the town rose to the sky.

Psalm 150

1 Alleluia! Praise God in his holy place, praise him in the heavenly vault of his power,

2 praise him for his mighty deeds, praise him for all his greatness.

3 Praise him with fanfare of trumpet, praise him with harp and lyre,

4 praise him with tambourines and dancing, praise him with strings and pipes,

5 praise him with the clamour of cymbals, praise him with triumphant cymbals,

6 Let everything that breathes praise Yahweh. Alleluia!

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