Thoughts and Reflection
In today’s reading, we read that Samuel is a good judge and prophet. His sons, however, turn out not to be. As Christians, we hear the expression that God only has children and not grandchildren. Every generation must choose to follow him as the Father. The Levites are the fathers of the people. As we have seen, prior to the idolatry of the golden calf, the father of each family was its priest.
At the end of 1 Samuel, the people are seeking a king. They want to be like the other nations around them. God’s plan was for him to be their King, but they want a human king. Samuel warns the people of what will happen if they get a king. He will put them to work and take a tenth of their property. The people don’t care and they still long to be like everyone else.
This is true for our lives as well. God wants to guide and guard us, but at times we prefer to take a “secondhand god.” Yet God can use even some of these broken desires to do something incredible 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!
1 Samuel 6
1 The ark of Yahweh was in Philistine territory for seven months.
2 The Philistines then called for their priests and diviners and asked, ‘What shall we do with the ark of Yahweh? Tell us how to send it back to where it belongs.’
3 They replied, ‘If you send the ark of the God of Israel away, you must certainly not send it away without a gift; you must pay him a guilt offering. You will then recover and will realise why he continually oppressed you.’
4 They then asked, ‘What guilt offering ought we to pay him?’ They replied, ‘Corresponding to the number of Philistine chiefs: five golden tumours and five golden rats, since the same plague afflicted your chiefs as the rest of you.
6 Why should you be as stubborn as Egypt and Pharaoh were? After he had brought disasters on them, did they not let the people leave?
9 Watch it; if it goes up the road to its own territory, towards Beth-Shemesh, then he was responsible for this great harm to us; but if not, we shall know that it was not his hand that struck us, and that this has happened to us by chance.’
11 They then put the ark of Yahweh on the cart, with the box and the golden rats and the models of their tumours.
12 The cows made straight for Beth-Shemesh, keeping to the one road, lowing as they went and turning neither to right nor to left. The Philistine chiefs followed them as far as the boundaries of Beth-Shemesh.
14 When the cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth-Shemesh, it stopped. There was a large stone there, and they cut up the wood of the cart and offered the cows as a burnt offering to Yahweh.
15 The Levites had taken down the ark of Yahweh and the box with it containing the golden objects and put these on the large stone. That day the people of Beth-Shemesh presented burnt offerings and made sacrifices to Yahweh.
18 and golden rats to the number of all the Philistine towns, those of the five chiefs, from fortified towns down to open villages: still to this day the large stone in the field of Joshua of Beth-Shemesh, on which they put the ark of Yahweh, is a witness.
19 Of the people of Beth-Shemesh the sons of Jeconiah had not rejoiced when they saw the ark of Yahweh, and Yahweh struck down seventy of them. The people mourned because Yahweh had struck them so fiercely.
21 So they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath-Jearim, to say, ‘The Philistines have sent back the ark of Yahweh; come down and take it up to your town.’
1 Samuel 7
1 The men of Kiriath-Jearim came and, taking up the ark of Yahweh, brought it to the house of Abinadab on the hill, and consecrated his son Eleazar to guard the ark of Yahweh.
2 From the day when the ark was installed at Kiriath-Jearim, a long time went by — twenty years — and the whole House of Israel longed for Yahweh.
3 Samuel then spoke as follows to the whole House of Israel, ‘If you are returning to Yahweh with all your heart, banish the foreign gods and Astartes which you now have, and set your heart on Yahweh and serve him alone; and he will deliver you from the power of the Philistines.’
5 Samuel then said, ‘Muster all Israel at Mizpah and I shall plead with Yahweh for you.’
6 So they mustered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before Yahweh. They fasted that day and declared, ‘We have sinned against Yahweh.’ And Samuel was judge over the Israelites at Mizpah.
10 While Samuel was in the act of presenting burnt offering, the Philistines joined battle with Israel, but that day Yahweh thundered violently over the Philistines, threw them into panic and Israel defeated them.
11 The men of Israel sallied out from Mizpah in pursuit of the Philistines and beat them all the way to below Beth-Car.
14 The towns which the Philistines had taken from Israel were given back to Israel, from Ekron all the way to Gath, and Israel freed their territory from the power of the Philistines. There was peace, too, between Israel and the Amorites.
16 Each year he went on circuit through Bethel and Gilgal and Mizpah and judged Israel in all these places.
1 Samuel 8
1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges of Israel.
7 But Yahweh said to Samuel, ‘Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you: it is not you they have rejected
8 but me, not wishing me to reign over them any more. They are now doing to you exactly what they have done to me since the day I brought them out of Egypt until now, deserting me and serving other gods.
9 So, do what they ask; only, you must give them a solemn warning, and must tell them what the king who is to reign over them will do.’
10 Everything that Yahweh had said, Samuel then repeated to the people who were asking him for a king.
13 He will take your daughters as perfumers, cooks and bakers.
14 He will take the best of your fields, your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his officials.
15 He will tithe your crops and vineyards to provide for his courtiers and his officials.
16 He will take the best of your servants, men and women, of your oxen and your donkeys, and make them work for him.
1 [Prayer Of David] Listen to me, Yahweh, answer me, for I am poor and needy.
8 among the gods there is none to compare with you, no great deeds to compare with yours.
10 For you are great and do marvellous deeds, you, God, and none other.
15 But you, Lord, God of tenderness and mercy, slow to anger, rich in faithful love and loyalty,