fbpx

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!

Daily Readings

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.

5 So make models of your tumours and models of your rats ravaging the territory, and pay honour to the God of Israel. Then perhaps he will stop oppressing you, your gods and your country.

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?

7 Now, then, take and fit out a new cart, and two milch cows that have never borne the yoke. Then harness the cows to the cart and take their calves back to the byre.

8 Then take the ark of Yahweh, place it on the cart, and put the golden objects which you are paying him as guilt offering in a box beside it; and then send it off on its own.

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.’

10 The people did this. They took two milch cows and harnessed them to the cart, shutting their calves in the byre.

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.

13 The people of Beth-Shemesh were reaping the wheat harvest in the plain when they looked up and saw the ark and went joyfully to meet it.

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.

16 The five chiefs of the Philistines, having witnessed this, went back to Ekron the same day.

17 The golden tumours paid by the Philistines as a guilt offering to Yahweh were as follows: one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron;

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.

20 The people of Beth-Shemesh then said, ‘Who can stand his ground before Yahweh, this holy God? To whom shall he go, so that we are rid of him?’

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.’

4 And the Israelites banished the Baals and Astartes and served Yahweh alone.

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.

7 When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had mustered at Mizpah, the Philistine chiefs marched on Israel; and when the Israelitesheard this, they were afraid of the Philistines.

8 They said to Samuel, ‘Do not stop calling on Yahweh our God to rescue us from the power of the Philistines.’

9 Samuel took a sucking lamb and presented it as a burnt offering to Yahweh, and he called on Yahweh on behalf of Israel and Yahwehheard him.

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.

12 Samuel then took a stone and erected it between Mizpah and the Tooth, and gave it the name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Yahweh helped us as far as this.’

13 So the Philistines were humbled and no longer came into Israelite territory; Yahweh oppressed the Philistines throughout the life of Samuel.

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.

15 Samuel was judge over Israel throughout his life.

16 Each year he went on circuit through Bethel and Gilgal and Mizpah and judged Israel in all these places.

17 He would then return to Ramah, since his home was there; there too he judged Israel. And there he built an altar to Yahweh.

1 Samuel 8

1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges of Israel.

2 His eldest son was called Joel and his second one, Abijah; they were judges at Beersheba.

3 His sons did not follow his example but, seduced by the love of money, took bribes and gave biased verdicts.

4 The elders of Israel all assembled, went back to Samuel at Ramah, and said,

5 ‘Look, you are old, and your sons are not following your example. So give us a king to judge us, like the other nations.’

6 Samuel thought that it was wrong of them to say, ‘Let us have a king to judge us,’ so he prayed to Yahweh.

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.

11 He said, ‘This is what the king who is to reign over you will do. He will take your sons and direct them to his chariotry and cavalry, and they will run in front of his chariot.

12 He will use them as leaders of a thousand and leaders of fifty; he will make them plough his fields and gather in his harvest and make his weapons of war and the gear for his chariots.

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.

17 He will tithe your flocks, and you yourselves will become his slaves.

18 When that day comes, you will cry aloud because of the king you have chosen for yourselves, but on that day Yahweh will not hear you.’

19 The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel. They said, ‘No! We are determined to have a king,

20 so that we can be like the other nations, with our own king to rule us and lead us and fight our battles.’

21 Samuel listened to all that the people had to say and repeated it in Yahweh’s ear.

22 Yahweh then said to Samuel, ‘Do as they ask and give them a king.’ Samuel then said to the Israelites, ‘Go home, each of you, to his own town.’

Psalm 86

1 [Prayer Of David] Listen to me, Yahweh, answer me, for I am poor and needy.

2 Guard me, for I am faithful, save your servant who relies on you. You are my God,

3 take pity on me, Lord, for to you I cry all the day.

4 Fill your servant’s heart with joy, Lord, for to you I raise up my heart.

5 Lord, you are kind and forgiving, rich in faithful love for all who call upon you.

6 Yahweh, hear my prayer, listen to the sound of my pleading.

7 In my day of distress I call upon you, because you answer me, Lord;

8 among the gods there is none to compare with you, no great deeds to compare with yours.

9 All nations will come and adore you, Lord, and give glory to your name.

10 For you are great and do marvellous deeds, you, God, and none other.

11 Teach me, Yahweh, your ways, that I may not stray from your loyalty; let my heart’s one aim be to fear your name.

12 I thank you with all my heart, Lord my God, I will glorify your name for ever,

13 for your faithful love for me is so great that you have rescued me from the depths of Sheol.

14 Arrogant men, God, are rising up against me, a brutal gang is after my life, in their scheme of things you have no place.

15 But you, Lord, God of tenderness and mercy, slow to anger, rich in faithful love and loyalty,

16 turn to me and pity me. Give to your servant your strength, to the child of your servant your saving help,

17 give me a sign of your kindness.

Like what you are reading? Subscribe and get notified of new posts.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

%d bloggers like this: