Sermon Audio & Transcript
Seventh Sunday Of Easter
Be Dedicated to the LORD
Grace mercy and peace to all of you from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Word of God for our meditation is from first Samuel 1. The very beginning of the book tells the back story of the section that we are looking at and I need to tell you some of that back story so that so that you’re not confused as we begin to talk about a little kid by the name of Samuel. This was in the period of time that was called the time of the judges. And in Israel, the time of the judges is kind of summarized by this phrase, “in those days Israel had no king everyone did whatever was right in his own eyes.” So Israel, without a centralized government and without any real authority at the top there was anarchy that prevailed in many parts. And along with this anarchy there came to be threats from outside the nation. The Philistines and other tribes, other groups would often attack and the people who remembered the Lord would cry out to him for help, “Lord help us!” And God always answered those prayers. He sent a series of judges. We call them judges. The Hebrew word is a little bit broader than just when we picture a judge in someone that sits behind her in front of a court right that the rendering decisions on what is right and wrong and in giving out sentences. Though the word judge is really is more in the sense of a deliverer, but then they after they delivered Israel they very often were kind of Governors for a time. So that the word kind of shifted in meaning depending on what exactly that judge was doing at that time.
So God would raise up a judge, or a deliverer, who would drive out the Philistines and then rule over a time of peace. Then after the judge would die, the Israelites would revert back to their own way they would do whatever is right in their own eyes. This series would repeat itself over and over and over again. You’ve heard stories about Gideon, about Samson, about Jephthah the those are some of the judges. Now during this time of the judges, there was a man by the name of Elkanah or Elkanah who is said to have been a very devout worshiper of the Lord but in this time as I said the people did whatever was right in their own eyes. Elkanah himself, even though he was a devout lever he had two wives. Now Abraham had had two wives and Jacob, and many others it was never according to God’s plan for men to have more than one wife but God allowed it because the hearts of many of God’s people were hard. Elkanah, however, had two wives one was named to Peninnah and she had children. The other one was named Hannah. Hannah had no children. The Lord had determined that she would be barren, and because she was barren she was very sad as well. Times have changed, I guess somewhat. Today so many women today, even married couples try not to have children because they think children are going to be a burden her chains of their lifestyle. It’s not true children are wonderful blessing from God. But Hannah as she was barren without a child Hannah went to the right place for help, she prayed. Hannah prayed to the Lord she went to the tabernacle as it was set up in Shiloh and she prayed fervently. In fact, she was praying with such fervency that as she prayed silently she was moving her lips and Eli the priest in Shiloh looked at her and to him, it seemed as if she were drunk. Drunkenness has no place in the church thought Eli to himself, and he scolded her, he reprimanded her stop your drinking he said. Hannah said I’m not drunk I’m in fervent prayer to the Lord. When Eli heard that very thoughtful and pious response, Eli was very ashamed of himself for thinking the worst of this woman. Eli said go in peace and may the Lord grant you your prayer.
So Hannah went home and nine months later the miracle occurs, and she has a child. She made a vow to the Lord that this child whom she named to Samuel because the name Samuel means God Has Heard, in other words, God has heard her prayer and has answered by giving her little baby Samuel. She promised that she would have him dedicated to the service of the Lord permanently. It was the time of the judges, and everyone did whatever was right in his or her own eyes, and to Hannah, this seemed like the right thing to do. We could certainly be thankful to the Lord that God put it in Hannah’s heart to dedicate Samuel to service to the Lord, because he became such a blessing to so many people, and we’ll talk about that in a minute. First, I think we need to recognize that the times of the judges are not so much different from the times we live in today. Would you agree with me it seems that everyone does whatever is right in his own eyes. It’s not only the people that are out there in the world not connected to the church. Who just go their own way and do whatever they feel like doing, but that spirit of our times, that spirit of all times because it’s part of human nature has infected even the church today. There’s so many who claim to follow Christ, but they want to make exceptions. There are things that Jesus said, or things that the Bible commands that they would rather ignore, or they would rather change.
…don’t be infected with the spirit of the times in which we live, but rather be affected by the Holy Spirit of all times and of our whole lives.
You can probably think of many examples, and it’s not only other churches and people in other churches that do this, but we recognize this tendency here at Grace Lutheran Church, don’t we? Don’t we have a responsibility to watch out for those things in our own hearts, and to warn others, our brothers and sisters when they stray from the way of the Lord? People who are living together outside of marriage. People who are sexually active outside of marriage. People who are not listening to the word of God, and not attending public worship services. People who are harboring false ideas about Christ, and his word, and maybe even our starting to talk about those false ideas seeking to mislead some of their fellow parishioners. These are things that indicate that our times and our hearts are not different from the time that Samuel was born into the world.
The Lord hears our prayers just as the Lord heard Hanna’s prayer. Hannah was praying to the Lord not just for the gift of a new baby but she was praying to the Lord also for her own salvation. She was asking the Lord to grant her not only the blessing of a child but the blessing of peace. Lord will you use me as an instrument to bring peace into the world. If you read Hannah’s prayer, there are elements of all of these things in that prayer. This prayer itself Is often looked upon as a model of the prayer that Mary, the mother of our Lord would pray after the enunciation of the birth of Jesus. Hannah’s pious prayer was heard and you and died to will be heard whenever we ask the Lord for deliverance. When we say forgive us our sins God says certainly they are already forgiven by the life death and resurrection of Jesus my son. You are a child of God, and through faith in him, you have been claimed for eternal life. So don’t be infected with the spirit of the times in which we live, but rather be affected by the Holy Spirit of all times and of our whole lives.
The result of Hannah’s prayer was the birth of a child a baby boy named Samuel, or the Lord God hears, and Samuel was about four or five years old when he was finally weaned. In those days they fed their children naturally for much longer than we are accustomed to today. About the time that the child would begin kindergarten in our culture today. When Samuel was finally weaned and able to live apart from his mother, Hannah did the unthinkable. She took her son to the Tabernacle in Shiloh and she dropped him off and she went home. Can you imagine leaving a four or five-year-old little boy in the temple to be cared for by the priest? It’s unthinkable and yet what a blessing.
When Samuel was about 12 years old he was accustomed to living in the temple, but he wasn’t accustomed to hearing the voice of the Lord. The Lord spoke to Samuel as he would speak to Samuel throughout his adult life. And the Lord said to Samuel Samuel and Samuel didn’t recognize that it was the voice of the Lord, so he hopped up and he ran to where Eli slept, and he said, “here I am certain you called me.” Eli said, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed!” It happened again. The voice said, “Samuel, Samuel,” and Samuel hopped up, and he ran to where Eli was sleeping and he said, “here I am sir, you called me.” Eli said, “I did not call you,” but Eli recognized this must be from the Lord, and he said the next time if you hear a voice you say, “Speak Lord for your servant is listening.” So God called Samuel a third time, and this time Samuel said, “here I am your servant is listening.” God revealed to Samuel what would happen in the future. Bad things were going to happen to the bad sons of Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas, and a bad thing would happen to Eli the priest, but good things were in store for God’s people Israel. Because God is a God of mercy, and God is a God of grace. He was going to bring the results of blessing out of the tragedies.
One of the blessings that would happen in Samuel’s lifetime and through his instrumental use by the Lord would be, that the Lord would raise up a king by the name of David. David was anointed by Samuel to be king of Israel anointed is the word, Christ. We are accustomed to thinking of the word Christ in conjunction with Jesus, and properly so. Because just as the anointing of King David happened so also the anointing with oil of Jesus would happen, and he would fulfill the sign of the kingship through all time into eternity. Just as Samuel became anointed as a prophet, so Jesus the Christ would be anointed as a prophet, and just as Eli the priest had been anointed, so the Christ the anointed one Jesus would be anointed as a priest. So, the three offices of prophet, priest, and King were united in the one man, Jesus Christ. And just as the offices were united in this man, so also the deity and humanity were united in this man. So that when Jesus died on the cross, he was a sacrifice that paid for the sins of the whole world. He was able to die and to suffer on the cross because he was a human being like us. He was able to take our place because he was like us Can you see what wonderful things were accomplished by God with Samuel being an important linchpin between the time of the judges and the time of the Kings?Between the Old Testament and the promises of the New Testament God works it out. On the pages of history books we see God’s hand, God’s mighty hand at work to bring people to know him, the only true God and to know Jesus Christ whom he has sent be dedicated to the Lord because he has kept his promise. Because he can fulfill his word through you and bring great things to many. Yes, God can use you in his kingdom in many many different ways will you listen when the Lord says your name “Speak Lord for your servant is listening.”
Seventh Sunday Of Easter
- Because He Keeps His Promise
- So that He Will Accomplish His Purpose through You
SERMON TEXT: 1 Samuel 1:21-28
See First Lesson
FIRST LESSON: 1 Samuel 1:21-28 (EH)
This man Elkanah and his entire household went up to offer the yearly sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfill his vow. But Hannah did not go up with them, because she told her husband, “Not until the child is weaned. Then I will bring him, so that he can aear before the Lord and remain there permanently.”
Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do whatever you think is best. Wait until you have weaned him. Yes, then the Lord will establish his word.”
So the woman stayed at home, and she nursed her son until she was ready to wean him. When she had weaned him, she took him up with her. She also took a three-year-old bull, twenty quarts of flour, and a container of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh. The boy was still young. When they had killed the bull, they presented the child to Eli. She said, “Excuse me, my lord. As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood next to you here, praying to the Lord. I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked for. So now I have also dedicated him to the Lord. As long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.” Then he worshied the Lord there.
SECOND LESSON: 2 Corinthians 4:13-18
Since we have that same spirit of faith, which corresponds to what is written: “I believed; therefore, I have spoken,” we also believe, and therefore we speak. For we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and bring us (together with you) into his presence. In fact, all this is for your benefit, so that as grace increases, it will overflow to the glory of God, as more and more people give thanks.
Therefore we are not discouraged. But even if our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. Yes, our momentary, light trouble produces for us an eternal weight of glory that is far beyond any comparison. We are not focusing on what is seen, but on what is not seen. For the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are not seen are eternal.
VERSE OF THE DAY: John 14:18
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
GOSPEL: John 17:1-11a
After Jesus had spoken these things, he looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son so that your Son may glorify you. For you gave him authority over all flesh, so that he may give eternal life to all those you have given him. This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. I have glorified you on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, glorify me at your own side with the glory I had at your side before the world existed.
“I revealed your name to the men you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me, and they have held on to your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me, and they received them. They learned the truth that I came from you. They believed that you sent me.
“I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, because they are yours. All that is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine. And I am glorified in them. I am no longer going to be in the world, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you.”