Week 16, Day 4 in the LEB

Apr 18, 2024

Podcast: Play in new window (Duration: 13:15 — 4.51MB)
The reading for today is 1 Samuel 3-5; Psalm 23; Acts 6.

Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.

1 Samuel 3

Now the boy Samuel was serving Yahweh in the presence of Eli. The word of Yahweh was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. And then one day when Eli was lying in his place (now his eyes had begun to grow weak so that he was not able to see) and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, Samuel was lying in the temple of Yahweh where the ark of God was. Then Yahweh called out to Samuel and he said, "Here I am!" And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, because you called me." But he said, "I did not call you. Go back and lie down." So he went and lay down. And Yahweh called Samuel again, so Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am, because you called me." And he said, "I did not call you, my son. Go back and lie down." Now Samuel did not yet know Yahweh, and the word of Yahweh had not yet been revealed to him. Again Yahweh called Samuel a third time, so he got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am, because you called me." Then Eli realized that Yahweh was calling the boy. So Eli said to Samuel "Go lie down. If he calls to you, then you must say, ‘Speak Yahweh, because your servant is listening.’" So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

Then Yahweh came and stood there and called out as before, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel said, "Speak, because your servant is listening." So Yahweh said to Samuel, "Look, I am doing something in Israel which will cause the two ears of everyone who hears it to tingle. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken against his household, from beginning to end. I will make him know that I am about to judge his household forever because of the iniquity that he knew, for his sons were bringing curses on themselves, but he did not rebuke them. Therefore I swore to the house of Eli that the iniquity of the house of Eli would not be atoned for by sacrifice or by offering forever."

So Samuel lay down until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of Yahweh, but Samuel was afraid of telling the vision to Eli. Then Eli called Samuel and said, "Samuel, my son!" And he said, "Here I am." And he said, "What is the message that he spoke to you? Please do not conceal it from me. May God punish you severely if you conceal anything from me of all the words that he told you." So Samuel told him all the words and did not conceal anything from him. And he said, "He is Yahweh, he will do what is good in his sight."

And Samuel grew up, and Yahweh was with him. He did not allow any of his prophecies to go unfulfilled. All Israel from Dan to Beersheba realized that Samuel was faithful as a prophet to Yahweh. And Yahweh appeared again in Shiloh, for Yahweh revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh through the word of Yahweh.

1 Samuel 4

And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to meet the Philistines for battle, and they encamped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines encamped at Aphek. The Philistines lined up for the battle to meet Israel, and the battle was prolonged until Israel was defeated before the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the battlefield. When the army came back to the camp, the elders of Israel asked, "Why has Yahweh defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of Yahweh to us from Shiloh so that it may come into our midst and deliver us from the hand of our enemies." So the army sent to Shiloh and brought from there the ark of the covenant of Yahweh of hosts who sits between the cherubim. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God. Now when the ark of the covenant of Yahweh arrived at the camp, all Israel let out a loud shout so that the earth shook.

When the Philistines heard the noise of the shouting, they said, "What is the noise of this loud shouting in the camp of the Hebrews?" Then they learned that the ark of Yahweh had come into the camp. So the Philistines were afraid, for they said, "God has come to the camp." And they said, "Woe to us, for this has never happened before! Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the same gods who struck the Egyptians with all sorts of plagues in the desert. Take courage and be men, you Philistines, lest you end up serving the Hebrews just like they have served you. Be men and fight!" So the Philistines fought and Israel was defeated and each man fled to his tent, for the slaughter was very great. Thirty thousand foot soldiers from Israel fell. Furthermore, the ark of God was captured, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.

A man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh that same day, and his clothes were torn and earth was on his head. When he came, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road watching, because his heart was anxious about the ark of God. Now the man had come to give his report in the city, and all the city cried out. When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, "What is the noise of this commotion?" Then the man came quickly and told Eli. Now Eli was ninety-eight years old and his eyes stayed fixed ahead and he was not able to see. And the man said to Eli, "I am the one who has come from the battle line! I have fled today from the battle line!" And he said, "What exactly happened, my son?" Then the messenger answered and said, "Israel has fled before the Philistines. There has been a great defeat among the troops. Also, your two sons have died, Hophni and Phinehas, and the ark of God has been captured." Just as he mentioned the ark of God, he fell from his chair backwards against the side of the gate. He broke his neck and died, because the man was old and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.

Now his daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and about to give birth. When she heard the news concerning the capture of the ark of God and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she went into labor and gave birth, because her labor pains came upon her. Just before the time of her death, those attending her said, "Do not fear, for you have given birth to a son." But she did not answer, or pay any attention. She called the boy Ichabod, saying, "The glory has departed from Israel," referring to the capture of the ark of God and concerning her father-in-law and husband. And she said, "The glory has departed from Israel, because the ark of God was captured."

1 Samuel 5

Now the Philistines had captured the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it to the temple of Dagon and placed it beside Dagon. When the Ashdodites got up early the next morning, there was Dagon fallen with his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh! So they took Dagon and returned him to his place. When they got up early in the morning the next day, there was Dagon fallen again with his face to the ground before the ark of Yahweh! The head of Dagon and the palms of his two hands were cut off, lying at the threshold; only the body of Dagon was left. (Therefore the priests of Dagon and all who come into the house of Dagon do not tread on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod until this very day.)

Now the hand of Yahweh was heavy against the Ashdodites and he destroyed them and struck them with tumors, both in Ashdod and its territories. The men of Ashdod saw that it was so, and they said, "The ark of the God of Israel should not remain with us, because his hand is harsh on us and on Dagon our god!" So they sent and gathered all the rulers of the Philistines to them, and they asked, "What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?" And they said, "Let the ark of the God of Israel be brought around toward Gath." So they moved the ark of the God of Israel to Gath.

After they moved it, the hand of Yahweh was against the city, causing a very great confusion, and he struck the men of the city from the youngest to the oldest, causing tumors to break out on them. So they sent the ark of God to Ekron. But when the ark of God came to Ekron, the Ekronites cried out, saying, "They have brought around the ark of the God of Israel to kill us and our people!" So they sent and gathered all the rulers of the Philistines, and they said, "Send away the ark of the God of Israel and let it return to its place, so that it will not kill us and our people." For a deadly confusion was throughout all the city; the hand of God was very heavy there. The men who did not die were struck with the tumors, so that the cry of the city for help went up to heaven.

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.

Yahweh is my shepherd;
I will not lack for anything.
In grassy pastures he makes me lie down;
by quiet waters he leads me.
He restores my life.
He leads me in correct paths
for the sake of his name.
Even when I walk in a dark valley, I fear no evil
because you are with me.
Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare before me a table
in the presence of my oppressors.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup is overflowing.
Surely goodness and loyal love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will stay in the house of Yahweh
for a very long time.

Acts 6

Now in these days, as the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose by the Greek-speaking Jews against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. So the twelve summoned the community of disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we neglect the word of God to serve tables. So, brothers, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom, whom we will put in charge of this need. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." And the statement pleased the whole group, and they chose Stephen (a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit), and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus (a convert from Antioch), whom they stood before the apostles. And they prayed and placed their hands on them.

And the word of God kept spreading, and the number of disciples in Jerusalem was increasing greatly, and a large number of priests began obeying the faith.

Now Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some of those from the Synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia, stood up and disputed with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly instigated men who said, "We have heard him speaking blasphemous words against Moses and God!" And they incited the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came up and seized him and brought him to the Sanhedrin. And they put forward false witnesses who said, "This man does not stop speaking words against the holy place and the law! For we have heard him saying that this Nazarene Jesus will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses handed down to us." And as they looked intently at him, all those who were sitting in the Sanhedrin saw his face was like the face of an angel.