God warned the children of Israel before they got to their promised land that their behaviour would affect the lives of their babies. All the way to their great grand-children and even further. That was followed by the promise of love to a thousand future generations, for those who obeyed.
The Lord calls each of us, but few have heard His voice so clearly as Samuel did that night. This boy had learned well from Eli, but he did not imagine that God would call him by his name in the middle of the night. He supposed it was Eli.
How many of us, when we pray for others, want to know the whole story? That is not necessary because God already knows what is happening in the life of that person. Sometimes we use too many words in our prayers to explain to The Lord what He already knows.
The two wives mentioned at the beginning of the books of Samuel did not get on together. Today the underdog would run away and make a new life somewhere. In Biblical times there was no possibility of that and Hannah turned to the only One who could help her. God!
Another example of a prophet naming his child with a message from The Lord. And what an awful name it is! I imagine this poor child looking constantly miserable! She must have been a sad child. Unless of course she was aware of the love of God for her personally.
The name Isaiah was to give his child was a message to the Israelites. Quick to plunder, swift to spoil. The natural view of the situation was to panic, and worry about war and everything that went with it. But God was reassuring His people that He was still there.
We know very little about this first family on earth, except that one of the first two brothers killed the other! The devil had not given up on being a bad influence of mankind! That is still the case! Brothers are still killing brothers in many parts of the world.
We start this month with the words of the prophet about the most famous baby ever born. Even people who do not follow Jesus will be celebrating His birth this month. It is sad that in many places, this month has become one when Santa is celebrated more than Jesus!
Not one thing happens by chance when we obey The Lord! Philip explained the gospel to this man, and consequently he was baptised into the kingdom of God. It is worth noting here that this Ethiopian did not follow a course of several weeks before being allowed to be baptised.
Much of the book of Jeremiah is a severe reprimand to the people of Israel for their behaviour in neglecting the God of their fathers, and being influenced far too much by the people around them; the nations that they were supposed to have chased out of the holy land!