I Samuel 1-3
It must have been hard for Hannah to give up her son to be raised by the priest. During the millennium before Jesus was born, there was a huge gap between God’s servants and the lay people. When barren Hannah promised God that if He would give her a son, she would dedicate him to God, she literally meant that she would give him to be raised by the priest.
In faithfulness to her promise, Hannah took her weaned child to Eli at the temple. He was only three years old when he went there to live.
Eli must have felt a great responsibility to raise this special child. His own sons were thugs, so obviously his parenting skills hadn’t always been too great. The two sons would take the best sacrifices for themselves, and they would have sex with the women who came to bring offerings. Generally their behavior was atrocious.
After having been warned, and having ignored the warning, Eli’s sons were in trouble. God was getting ready for a final judgment of this household.
Think about it. Imagine yourself a young man, having been raised by this priest, Eli. Now imagine that over the years you had seen the outrageous behavior of this man’s sons. Then imagine that you have seen Eli tolerate the disrespect for God and His people which these men were perpetrating.
Now imagine what it would be like for God to give you the vision of judgment which He was bringing to that household. Would you be afraid to share it? Of course you would. This is the first record of God speaking a word to Samuel, and it’s a word against those who raised him.
When Eli inquired, however, Samuel was faithful to tell him everythin:. the priesthood was to be taken away from him and his household. God would not stand to be mocked.
I love 3:19-20. “Thus Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fail…And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord.”
Better times were ahead for Israel, even though they had to go through some rough spots still. There needed to be a pure, clear word from God…and there was now!
Luke 8: 26-56
After casting out a legion of demons from a man in the country of the Gadarenes, and healing the woman with the issue of blood, Jesus comes to Jairus’ daughter. She is dead by the time He gets to their house, but that doesn’t phase Jesus.
There are a couple of things, however, we need to notice. First of all, when they come to the house, only three people are allowed to enter with Him. Peter, James and John. Jesus wants an atmosphere of total faith. He doesn’t want doubt like He encountered in His hometown. In His hometown, He could do no mighty miracle because of their doubt and unbelief.
When He is going to raise someone from the dead, He wants to have faith around Him. So only these three are allowed.
Notice, also, that He guards His Words. I can assure you that Jesus knows what is happening. He knows that the daughter has died. Yet He doesn’t say that; He says she is sleeping. Why?
There is power in every word which Jesus speaks. He is not going to agree with the devil and let His words pronounce death over her. His words will bring deliverance to the daughter as He calls for her to arise.
One more thing. As Jesus ministers to those around Him, there are different categories of people. When He is teaching God’s word and healing people, He has crowds of thousands. They follow Him everywhere for the teaching and the healing.
When it is time to send some out from village to village so that they may represent the kingdom, He has only 70.(Luke 10:1)
When it is time to reveal the mysteries of His Kingdom, He selects 12. These are the apostles which will be the backbone of His church when He goes up to Heaven.
Within that group, however, there is even a smaller circle: the three. Peter, James, and John. These three are the only ones He takes into Jairus’ house, and they are the only three who go with Him on the Mount of transfiguration. These three are His closest friends and followers.
You know that these three aren’t perfect, but their hearts are truly toward Him. And they are the ones who believe Him completely.
Where do you want to be among Jesus’s followers? I want to be one of the three. I want to know His secrets, and I want my life to be lived for Him completely.
When I say three today, it doesn’t just mean “three.” It means a category of people who are all out for Him. So lots of us can be in the “three.” It’s really our choosing.
That’s where I want to be.