- What has brought you joy in the last few days?
- What is a challenge you are facing? (Remember, we are not offering to fix each other’s problems unless support is asked for.)
Recall the ways we are called to engage scripture:
- The humble hear from the Lord.
- Scripture is like a mirror that helps us cultivate what is good and put to death what is sinful.
- We read in community so that our thinking, beliefs, and lifestyle might be sharpened by one another.
Pray that the Lord would do his work in us through the reading, interpretation, and application of scripture to our lives.
Read 1 Samuel 1:3-11.
Discuss the following questions.
- Here in vv. 3 & 11, God is referred to as “The LORD of hosts.” He is the Lord of mighty angel armies. This is the first mention of this name of God in scripture. Why might the author of Samuel want to introduce his readers to this name at the beginning of this book through Hannah’s story?
- Chris said that God doesn’t need my help. Yet, I frequently want to take care of situations in my own way and in my own strength. Why is this? Do I not trust God enough? If not, why not?
- Hannah is experiencing deep distress from her relationship with Peninnah. She feels a range of strong negative emotions that Elkhanah simply tries to fix (1:8). Instead of responding to emotions asking, “how can I just feel better?” what would it look like to recognize our emotions as invitations to connect with the Lord in deeper relationship? Discuss how the following emotions might be seen as invitations to deeper relationship with God and others: 1) sadness and grief, 2) anger and frustration, 3) fear and hopelessness.
- Hannah’s vow to give her son to the Lord was the most precious gift she could offer. What precious gift can we offer? Perhaps, simply to follow the Great Commandment and love the Lord our God with all our heart. Soul, mind, and strength.
- King David is a great example of someone who turned to the Lord in every distressing experience. Have one or two people share an example of how God used a negative emotion to strengthen their relationship with God and others.
Read Romans 12:1-2
- Samuel is an example of someone fully devoted to the Lord. How does Paul instruct us to be devoted to the Lord in Romans 12:1-2?
- Spend 1-2 minutes asking the Lord to speak to you about how to apply these things in your life this week.
- What needs to change in your life this week in light of this scripture?
- How do you need to relate differently to the Lord as you experience distress?
- What would this next week look like devoted fully to the Lord?
Share with others
- Who do you need to share these things with over the next few days?
Adapted gratefully from the contributions this week by Ryan Hartsfield and Don Stork. If you would like to assist in this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org