Small group questions and answers

I and II Samuel Series At River Lakes Church

The following are some questions several of those in the small groups at RiverLakes Church have asked over these past few weeks concerning the church wide study of I Samuel.

Does God condone polygamy?

I Samuel 1:4-5    4 When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, viagra sale nurse he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters; 5       but to Hannah he would give a double portion, best viagra doctor for he loved Hannah, tadalafil but the Lord had closed her womb

Answer:  Resource-I am quoting an article written by Norman Guisler.  The name of the book which this article was taken from is when cultists ask: A popular handbook on cultic misinterpretations. Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Mich.

1 KINGS 11:1 –Do the Scriptures approve of polygamy?

MISINTERPRETATION: Mormons say that Prophet Joseph Smith claimed he received a “revelation” from the Lord that plural marriage was God’s will for his followers (Doctrine and Covenants, 132:61-62). The Scriptures, though, repeatedly warn against having multiple wives (Deut. 17:17) and violating the principle of monogamy–one man for one wife (cf. 1 Cor. 7:2). What, then, are we to make of 1 Kings 11:3 where we are told that Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines?

CORRECTING THE MISINTERPRETATION: Monogamy is God’s standard for the human race. This is clear since, (1) from the very beginning, God set the pattern by creating a monogamous marriage relationship with one man and one woman, Adam and Eve (Gen. 1:27; 2:21-25). (2) This God-established example was the general practice of the human race until interrupted by sin (Gen. 4:23). (3) The Law of Moses clearly commands even the kings, “You shall not multiply wives” (Deut. 17:17). (4) The warning against polygamy is repeated in the very passage where it numbers Solomon’s many wives (1 Kings 11:2), warning “You must not intermarry with them.” (5) Our Lord reaffirmed God’s original intention by citing this passage (Matt. 19:4) and noting that God created one “male and [one] female” and joined them in marriage. (6) The New Testament stresses that “Each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband” (1 Cor. 7:2 NIV).
(7) Likewise, Paul insisted that a church leader should be “the husband of one wife” (1 Tim. 3:2, 12). (8) Indeed, monogamous marriage represents the relation between Christ and his bride, the church (Eph. 5:31-32).

Polygamy was never established by God for any people under any circumstances. In fact, the Bible reveals that God severely punished those who practiced it. (1) Polygamy is first mentioned in the context of a sinful society in rebellion against God where the murderer “Lamech took for himself two wives” (Gen. 4:19, 23). (2) God repeatedly warned polygamists of the consequences of their actions “lest his heart turn away” from God       (Deut. 17:17; cf. 1 Kings 11:2). (3) God never commanded polygamy–like divorce, he only permitted it because of the hardness of their hearts (Deut. 24:1; Matt. 19:8). (4) Every polygamist in the Bible, including David and Solomon (1 Chron. 14:3), paid dearly for his sins. (5) God hates polygamy, as he hates divorce, since it destroys his ideal for the family (cf. Mal. 2:16).

In brief, monogamy is taught in the Bible (1) by precedent, since God gave the first man only one wife; (2) by proportion, since the numbers of males and females God brings into the world are about equal; (3) by precept, since both Old and New Testaments command it; (4) by punishment, since God punished those who violated his standard (1 Kings 11:2 ); and, (5) by type, since marriage is a type of Christ and his bride, the church ( Eph. 5:31-32 ). Simply because the Bible records Solomon’s sin of polygamy does not mean that God approved of it.

Did Hannah bargain with God?   Can we bargain with God?

I Samuel 1: 11   She made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head

Answer: Resource- Kent McClain

Hannah did not bargain with God over a hoped for son, she made a vow instead.   Her vow was to dedicate her first born son, Samuel, to the Lord’s service.    Bargains are different than vows.  A bargain says, “I will give you something, but I need something in return.”   A vow says, “I will give you something, but ask for nothing in return.   Hannah was able to make such a vow, because she was a prayer warrior.   Before she made her vow, she spent a great deal of time talking and listening with the Lord.   This is what prayer is.    After Hannah finished her prayer in the temple she felt very confident to make her vow, because God had spoken to her.  I love Hannah’s faith and her commitment to follow through with her vow.    She is a woman whom I envision saying to God, The answer is yes, now Lord, what was the question?

Additionally information on vows according to Nave’s topical definition defines vows as voluntary promises which, when once made, were to be kept if the thing vowed was right. They were made under a great variety of circumstances ( Gen. 28:18-22 ; Lev

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In response to Hannah’s comment in “No razor will touch his head”   What is a Nazarite vow?

I Samuel 1: 11   She made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head

Answer:  Resource- Easton’s dictionary

Nazarite — (Heb. form Nazirite), the name of such Israelites as took on them the vow prescribed in Num. 6:2-21. The word denotes generally one who is separated from others and consecrated to God. Although there is no mention of any Nazarite before Samson, yet it is evident that they existed before the time of Moses. The vow of a Nazarite involved these three things, (1) abstinence from wine and strong drink, (2) refraining from cutting the hair off the head during the whole period of the continuance of the vow, and (3) the avoidance of contact with the dead.

When the period of the continuance of the vow came to an end, the Nazarite had to present himself at the door of the sanctuary with (1) a he lamb of the first year for a burnt-offering, (2) a ewe lamb of the first year for a sin-offering, and (3) a ram for a peace-offering. After these sacrifices were offered by the priest, the Nazarite cut off his hair at the door and threw it into the fire under the peace-offering.

For some reason, probably in the midst of his work at Corinth, Paul took on himself the Nazarite vow. This could only be terminated by his going up to Jerusalem to offer up the hair which till then was to be left uncut. But it seems to have been allowable for persons at a distance to cut the hair, which was to be brought up to Jerusalem, where the ceremony was completed. This Paul did at Cenchrea just before setting out on his voyage into Syria (Acts 18:18).

On another occasion (Acts 21:23-26), at the feast of Pentecost, Paul took on himself again the Nazarite vow. “The ceremonies involved took a longer time than Paul had at his disposal, but the law permitted a man to share the vow if he could find companions who had gone through the prescribed ceremonies, and who permitted him to join their company. This permission was commonly granted if the new comer paid all the fees required from the whole company (fee to the Levite for cutting the hair and fees for sacrifices), and finished the vow along with the others. Four Jewish Christians were performing the vow, and would admit Paul to their company, provided he paid their expenses. Paul consented, paid the charges, and when the last seven days of the vow began he went with them to live in the temple, giving the usual notice to the priests that he had joined in regular fashion, was a sharer with the four men, and that his vow would end with theirs. Nazarites retired to the temple during the last period of seven days, because they could be secure there against any accidental defilement” (Lindsay’s Acts).

As to the duration of a Nazarite’s vow, every one was left at liberty to fix his own time. There is mention made in Scripture of only three who were Nazarites for life, Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist ( Judges 13:4 , 5 ; 1 Sam. 1:11 ; Luke 1:15 ). In its ordinary form, however, the Nazarite’s vow lasted only thirty, and at most one hundred, days. (See RECHABITES)

This institution was a symbol of a life devoted to God and separated from all sin, a holy life.

What did giving double portions to Hannah mean?

I Samuel 1: 5   but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the Lord had closed her womb

Answer:  Resource- Bible Knowledge Commentary

First Samuel 1:4-8. Because a Hebrew man’s posterity was bound up in his having a son to perpetuate his name, his wife’s inability to conceive a son was regarded as a curse from God. (According to Deut. 7:13-14 having a child was a sign of God’s blessing.) Conversely the Israelites considered the inability to bear children as a curse.) But Hannah’s barrenness did not diminish Elkanah’s love for her. In fact he gave her twice what he gave Peninnah, his second wife, when they took their offerings to the Lord at Shiloh, the place some 15 miles north of Ramah where Joshua had located the tabernacle (Josh. 18:1). This antagonized Peninnah, so she belittled her rival Hannah (1 Sam. 1:6-7). One thinks of the jealousy which Jacob’s bigamy wrought in Rachel’s heart (Gen. 30:1). None of Elkanah’s assurances of devotion had any beneficial effect upon Hannah and her sorrow (1 Sam. 1:8).

II Samuel 2: 5 and 21 seem to be in conflict with one another.   Hannah talks of a coming seven children in verse 5, but only five are born to her in verse 21.

II Samuel 2: 5 “Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry cease to hunger. Even the barren gives birth to seven, but she who has many children languishes.

II Samuel 2:21 The Lord visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the Lord.

Answer:  Kent and Pastor Milt

Options:   (Number 2 is the answer)

1.      Hannah had high hopes for having 7 children, but was a little off in her realized dreams.

2.      The Hebrew language identifies 7 as the number for completion of God’s perfect will, which is what He did when He fulfilled Hannah’s prayer request for a son.  He completed His promise to her perfectly when He gave her Samuel.    He also completed His will to Israel by bringing a Godly priest to their rescue.   Therefore the actual number 7 in this verse is not referring to the number of children Hannah would have, but the fulfilled completion of His will for Hannah and Israel.

This is difficult for us to understand, because we see things from a Greek perspective in the Western world.   Our whole education system, the way we think, speak and write comes from the Greeks, not the Hebrews.   With the Greeks, the number 7 means 7 in number, but not so with the Hebrews.