March 7 (Daily Scripture)

1 Samuel 1:23-2:26
23 Her husband Elkanah said to her, ‘Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only—may the Lord establish his word.’ So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him.
24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young.
25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.
26 And she said, ‘Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord.
27 For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him.
28 Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.’ She left him there for the Lord.
Hannah’s Prayer
1 Hannah prayed and said, ‘My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory.
2 ‘There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength.
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil.
The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.
6 The Lord kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7 The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts.
8 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honour. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world.
9 ‘He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail.
10 The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed.’
Eli’s Wicked Sons
11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, while the boy remained to minister to the Lord, in the presence of the priest Eli.
12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord
13 or for the duties of the priests to the people. When anyone offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,
14 and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or cauldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.
15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the one who was sacrificing, ‘Give meat for the priest to roast; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.’
16 And if the man said to him, ‘Let them burn the fat first, and then take whatever you wish’, he would say, ‘No, you must give it now; if not, I will take it by force.’
17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord; for they treated the offerings of the Lord with contempt.
The Child Samuel at Shiloh
18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a linen ephod.
19 His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, ‘May the Lord repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the Lord’; and then they would return to their home.
21 And the Lord took note of Hannah; she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
Prophecy against Eli’s Household
22 Now Eli was very old. He heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
23 He said to them, ‘Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people.
24 No, my sons; it is not a good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad.
25 If one person sins against another, someone can intercede for the sinner with the Lord; but if someone sins against the Lord, who can make intercession?’ But they would not listen to the voice of their father; for it was the will of the Lord to kill them.
26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favour with the Lord and with the people.

Proverbs 2:1-3:10
The Value of Wisdom
1 My child, if you accept my words and treasure up my commandments within you,
2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;
3 if you indeed cry out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding;
4 if you seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures—
5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly,
8 guarding the paths of justice and preserving the way of his faithful ones.
9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path;
10 for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11 prudence will watch over you; and understanding will guard you.
12 It will save you from the way of evil, from those who speak perversely,
13 who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness,
14 who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil;
15 those whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.
16 You will be saved from the loose woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words,
17 who forsakes the partner of her youth and forgets her sacred covenant;
18 for her way leads down to death, and her paths to the shades;
19 those who go to her never come back, nor do they regain the paths of life.
20 Therefore walk in the way of the good, and keep to the paths of the just.
21 For the upright will abide in the land, and the innocent will remain in it;
22 but the wicked will be cut off from the land, and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.
Admonition to Trust and Honour God
1 My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments;
2 for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you.
3 Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them round your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favour and good repute in the sight of God and of people.
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be a healing for your flesh and a refreshment for your body.
9 Honour the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce;
10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Jeremiah 1:11-2:3
11 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Jeremiah, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a branch of an almond tree.’
12 Then the Lord said to me, ‘You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.’
13 The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, ‘What do you see?’ And I said, ‘I see a boiling pot, tilted away from the north.’
14 Then the Lord said to me: Out of the north disaster shall break out on all the inhabitants of the land.
15 For now I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord; and they shall come and all of them shall set their thrones at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah.
16 And I will utter my judgements against them, for all their wickedness in forsaking me; they have made offerings to other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.
17 But you, gird up your loins; stand up and tell them everything that I command you. Do not break down before them, or I will break you before them.
18 And I for my part have made you today a fortified city, an iron pillar, and a bronze wall, against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its princes, its priests, and the people of the land.
19 They will fight against you; but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you.
God Pleads with Israel to Repent
1 The word of the Lord came to me, saying:
2 Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord: I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.
3 Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest. All who ate of it were held guilty;
disaster came upon them, says the Lord.

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