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"Speak; For Thy Servant Heareth”
BY JAMES SANT, R. A., AN ENGLISH ARTIST, BORN 1820.
“Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.”—I. Sam., 3, 10.
O EVIL had Israel become under Eli's feeble rule, that God had almost wholly withdrawn His influence
from the land. The divine voice was heard; prophecies had ceased. Then one night there came to the boy Samuel a voice calling him from his bed. The lad thought the summons came from his aged master, Eli, and hastened to him. But Eli sent him back. Thrice the call roused Samuel, until Eli realized what the child did not, that this was God's voice come back to Israel. He bade Samuel listen again; and when the fourth summons came, the lad answered, tremulous amid the awestruck silence, “Speak; for thy servant heareth.”
Then the voice foretold a coming punishment upon Israel and particularly upon Eli and all his family, because he had so neglected his high duties. Next morning Samuel disclosed the revelation to Eli, and the aged highpriest bowed himself in sorrow and submission. The rest of the people of Israel gave little beed to the vague menace against themselves. Instead all the tribes rejoiced exceedingly that there was again a prophet among them, who might rescue them
from the Philistines.
SECOND SAMUEL VI-MICHAL DESPISES DAVID
9 And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and said, Ilow shall the ark of the LORD come to me?
10 So David would not remove the ark of the LORD unto him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.
11 And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months; and the Lord blessed Obed-edom, and all his household.
12 | And it was told king David, saying, The Lord hath blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness.
13 And it was so, that when they that bare the ark of the LORD had
he sacrificed oxen and fatlings. 14 And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.
15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal, Saul's daughter, looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.
i7 | And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in his place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.
18 And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt offerings and peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts.
19 And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well
to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.
20 | Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to-day, who uncovered himself to-day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!
21 And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.
22 And I will vet be more vile than thus, and will be base in my own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
SECOND SAMUEL VII-DAVID PLANS GOD'S TEMPLE
Chapter 7 1 Nathan first approving the purpose of David to build God an house, 4 afler by the word of God forbiddeth him. 12 He promiseth him benefits and blessings in his seed. 18 David's prayer and thanksgiving.
SND it came to pass, when the king sat in his house, and the LORD had given him rest round about from all his enemies; 2 That the king said unto Nathan the prophet, See now,
I dwell in an house of cedar,
but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains. 3 And Nathan said to the king, Go, do all that is in thine heart; for the LORD is with thee.
4 | And it came to pass that night, that the word of the LORD came unto Nathan, saying,
5 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in ?
6 Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.
7 In all the places wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?
8 Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:
9 And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.
10 Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,
11 And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.
12 ? And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:
15 But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.
16 And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.